Ashek and Rajeeb: ‘We wait for a new beginning’

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Ashek and Rajeeb: ‘We wait for a new beginning’

It was a lovely day. I was walking around in a botanical garden. Then suddenly, I got a text: ‘I’ve been taken in by the police. If I’m not out by tonight, inform everyone.’

I felt completely lifeless. The whole garden went grey. All the flowers lost their colours. It felt hopeless.

I’ve always been torn between the feelings of pride and fear for Rajeeb, because he’s so outspoken, he’s considered one of the first open gay men in our country.

I didn’t believe in love at first sight until I met him. I never believed that love could feel so organic, so real. Everything about him was so honest and meaningful. But our relationship is not accepted where we come from, neither by law nor by society.

Last spring, two of our friends in Bangladesh got killed because they were gay and were fighting for our rights. I feared that it could happen to him as well.

He stayed for as long as he could to help others who were in danger. I told him all the time to get out, get out, so that we could live a secure life together. By luck, we ended up in Sweden and decided to apply for asylum.

Bangladesh was fun, friends, happiness and home for us. All that was taken away. Now we wait for a new beginning.


Go to Sweden and migration to get the bigger picture and the historical perspective.

Last updated: 5 April 2017

Alexander Mahmoud


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