Roots in the Wind (Soraya Akhlaqi) Afghanistan

Roots in the Wind
Soraya Akhlaqi
Afghanistan. 2022. 26 min

In 1979, after the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan, millions of Afghans were forced to leave their homeland to save their lives, and in the meantime, a huge wave of them immigrated to Iran.
Now, after 4 decades of living in Iran, their second and third generations have been born. They have not seen their motherland and have not had the experience of living there; On the other hand, they are not accepted as citizens in Iran. This suspension has placed them in a diasporic situation.
During these years, the Iranian government has made many restrictions on their access to facilities and services. Prohibition and legal restrictions in choosing residence, travel, job, marriage ban with Iranians, not having the right to have ownership documents and deprivation of a large part of food, health and education subsidies have formed a set of laws that emphasize on their temporary nature and not belonging to the geography of Iran.


So far, I have made some short films, documentaries and created several performance art.
The topics of my works almost has been war, women, human rights and immigration.
I have performed in various international festivals, and I had the honor of being on the jury at the 28th Vesoul International Film Festival.
Diaspora life experience has played an important role in the formation of my artistic ideas and I have always tried to make my works a reflection of the voice of those who have been ignored.


  • 2017- Borderline
  • 2019- Morteza Abdi
  • 2021- Roots in the Wind


I have been an immigrant since I was born in Iran, counted as a low-ranking other, alien, Afghani… I was born in a country where I was always called an outsider. Someone who should return to her homeland one day! But which homeland?! I had no identity and no basic citizenship rights! As a teenager, I was ashamed to even let others know that I was an Afghan, so much that I tried to hide my identity from them. In the minds of Iranians, an Afghani was like a lowbrow, uneducated, laboring and backward person!
Immigration continued in me until today and it seems that the only legacy of my ancestors (who immigrated to Iran) for me, was this tag! I don’t know how long this feeling of being an immigrant will continue, maybe it will never end in me…
Several million Afghan immigrants in the situation of diaspora are living in Iran like I was.
In this documentary, some of them talk about the living conditions they all have.