The Orphan



sole (2) survive sole survivor
coma regain consciousness
trust explosion severely
knee injure attempt
flee flea detention
jail end up apprentice
row (3) cellar bad enough
crisis minor (2) accompanied
ground assign guardian
surgery arrange get grounded
pair come around accommodation
brew mint (2) balcony
heaven plant (3) heaven sent
chance hospitality


Video: The Orphan



Nineteen year old Farid Rahimi lives in Hamburg. He was born in Afghanistan, and lived there until he was nine.

Then his entire family was killed in a bomb attack.

He was the sole survivor.

Farid: “After the explosion, I was in a coma for ten days….when I regained consciousness in the hospital, I was crying and asking for my mother.”

“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who to trust.”

Farid’s knee was severely injured in the attack. In the hospital he heard people saying there were excellent doctors in Germany.

He decided to flee Afghanistan.

In his attempt to get to Germany, he ended up in detention in Ukraine.

Farid: “It was a cellar in a jail with three rooms. And a hundred and fifty people were held in these three rooms. We had to sleep next to one another. We all slept in rows on the ground.”

“I kept asking myself: ‘What had I done wrong? Why was I in jail?’ It was bad enough that my country was in crisis, and I had lost my parents.”

He arrived in Hamburg at the age of 16. As a refugee and an unaccompanied minor, he was assigned a guardian.

Journalist Margot Dankwerth helped him get grounded and also arranged for him to have surgery for his knee, and to attend school.

After he had to leave his accommodation, he moved in with her.

Farid: “She does everything a real mother does; that’s why I’d always like to call her mom or mother.

Margot Dankwerth: “I always enjoyed when his friends come around. I like coming home from work and hearing Afghan music coming from his room. And there six pairs of shoes lined outside and tea is always brewing.”

She’s even planted mint on her balcony because Farid’s parents grew it on their garden. He often tells Margot about his home country.

Margot: “I’ve always been saddened by the thought of children who have lost their parents. I always though we could help them in so many ways by simply being there for them.”

“So it felt that Farid was heaven sent.”

Farid has a new chance in life. He now has an apprenticeship in the hospitality industry.

And thanks to Margot, he has a new family


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1. Farid had a horrible, terrible experience in his home country. Is this correct or wrong?

2. Did he go directly to Germany? What happened in Ukraine?

3. How did he meet Margot?

4. What happened after he left the refugee center?

5. Who is Margot? Is she a homemaker (housewife)?

6. Margot and Farid are roommates or flatmates. Yes or no? What is the relationship between them?

7. Is Farid attending university?
A. Do you know anyone who is or was an orphan or refugee?

B. There are many refugees in my country. Yes or no? What happens to them?

C. I know people who have been adopted. Is this true or false?


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