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Abdul Alizedeh, carpet seller from Afghanistan, 2012

© Jenny Matthews, Hackney All Nations

I left Afghanistan because the situation wasn’t good. The main reason was the war and the Taliban. People had to leave because of the problem, the politics thing. It’s not very easy to leave. The first thing is you don’t want to leave your country but if the situation comes to you, you have to leave – you leave everything behind – your family, your country, you just go – to a kind of survival, to get away from the troubles, that’s what it was all about – you can’t imagine how hard it is.

There’s excitement in the market – you see lots of people coming and going. Of course it’s hard work but the excitement is there and sometimes it takes the tiredness away from you.