When Kayhan Kalhor first left Iran, at age 17, he walked — more than 2,500 miles, to Italy. He carried only two items with him: a small backpack and his main musical instrument, the kamancheh.
“Imagine being a teenager,” Kalhor says. “You have school, you have your friends, you have your nice things to do.” He had two pastimes he adored. “I was riding horses and playing music — you know, a very normal life. And then, suddenly, you can’t go on the street. You know people will shoot you if you do. It was very, very confusing and not at all normal.”