He doesn’t know his birthday, exactly, because the Gregorian calendar is still a puzzle. But he knows his age, more or less, and he knows where he hails from—a village near Ghazni, Afghanistan, which he visits in dreams now and then. Milad Ahkabyar and his family fled their village in the fall of 2015 to escape persecution from the Taliban. For three months, they traveled by nearly every means to reach Germany, setting foot in seven countries along the way. They landed in Düsseldorf, at a former municipal building turned shelter where hundreds of families navigate the next step—toward asylum or deportation. In the meantime, somewhere along that perplexing calendar, Milad turned fourteen.