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Berlin means for me freedom

What is the purpose of a refugee in the city in which he is stranded? As A Transit? As An Exile? As a temporary refuge? As a new home? Each refugee will give a different answer, an answer that does not depend only of him self, but also of his friends and his family.

Monir Khalil has lost in Syria's Aleppo, his parents. According to Germany, the 30-Year-old of 2015, with two younger brothers, to which he has today, there is only little contact. Khalil is an Individualist. He lives alone, has friends and Girlfriends, but no solid relationship.

The young Syrians is an avid New Berlin. Sometimes he says "icke" if he thinks I am, and grins. He trained at Hansa 07 in the Multicultural district of Kreuzberg young footballers, coaches, other refugees , German and Turkish friends, is cooking Italian. "Thanks to tutorials on Youtube this is easy." He built in Berlin-something New – because he must and because he can.

exile and Diaspora at the same time

Fida Souari was the end of 2014, the last of his seven-member family from Northern Iraq fled. His father, as a soldier after the Iran-Iraq war years in prison for sass, lived there already since one and a half decades as a refugee in Berlin.

Souaris family before heard of the small Islamic religious community of the Yezidis. Hundreds of thousands of Yazidis have fled the Muslim butchers of the Islamic state, thousands were killed. 200'000 are living in Germany, depending on the estimate, this corresponds to one-fifth or one-seventh of the endangered people. For Yazidis, Germany, exile, and Diaspora is at the same time. A place to survive as a community.

Fida Souari, a shy, warm-hearted man, trouble, arrive in Berlin. But his life, especially in the circle of his family, with a mother, father, brothers and sister, and in the circle of other Yazidis who have found refuge here. His English is little better than three years ago.

In March 2016, I had learned the two fugitives in an integration course. When I saw you, a year later, Monir Khalil sad, Fida Souari seemed lost something. The Syrians had been informed some months previously, that his in Aleppo retarded parents were killed. His "life goal" to unite the family again in Berlin, had been dashed. Khalil was shocked, cried a lot. The lust for Life, he had aired a year earlier in the school, seemed to have vanished. Souari was not sad, he had no reason, but restless. What would be in Germany with him? He would find a profession that would allow him eventually to start a family of your own?

Consolidated happier

When I was two now, two years later, again to meet, before they come to me to be strengthened – go-lucky, each in its own way arrived. Fida Souari to pick me up with the car, a small silver Mazda that he bought for 4000 Euro. "What do you think of him?" he asks, laughing, and happy, as I zunicke him appreciatively. The conversation he drives me to Neukölln, where we sit in the heated pavilion, a shopping center Outside, where he can smoke.

Much New is happening in his life. He still lives with his family on the outskirts of Berlin, seven adults on almost a hundred square meters. Nearly three years he has worked in the canteen of the Berliner BMW motorcycle factory as a kitchen assistant. He starts a new Job For a Caterer, he moves food to day-care centres and schools. Much of the 34-Year-old doesn't deserve it, after all the deductions 700 Euro stay with him a month, maybe. Most of it flows into the family Fund.

Souari know that he would have to make a lesson, he would like to earn even more – as the old nurse, for example, or as a chef. But he is not afraid of the effort. "Three years is a long time," he says. "At this time my wage would be much lower. And who knows, if I pass the exam?" At the end of the integration course he was fallen through the English exam, a teaching, but requires even better skills.

Fida Souari lives in a jesidischen community. Photo: Thomas Schweigert

in the Middle of the conversation, he looks through the Windows of the pavilion of his father. The tall man in the light trench coat, gegeltes thin hair and mustache, stands outside with other jesidischen men, Smoking and chatting. The son of bring the group to his father, soon all sitting around chatting and smiling to us.

The father speaks even less English than his son, although he has been living for 18 years in Berlin. He has worked with, so it is told of the son, here, never, but always social assistance. The Yazidis to meeting among themselves, the Germans will play in your life no role. The friends of the father is not called Souari, however, "uncle", even if they are related to him.

Only 18-year-old son of an "uncle" falls out of the series. The young Jeside speaks perfect English, almost without accent. "I had after my arrival in Berlin for two years, a German friend," he explains. In a folder he keeps of applications for a KV-teaching under the Arm, he raves about the opportunities that Berlin offers. Fida Souari does it sound like mute. When I ask him later where he see himself in ten years, he replies: "I would like to have a good job and a good family – this is the most Important thing." How he wants to come, he says little.

A hip Restaurant

Monir Khalil, the Syrian, has proposed for our Meeting, a hip Restaurant on the Alexanderplatz, where you can have a Balinese Porridge and Halloumi Burger and Smoothies go in bright colors over the counter. Instead of sad, like two years ago, he greets me this time, cheerful, almost cocky.

at the Time, he had worked as a waiter and seller, to the minimum wage, which his former classmates Souari. Now, after two six-month training, he works as a social worker and Coach. He helps migrants who are new in Berlin, when dealing with public Offices, schools or landlords. "Am I good," he says. "And Help is good for me."

A steady employment and a recognised course of higher education and also Khalil has not, although he brought back from Syria a degree in communication. But he has not given up the Plan to study in Berlin, perhaps, but still. In the free time he is involved as a football coach, and is working to acquire the necessary license. His English is good and liquid, in addition to Arabic, he speaks also Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian.


"You can't constantly remember the past. It depends on the future."Monir Khalil

"for Me it is very good," he says. The grief over the loss of his family and his homeland has waned. "What is lost is lost. You can't constantly think of the past. In the future, it is." He tried a lot, makes plans and changes them when necessary. "A lot of things in life depends on chance and luck. To plans, it will hold only rarely."

Playfully, he is also love. He has landed more often with women friends, but he did not want to bind itself so far. "As a Single you live the best," he jokes, "because you remain your own king." In truth, he wants a proper partnership. "Probably, I haven't found but just the right woman." to find

The right woman for Fida Souari probably much more complicated than for Monir Khalil. His Tradition allows him to be with women outside of marriage, flirting. To start a family, he would have to have an honorable profession, but also his family's liking Jesidin. The Yazidis to marry strictly among themselves. If you didn't, will be automatically withdrawn from the community. As the eldest brother Souari takes the task on his 20-year-old sister to take care of. The thought that this could fall in love with a German, or – even worse – in a Arabs, horrified him. "That's impossible," he says, looking very serious.

"We have no future there."Fida Souari

I tell him that the German brothers could not tell their sisters, who together would, he says sadly: "We adhere to the German laws. We hope, however, that the Germans respect our traditions."

For Souaris family Berlin is a kind of rescue boat. The Yazidis are grateful that Germany granted them protection. Yourself German, you don't want to be. In their old home back you can't but also: "We have no future."

For Monir Khalil is, however, Berlin is nothing less than a springboard into a new life. When his mother still lived, they had been his home, he says. Today it is Berlin. "If I get a German passport, I want to stay here forever." How many New to Berlin, he raves about the city. In Baden-Württemberg, the homesickness for Berlin overcome by him after three days.

he doesn't like that he is striking with his dark face in Berlin. At the same time it does not exempt him, that here the constraints of Arab society. "I am a part of the diversity of this city. Everyone can live the way he wants. Berlin means freedom for me."

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 14.03.2019, 19:47 PM

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