[He sings.]

Today the 03.01.2019. Here in the Humanitarian Solidarity Middle East, in the Wattenscheider Hellweg in Bochum. I am [name], 1st board member of the association “Deine Fiedworkerin” today with you in Bochum. In the project Specially Unknown, Oral History in Europa, imagine yourself. Please Mr [name] and what have you brought us?

[r] I am [name] .  From a beautiful village, name Hambra in Homs. I have this beautiful prayer rosary that accompanied me on my way. It has very nice memory with me from Syria, is a gift. From my friend, a dear friend of mine. I still have, my wife has attracted me this cross. She told me you should have this on so that she can get it off my back when she comes. Here to me, because I do not like such things.  But I left it on.

[i] How long have you been here?

Now three years.

Did you come alone?  You say my wife pulled my chain?

Yes, I came alone, I was afraid. To take the one with me on the way, we were very afraid of drowning. Kidnapping and such, I said I can ofpern myself. Why should I sacrifice my children if something happens, then it happens to me alone. Why should anything happen to me, I came alone, she said let the cross down your throat. Until you arrive, after that you can make a deal, beautiful in Syria. I didn’t put on something like that, I don’t like such sectarianism.

[i] As I understood from you, you made it. To make the family reunion of your family?

[r] Yes, they are here about. One and a half, two years here with me.

[i] How many children do you have, God bless them?

I have three children. The older one is 17, the second one is 12. And the third one is 8 years old.

[i] We want you to tell us more about your person, your country. You are a Syrian citizen, born in a beautiful village, tell us? About your childhood, your big family, then about your little family?

Like my childhood was like all other children. School, we were seven brothers.  Was a poor life, my father is a worker, we have. Not rich lived also not poor, we were average. Compared to others, we were happy about the gift to the feast. We were happy about a lira, about the festive clothes. We waited for it, I have learned.  Until the Abitur in Syria.  Three years of industry, after the ninth grade. Car mechanic and then I did not.  My Abi managed to tell me literature, I love poetry and I love to write. I love to draw, I have played the oud. I love these things, I wanted to study literature, and achieve my ambition. Instead of university, but the financial situation.  Did not help, I am short stepped one at home should help. And sacrifice, my older brother went to university, we didn’t want him to give up his university to work. I hadn’t been accepted to university yet, I thought I was doing my military service and going to work. I help my brothers finish their studies, my brothers were all intelligent. That’s how it happened, I finished my military service, then I started. And helped my brothers, thank God, all my brothers finished college and university. Everything went well, they had success in their lives, they got married. After that I got married.  I still worry about my family today.

Have you ever left Syria except now for the trip to Germany? To Lebanon for work, if you see that as a journey. Only to Lebanon, I worked there.  13 years.

[i] Oh, takes a long time.

Yes, I made friends and acquaintances there and did some nice work. That was very nice, I had fun in Lebanon, I did not fill myself abroad. In Lebanon I have not filled myself foreign, same. Guys, do you want to tell me here in Germany you feel foreign?

Yes, I can’t speak, I didn’t learn the language. The customs and traditions are completely different from ours. In Lebanon we are similar, same people our customs and traditions are the same. Especially because we are very close to Lebanon, even they nature. And the mountains are the same as in Lebanon, I felt like us in the village. The people are nice and tolerant, as with us I still have my friends. We communicate until now, and talk to each other. I send each other greetings, communicate via Watsup.

[i] Tell me something about your family, what do you remember from your childhood? Your life?

I was a great troublemaker in my childhood.

[i] Father, mother?

Mother and father.  Is worker like I told you beautifully, he had his job. At the end he opened a kiosk for us, we told him to stay in the kiosk. My mother loved the country a lot, I’m like her, I like the country very much, I have to every day. (An ambulance passes by). Go to the land and dig the olive trees.  I plant a fig, an apricot tree, or grapes. I love the land very much, but here I am constantly asking what happened to the fig tree. What happened to the olives, I always talk to my parents, ask the mother you go to olives. She says, yes, I have harvested it, I have cut it and made it, have you planted me a fig tree? In this place, what I told you? Yes, I planted it for you. I dream of it when I go back. To eat of figs and grapes, I do not know whether I can return.

[i] inshallah.

[r] Inshallah.

[i] You speak of your strong connection. To earth, you have artificial tendencies.  You love agriculture, the green and the village?

Very much.

[i] Syria is known for its beautiful nature. In your village? You are of.  What denomination?

[r] We are Room-orthodox.  The whole village is Room-orthodox.

[i] In Homs?

[r] Yes, in Homs. In Wadi el Nasara.

[i] Wadi el Nasara.

We say Wadi el Nasara because almost everyone. Christians are registered in the city is not Wadi el Nasar, Wadi el Nadara. Thus not to become a sectarian separation. But the city no confessional division happens. If it is registered as Wadi el Nadara, it will always remain green. Our mountains are all made of oaks.  With us always remains green, but when we talk. We say Wadi el Nasara, we have grown so big.

[i] Yes, you say you communicate with your parents, your relatives? The friends?

[r] Yes daily, telephone?

[r] Yes, I swear, telephone. Sure, you can’t quit every day. If I don’t talk, she calls, says my brothers, call him. We want to see the children, they are missing. Every day she wants to talk, I hang up and say you don’t have to talk to her. Because every time she speaks, she will cry and Marcel did that. And I saw, he said, grandma I want to come to you, eat with you. Marcel when he comes to me, he told me I want to eat with you, I love yours. Here, you burn your heart, we have left them. And don’t want to hurt them, I say don’t answer. Send him a message that we are not at home, at least. I am not answering, I have my brothers here in Sweden we talk an hour. But despite all two, three days we talk once with. You miss their message.

[i] Is something calmer now? In the village?

Nothing happened to us in the village, I should lie to you. And tell you we had a war, we didn’t feel it in the village. On the whole, there were some problems, some martyrs. They’ve separated the road from the Hosen-Burg side, the army’s infiltrated. Got everything under control, there were armed gangs in Hosen-Burg. In our village, nothing happened, in the middle of the village. Nothing at all, but who.  In Homs lived, I worked a period in Homs, I one there a shop. I also had a rented flat, yes, everything would be destroyed there, the shop would be destroyed. We fled, we spent the last phase in the village. Until the possibility came, I came here, everything became more expensive. There was no more security, neither for me nor for the children. There was no more future for the children, everything was destroyed. Sham, Homs, Halab, where should the children study, the children were smart. They were the first in school, we said I travel and I travelled. Hamdellah I was lucky and could bring the family together and brought them here to me. Inshallah, may Allah help them and give them a good life. For them and for all men.

[i] What do you remember? From your village, the roads, the settlement?  In your childhood, it is important for me to talk about your person. From your private life? Then we talk about the family?

The memories. I’m talking about my friends, about the soccer field. Every day when we came out of school.  We eat and go to playgrounds when we were little. We played with the ball, we had a double where we played on it, we had. No playgrounds, like here in Germany, in every street you will find a playground. No, there is an empty floor where there is not, they made a double. When they harvest, we went there.  We do two stones, one from here and the other from there, playing with the ball. We have grown, in the ninth grade and afterwards. We had Jadhobby.  With a Nekayfeh or real hunting?

Barouda el Dak (gunpowder) and Baroud el Tesaa. How old were you?

[r] From 9 – 10 class.  14 – 15 years we went hunting, we had. Beautiful mountains, beautiful caves and sweet fountains. No matter where you go in which side, you have a water well.

[i] This relieves the soul.

Oh, when I go there, I forget, even when I’m tall, I can’t, daily. I have to go to the field or to the Hersch when I’m sitting there. On the rock, make me a cup of tea, sit on the rock, watch the people. I forget my whole life, even when my wife. Calling at the end after we bought mobile phone.

[i] Who calls. I don’t come home, I forget myself. I’m working, in the ground, tidying up the vine leaf tree. The figs, my life was very beautiful.  Until now I think tomorrow I return, often. Do I have the thoughts I want to go to the field, my father says, come. The ground is waiting for you, I say yes I am coming.

[i] Tell us.  You served the army, did you tell them?

[r] Yes.

Did you get married before or after?

[r] No after that.

[i] How long? Does it last in Syria?

In my time it was 2, 2 and 1/2 years. Back then the Gulf was war, they kept me. Six months, after that I did.  I got two months penalty, I served three years, one month and four days. A long time, but I was not angry, I am. A trained hairdresser.

[i] Yes.

[r] I worked there. I worked in the military as a hairdresser, everyone liked me. My star is loved.

[i] You are a very likeable person.

[r] Yes, thank God. The officers and officers shave their hair with me and my friends. I had earned my pocket money from it, that was enough for me.

[i] Yes. In this period.

During that period, did you get married or were you in love?

I was in love, I left, and I experienced a lot. I was sooo in love in the village, before…  We had fallen in love outside, it was not allowed or unpleasant to fall in love with someone from the village. If we fall in love then from far away, she knows that I love her and she loves me. But from the distance, we didn’t admit, we were ashamed, now. It’s different.

[i] We are very conservative.

[r] Yes. We were riding bicycles, I had had a bike, to another village, there. Let’s go and meet girls but in the village is shameful, that’s the daughters of the neighbour. My friend’s sister, my cousin, or my cousin’s friend, yes. But not in the village, we didn’t want to make any mistakes. Or we fall in love in front of the people, but outside, we went out, meet with girls. They were with us at school, we had visited them. But in our village we visit a girl is not allowed, does not go.

[i] Was there a difference in education between girls and boys? Was there a difference?

No, there was no difference between boys and girls. No, the girls are allowed to do anything they want, and the boy has a limit. Also the girl in the university has her limit. Where she goes and comes, we have to know, even my sister when she studied in Ladekia. Where she is, from university to home, from house to university, we should know. If you, my cousin was there.  He is not her controller, but if she wants somewhere, he had accompanied her. When she goes into town, she goes with your friend Salam and Hasan accompanies you. The go shopping in town, always.  The girls with us in the village when she goes into town. She needs company, a signpost, because she doesn’t know anything there, then someone is there. A year before.

[i] Can follow you.

[r] Yes, you follow and pay attention. In Sham I had a nurse, and my uncles. God forgive him, but in our time, my father was still alive when someone goes to Sham. From us or our cousins.  My uncles there accompany you in their work and in their university stuff.

Yes, you are an open family.

[r] Yes. Yes.

[i] You have no differences, you’re a girl, that’s forbidden, you’re a boy? You have more opportunity?

No, even the girls with us when they are. We didn’t do that, even the girl didn’t want to marry early. Before she finished her college or college, we didn’t have anything like that.

[i] Yes.

No boy offers to hand a girl if she has not completed at least her Abi, rarely. Rarely can you find her with us in the village, she married at 14 or 15. This is a rarity, one or two times.  You can count on your fingers, the girls are aware of that. She wants to finish her university first, I want to be employed first, I want to stand on my own legs. I buy my own things, nobody should give me command. Everyone has studied, if not can study, there is. If she cannot educate a result.

[i] This is special situation but normal. You have an education Still, you have an open culture?

[r] Yes, of course.

[i] We return to our subject, did you love? Did you marry the woman you love or did someone force you to marry?

No, I loved her. My wife, I am from Homs.  And my wife is in Hasake, 850 km away from me, I had. Worked in Lebanon and her sister was my neighbor in the rented apartment. In Beirut, I had had a strong relationship. With your sister in Beirut and your sister’s husband who was your sister’s husband. He introduced me to his parents, I counted for his mother as her own son. I look similar, I see my brother-in-law. She told me I have four children and you are the fifth. This is your apartment here, if you want to wash, eat, you can come cook. And eat, we had a very strong bond, because she wants me so much. The aunt of my wife said you want to marry someone what I like, I like what you like. I want to marry someone what I like, she said yes if the bride. You do not like it, by chance she had sat down in her head that I marry this woman. And I, Majida came to visit her sister. I had seen her, I went after her, and would know afterwards. That you were the sister of Suhaila.  Subhan Allah.

[i] Destiny.

No, I talked to her for the first time. With her aunt and her sister, she said no, will not marry until after 20. She was 18 years old when I first saw her, now she’s not thinking about getting married. If she wants to marry after 20, I said well then man has saved something and prepared for it. We prepare ourselves to 20, we should only bind ourselves to talk to her, they said I am not necessary. I said let’s go out once, important is. After two or three years I had seen her again, but I had sent her. I had two or three letters for her at that time, if that would be appropriate, to someone who could hand it over to her. You can’t send it to her in the mail, and her brothers see it. Or your father!! From where to where someone sends you letters like that. When I went there, her cousin came. Or someone from there goes to visit hasake, I send. A letter, secretly, after that she came.  After Beirut second visit, there I met and saw her. I spoke openly with her, she was ready. To accept that.

There your relationship had become stronger, not so Hob Top.

Yes, it had become strong there. No, we were in love.  I had talked to her on the phone when I went to Syria, yes it was nice. Immediately I talked to her mother, I told her I was not. To play there, I go from the door, yes.  And my brother-in-law was there, he had got someone else for her, many problems happened. She loved me, wanted me and there was. Someone who was richer than me, but didn’t work out. I cut him the way and spoke directly to her mother. The mother would know that I and Majida are in love. I didn’t give myself a definitive answer, I should talk to the uncle. Because we women do not have to say in such matters, I said is good. On 14 of the month in Mariahimmelfahrt, the holiday I’m going to be. Engaged and finished, on August 10 in my birthday. We will marry civil, she said inshallah, you go and talk to your uncle. Yes plans that, I said I have no problems with that. We left, and got engaged, they postponed my engagement because of the financial situation. Three years, you ruined my house, hahhhaaahha.

[i] You are very patient.

[r] Yes, I have patience. But our love has grown so big, the engagement time was who tells you the engagement time. It’s nice, think the engagement time is nice, I’m going there. Once a month, every month and a half to visit. A long way, my work was in Lebanon.  That was a beautiful adventure?

[r] OOHhhhhh, I drove on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday. I swear, I drive after work.

Can you do it?

[r] Yes. I was off work in Beirut at 12:00-12:30, I bought a ticket. I don’t take the bus directly to Hasake, I drive to the border first. And the border to Halab and from Halab to Hasake. I was about 10 hours, 9 hours on the way. But if I wanted to drive with the karnack from Beirut I would have to drive 14-15 hours, so I did. Saved, I arrive at 4:00-5:00 o’clock in the morning. Do the wake up and sit with her and drink coffee, they were the most beautiful days.

[i] Seriously beautiful.

In particular Valentine’s Day, I go to her, Saturday and Sunday. The normal visits I went and stayed a week when feast is. I celebrate with my parents first day and then I go to them, and celebrate with them. Christmas with my parents, I go New Year’s Eve with the celebrations or New Year’s Eve with them. Then I spend Christmas or vice versa.

[i] Are you busy?

[r] Yes. But those were nice days, I have not saved in these days what I save. I work the whole month.

[i] How do you want to save, alone beautiful the travel expenses what you had?

[r] Yes. I work the whole month, earn 500 – 600 USD. I go there, gifts you say beautifully.  For the fiancée, the parents, etc.  Sweets and such, my pocket money I go there for a week and her pocket money.

[i] Clearly a groom?

One week spending I do something with my fiancée. That’ll be all and go broke back, just now. With 500 Lira for the ticket, I say, next month is not enough I go.

[i] Yes. Believe me, regret nothing, these are the most beautiful moments of life.

[r] I don’t regret it. Believe me, I didn’t regret anything in my life, even. How am I supposed to tell you, so far I tell her it’s true that I haven’t saved any money, but I’m happy. I was happy, I come and go to you in the nights, arrive. At 3 o’clock in the morning you sleep on the ceiling, those in Hasake sleep on the ceiling. In summer I climb on the door and on the power line. Jump on the ceiling and wake them all up, first I open my mother-in-law. Then I say, no, that’s not possible, that’s my fiancée. Her father sees me, her mother or brother, I swear they will kill me and you. Even if she is my fiancée, that is 3eib, either I wake her brothers or I knock on my mother-in-law’s door. First my mother-in-law.

[i] We were conservative?

There isn’t, that’s one thing. I was engaged for three years, I couldn’t kiss her one. I kiss her cousins.  You go like a friend, for example.  Two kisses on the cheeks, she had never kissed me. You are my fiancée, your cousin gives me a kiss, you don’t, no. Imagine my father seeing me when I kiss your father, your sister, your cousin. Why you do not kiss me, no, kiss me like the others kiss me. Until her cousin tells her, it’s not bad if you give him a kiss. Until she gave me a kiss, a normal kiss, so brotherly. I was also so happy, so everything remains hidden is much more beautiful. I don’t know, that didn’t bother me, I don’t want to tell you I had relationship in Beirut. After the engagement I had nothing more, before I had girlfriends. And live however after my engagement I have adjusted everything.

You can’t compare mental love to that, you’re talking about a very great and long love. It’s not a joke.

Yes, it is. If we wanted to get married tomorrow. Don’t give me a kiss, but because it takes so long give me a kiss, no Forbidden. Laugh, it’s beautiful.

[i] Very nice.  She also visited us, we had fun going for a walk.

Finally you got married.

[r] Yes, of course.

[i] You got married and have three children, God bless you.

[r] God bless you.

[i] Yes, the first child, unfortunately, died. Problems, doctor problem, we don’t want to say that it was our fault. Because we didn’t know anything, the woman would get sick. The doctor gave her antibiotics, he thought the child. He can know that about the comupter that the child is not yet three months old. He gave the woman antibiotics, the heart is not completely formed. He was born normal, but when he got older. He couldn’t breathe, I took him and x-rayed it, the heart wasn’t completely formed. We tried to operate on him, I took him to the best doctor. It didn’t work, they said that’s impossible.

How long did he live?

17 days, my love Antonio, let Allah forgive him. Here my wife loved very much.  We took all his things away from home, and the first child is very heavy. For the mother and father, the whole family, including the grandparents. Grandpa, grandma and uncles, your brothers.  Has cried a lot, they had loved with him a lot because I in this period. They had brought me to the reserve when I came back, I found. The child in the hospital, I went there. My dear 17 days, and thank God, he has given us three others. Thank God, God bless them and all the other children.

Inshallah they have beautiful days. Inshallah, we have brought them to Germany so that you may experience beautiful days.

[i] Yes.

[i] Your life is exciting [name] , you don’t get enough of your childhood and your innocence.

[r] Yey.

[i] And how sensitive you are and how much you have. Love for life, I want to tell you.  You got married, started a family.  You have children, you were born responsible in the world, as I understood it.

[r] Yes. I worked when I was little, I wanted to work small. Not my father obliges me. My father didn’t want me to work, but I wanted to buy an oud. I want to buy that from my money.

[i] Yes.

I want to buy pants, I like to buy from my money. I want to buy a new jacket, I buy it from my money, why should I sit in summer. Without work, I can work no matter what, why not and earn money. I had worked in a restaurant, I had worked with a tiler, with a painter. With my father we had worked and earned money. I saved my money in the summer I had no problem, I was happy. My father was afraid he said if the penny flows into your hand, you won’t continue your studies. So far he tells me because you worked early, you didn’t go on studying. Always, he accuses me of that, he told me if the money doesn’t love when you were so small. Had you continued your studies, I say no, but I wanted to continue learning. As I have seen you cannot come up for my brothers and sisters, one must ofern. I sacrificed because I did not have my Abi, but Georg had finished his Abitur. And was registered at university, and Alexi was still small. Juslin, we don’t have girls who leave school to work at this age. Before the school ended, I was the favorite. To leave school and work, my father was very mad at me. Why I left school.

[i] Is he mad today?

I swear it burns in his heart until today, don’t think. Now if you ask him, he says I stung him like he left school. We didn’t.  Especially with us in the family, my cousins are all engineers or doctors. Not the title.  Or college but there is education.

[i] So academics. When I tell you the whole family are known. Every year, there is someone on the honor list of family Makdessi. That’s a family where you say.  Everyone is intelligent, there is intelligence in the family. Almost all my cousins are doctors or engineers, little college or educational institution. You can invest here in your children, here in Europe, inshallah we had hope there. That have the future, but the war, we smuggled you here. But they are not yet integrated, the problem, living in the atmosphere.

We continue with you because you can’t get enough of them. Your funny stories?  Tell me Syria?  War, when did the war start with you, and you felt it. When it started beautifully in 2012. We felt the situation when we watched TV. Like I told you, it didn’t happen with us, we saw it on TV. If we see it on TV, we ask ourselves, it could be that it is happening in Syria. We didn’t expect this to happen in Syria, spontaneously. Like a dream, until now I say.  Like a dream, we didn’t expect anything to happen in Syria. In Syria we had highest security, that is known in Syria. Syria was very safe, nobody suspected that. That happens in Srien, and spontaneously.  Is the destruction complete until course of us. Our border.

[i] It can be with you in the village is not. Been bombed, but determined the economic war. In a country?

Definitely, definitely.

[i] Who has such a war. And this destruction.

We would be very hurt.

[i] You would be very hurt, of course.

[r] I told you.  The army was in the mountains with us.  I told you that terrorist groups had settled in El Hosen Burg. And they had Hawen bombs, and snipers. The snipers cut that away. I have experienced horror.  A war in the village has not happened but around us who wants to leave his apartment. No matter where to go, to work or what, he has his heart on his hand. As they say, the financial situation was also affected. We were very affected.

Did you make the decision to leave?

Yes, of course, I not alone, all people. Talked about it, we have to go, and my wife. Yes, she played a big role, I didn’t want to travel. But the children, if I had thought of myself I would not have come. But in my opinion, we were alive.  We had nothing, but the war is broken, and we know the war is not a thing of a day or two. We have looked after the future of our children, if something happens to my child. This is a big deal for me, this is your child. I don’t accept a scratch in his fingers. So that I lose them when we see the children, they are saved, under the rubble. Every hour we say now bobadieren you on us, I would have mine. Save children, I have fled only so that I can save my children, I want you to study further. I told you before that they were from the Intelligent. In sham destruction, in hom’s destruction, in Ladekia destruction. In Tartous, all Syrian cities would be burned, universities. None, there are no more universities.  You have to look for the future, the child wants to study. If you can’t secure his education for tomorrow now. Even the livelihood, all these things. Made me migrate, I decided to migrate. Alone, when I arrive safe, I take my family with me. And my children, and that’s how it happened.

Which one did you take away? How was the method’. Or what was possible, you didn’t have the choice. What can you do?

We were allowed to go to Lebanon, there was a ship from Lebanon to Turkey. Everyone had said that there was a ship going to Turkey. In this period, the ship is from Tartous. It would stoniert in Tartous, you lead from Lebanon, we have booked, and have gone to Lebanon, and about the office. In Tartous, who had booked for us, the booking was. 60000 Syrian Lira makes 200 USD.  So about, I paid 63rd thousand Syrians, and after that.  We arrived in Turkey, we went to Lebanon and from Lebanon, we took the ship. To Turkey, in Turkey I went legally in, they have our passports punched, and went purely. We spent about five nights there.  After that only the smuggler we can leave Turkey. We had contact with the smugglers, they had recommended us some and we saw was. He scared us and gave us a headache until we found someone. There were people, my brother-in-law had travelled before me. He gave me a phone number from someone in Sudan. He said he was good, go with him, we met him in Istanbul, I don’t know how. From what city we have gone, what I know we got on in When (bus). From Istanbul, and afterwards.  He took us.  In a Balm, allegedly he wanted.  30 people, 30-40 people, more does not fit in Balm. We were 62-63 in Balm.  Those who sat on our feet were more al, we men we sat outside on the sides of Balm. And let the children and women sit in the middle, the suitcases they threw in the sea. I have a small suitcase with my documents I have hung it on my back. I carried it all the way, I didn’t feel my feet from below anymore. The women sat on my legs, two women each on one leg. I talked to them when we fall in the sea, I can’t save you. A War Pregnant has made her sick in the Balm. Her husband was far away from us, she has become loose in my lap, we have. Her fingers massaged, and sea water on her face, so that she would wake up. We arrived in Greece, in an island. We have the Kartiya (registration) in Greece, we have spent there one night on the island. We took the Kartiye there, and went on. We took a second ship from Greece. And started our way.

Did you pay money?

For the kartiye, no.

[i] For the journey.

[r] Yes, of course. How then.

[i] Or did you come for nothing.

[r] No, I paid money, how for nothing. The smuggler took 1200 USD in the balm. We were supposed to arrive in Greece, he wants to let us fly on by plane. He gets us forged passports and sends us away, we waited for him. In the hotel, in Greece, he didn’t come to us, yes today, yes tomorrow, we talk to him. I’ll phone you tomorrow, we’ve seen this thing that it will take a long time. He got from us when he crossed the flight path with passports. Fake he wanted 3500 USD.  I hadn’t had the money, I borrowed it all anyway. I was obligated, I had seen people who the way. The land route, they said come with us, there are buses from here to Croatia. From there to Hungary etc.  You come to Germany, you want to go to Germany, they said okay, you come with us, we go to Germany. How expensive is that, the bus fee, we have risen in the buses. We paid 50 USD for the Karnak, how were three men. They came together, after that they caught.  Support, we lead with trains.  With symbolic amounts, 10 euros.  Places 50 euros until we arrived.  In Hungary, in Hungary you got us into a bus, train directly. To Germany, to Austria.  From Hungary we take the train to Austria, we have not paid any money.

[i] Were you a group?

Yes, we met a lot of people on the way, from Hama, from Edleb, from Homs. From Damascus, all kinds of colours.  What shall I count to you, we were more than 2000 3000 people when we were walking on the street. Between Hungary, believe me, they welcomed us there well. There were people there who welcomed us, one of them gave us food. The other drinking, or biscuits, who gives us clothes so that we get dressed. Because our clothes became bad on us, our suitcases they threw in the water. There were places that gave us socks, others gave us underwear, all over the place. They helped us on the way they were all Red Cross all had these signs. I their uniform before we arrived.  To Hungary, they had made us so afraid when you arrive in Hungary. You’ll have to give the fingerprints, we had a deal with the smugglers. Before we arrive in Hungary he could take us in another way, he wanted 700 Euro per person. We had communicated with him on the phone, but when the people saw they were going in Hungary. I said I don’t want to pay anymore, he started with 150 first and after that. He says, now the prices change, I need 750, here I had no 750. I had called my brother every time I arrive in a country I call my brother. I tell him, send me 300 USD or 700 Euro or 200 Euro. My brother works in Jordan, he transferred me. Money until I arrived in Hungary.

[i] You ran on the way?

[r] Please.

[i] You were far on the way?

Yes, we ran long distances. There were places you can only walk, we walked a lot. Places where you kick, our feet have an impossible smell. We had no more socks to change, we kicked. In the water, we don’t know how we end up with the train. They gave us water, 2-3 crates of water in the train. We watched our feet in the train, they had given us socks on the way, as I told you beautifully. We threw away the socks, and the shoes, they gave us new used ones. Our feet became bad, we changed on the way. I have endured, not ducked, no problem. Thank God, we have arrived, after.  Austria, there was a nice reception in Austria. They had opened big halls for the people who want to sleep outside. They had beds and blankets, even if someone wanted to, it was cold. They gave blankets, they built tents, hangars. Where there was food, others for drinking, and halls for the clothes. Who likes can change, we also took something with us. We ate and spent a night there in Austria. I had relatives in Austria, known from my wife, relatives from her. I talked to them on the phone, and spent one night both, I told them, I want to fly after. Germany, they said if you like you can stay here, we give you up, I said no I want. To go to Germany, I went to Germany I was directly in. Badenhausen, I booked directly from there to Badenhausen. Because I have a brother-in-law who lives in Badenhausen, I came to him and he. Has handed me over after 3-4 days in Bielefeld. That’s how it happened back then.

[i] Why Bochum?

[r] icht Bochum, I wouldn’t know Bochum or what. The only thing I know my brother-in-law is here, I came to him. He has transferred me to Bielefeld, there.  Did they transfer us.  After a camp in Orlenhausen, a beautiful village. We had fun, the camp was far away from the village, but we went there. We bought things from the supermarket.  We stayed 15-20 days.  Until they did an interview with us. And a dish, from there, two days later we would be transferred to Bochum. We came by bus, I don’t remember how much we were. But we were about 30 people. People I met there. From the Abou Moussa and Um Moussa I had met those from this camp. From Orlenhausen, we came together to Bochum, Manan was with us and Mahmoud. Very nice young men we had met, now when. I’ll tell you about their denominations, we are all Christians or Muslims. Or Kuden or Drouz, but nobody here has thought about it. Nobody talked about it on the way.  Our relationships were dependent on it, he is a Christian, the Muslim, and he is Dorzi, I have to get away from him. No, we were all Syrians, in the end we are all Syrians. Here we are all Syrians, I don’t know if we were treated there that we are all Syrians, we wouldn’t have arrived here.

[i] Unfortunately or fortunately, Bochum?

For me, Bochum as a city, no to happiness. In earnest my mother prayed for me, who say when man. Success in a place, his mother prayed for him. I think my mother prayed for me since I got the stay. I had decided to move to Badenhausen to live with my brother-in-law. But after living a period here in Bochum. I went to Essen, to Dortmund, no I liked. Bochum more, a quiet city whose inhabitants are very nice. They treated us very well, and we did.  Also the cleanliness and the humanity that we have not touched where else, I will not tell you other places, but mostly. People who are very dear and close to people. So far we have many friendships, they are very nice to us. They make nice rounds and listen to you.  They spend them, they are generous to us. We also invite you very often to eat Syrian food. They love the Oriental food with us, several times. If possible, language is the problem.

[i] Let’s talk about the language problem.  The German language is difficult.

If you. For my child it wasn’t difficult, for the children it wasn’t difficult, the children just learned. From the first week you spoke German, I did. I took Marcus the older with me in the camp, I told you, my children are smart. When I need something from the foreigners authority or from the city. From the job center, I have Marcus from the first month. He solved the problems, he understood half of them. Or if he doesn’t understand, somehow the employee makes him understand. In English, he is good.  If someone has spoken English, he has spoken to him, but for me. I want to tell you, we came and we have such a stress. I left my wife and children there, I think of you, whether they ate or drank nicely. Sleeping, sick, what do they do, my son. Has fallen there on his head, a bicycle accident has fallen on his head. He would be sewn, one of them also got a fever. I was always in contact with them, my head is working. How am I supposed to learn the language, no one who has come here. If he is well, either he has left his parents and family, everything is destroyed. Like you, you threw everything behind you, memories, a life, a house. A family and friends, all have gone apart, house. You’ve built that up with your eye tears, every thing, the spoon. When you bought it, you worked hard on everything, nobody helped you. I built the house, somehow put it in order, I had got used to an apartment. Under the house my parents, I built a hairdresser salon. It’s gone, I’ve made an apartment, it’s gone.

[i] Great loss. Great material loss.

For me it was all I owned beautifully, others lost factories. There are people who have cars, houses, much more, but for me. I don’t want to say I was rich, no, but I wasn’t. I lived badly, I had fed a family, it didn’t like anything. Neither clothes nor food, they eat the best food, the best drinks. Most beautiful clothes, I do not let that something is missing, the most beautiful clothes. Had they worn to the feast, when I go, ask everyone in the village, it is forbidden. My child moves like the others, do not specify, but I wanted. That my son carry the most beautiful, and always he carried the best.

[i] The head is not free for language.

[r] Certainly.

[i] Man worries. You still communicate with the family in Syria.

[r] Sure.

[i] You are not relaxed and rested.

[r] I am Mrs. Zoubeida, I have left. The school for 35 years.  After my Abi, I have learned nothing else, I have struggled with work. The hairdressing salon in the afternoon. In the morning I worked as a tiler. I go to the field, I work, I have had three jobs. I work as a tiler, I had worked in three building sites. I take orders and have employees.  In the afternoon I work in the Frisian salon.  From 17:00 or 18:00 I start.  Only 23:00 or 24:00 o’clock after work, I had saved money. I had a deal with my wife the money.  What we earn additionally, we hide so that we can buy a house later or improve our life situation. For the future or university, what we earn in the hairdressing salon, we spend. We had enough, led the best lives and we were happy. All this is turning in my head.  I came here to learn the language, I left school for a long time, I wasn’t stupid in school. I was smart, I wrote poems and up to now. I like to write, now I have not written any more. I do not know the time when you have to go to the job center. There you have to go to the foreigners office, there I have to control what he learns or what he does. This child has toothache, the other one I have to buy him things. The children were right but I say I want to learn. What have I done in Germany?  I have to learn, I have to look for work.  Where should I find work, I go to your husband, say him, you find me a job. I tell him you please find me a job.  I try to get to know people, we want to work. We weren’t used to staying without work, all these problems. It stops you, you learn and have the word by heart, maybe. You can do it, the second day I forget that.

[i] The head isn’t there?

[r] Yes, you stay. Every two or three days I call, he said if I don’t see you. They suffer when they don’t see the children, my father starts crying and my mother starts crying too. Every half hour or every day I talk to them, but I realize it’s getting uncomfortable. My father misses the children, my children have lived with them more than with us. I am the only child who got married. Two in the village did not marry, and my second brothers he married here in Sweden. He got married in Jordan, his wife came to him in Jordan and then you went to Sweden. They went to Sweden, he only had one son. Shön he was not in Syria for a long time, they are not as bound with him as with my children. My child Markus, he is 17 years old, you can say. He was born at his grandparent’s house and grew up. He grows before him, now you don’t see him. Once a year or to the feast, now you almost don’t see him anymore. Only on the phone, that hurts him.

[i] Yes.

We’re not stupid not to learn the language, the language is hard here. I know a little French, a little English. In school we didn’t care much about the language, I had spoken French. English was more because Markus has English. We practiced with him, we learned vocabulary, my sister taught me English. Or my wife and teach Markus when he was in school, we learned vocabulary. English, some French, we didn’t have any German to learn it. In Syria, we have come new language is not difficult. They say Difficult, when you learn, the word is long. But I don’t want to tell you I can pick up like the little ones. But you give me 10 pages every day, we went to school, he wants to give you material. Complete, Okay, you give me a complete lesson of 10 pages. Now give me 10 pages in Arabic.  I can’t record that, tell me learn that, tomorrow I will. I won’t be able to test you, but Germany you’ll come in a new language.

[i] Yes.

[r] I should learn 10 pages in, in, besides. The time, I have gone to the short, the time. After the short, I didn’t learn for two months, the job center promoted me. To go to measure, second school.

[i] The school measure.

[r] Measure that want to teach me work, a profession. I had told them I am hairdresser, since 35 years hairdresser, starting from the class. Nine I have learned this, but I have learned it completely after the Abitur. In Syria I was a recognized hairdresser, what do you want to teach me? No, we don’t want to teach you a hairdresser, we have other professions as warehouse clerk, electrician or welder. Okay at this age, but I left anyway. I go to school for four hours, after that.  I go from 12:00-16:30 was our school.  At school 16:30 and have reported me in the measure. From 8:00-11:00, Okay the time is filled. Man gets up at 7:00, drinks his coffee, and goes to the measure. From 8:00-11:00 I go back to the camp, eat something. A Sandwish and I go.  To school I had to be at school at 12:15 pm. 16:30 until I’m home again.  Until the camp I arrive at 17:30 or 18:00 o’clock. Until you recover I make myself something to eat, until I shower. When should I learn, you tell me when should I learn.

[i] There are difficulties, there is a lot of bureaucracy.

There are difficulties.

There is a lot of paperwork here, a lot of procedures and letters that we didn’t have in our home country.

Certainly, definitely.

[i] We find great difficulty?

No matter how I move, I pay 10 €. Hourly if he walks with me 10 minutes the tells me 10 €, all my papers. We took people with us to the foreigners’ office or to the job centre so that you could go with me. He wants 10 €, that was.  Our salary was 140 € a month before we got the stay.

[i] Yes. The issue of integration, the language is priority, but. You have integration in mind, people come to the city. You can go to the doctor.

Yes, now we have a few words. Which I can speak.

After three years, can we talk about other problems besides the language bars? Your problem is big for you but not so big. Because your children understand the language very well, they help you.

[r] Yes.

[i] And you. You’re a very practical person, even if you don’t say that.

[r] Yes, very much.

Whatever you want to do, do it without hesitation.

[r] Yes, I strive for it.

[i] What kind of cultural programs do you have?  In Bochum, you told me you are happy here with your wife? And the children you are well in Bochum you don’t want to change the city?

[r] No, no. Certainly not.

How do you live, your daily routines, your friendships? In the surroundings?

The children.  Are in school, I have the measure, the second I have made another one. In Opel, after the measure I have break 2, 3 months. I now want to do an internship, as you know nicely. Yes at the moment we go my wife and I, she will also go to school. But before she could not, she would have to get the plastic identity card. So that she goes to school, early, she wanted to learn. She cooks at home, our tradition is this thing. Must, she cooks and waits for the children when they come out of school, I go shopping for you. Until the come, lunch, homework, what have you done. We try to sit next to them to learn German. So, in the week we go nowhere in particular. Now in the cold, but Saturday and Sunday we go for a walk. Bochum is beautiful, we go for a walk, I have to go for a walk every day. Daily to city that is has to go there every day. One hour, that’s sport for me I walk through the whole city. On foot.

Does your soul do you good?

Yes, it’s good for me. Sometimes I have too much at home, with the kids, learning, etc. I go, change the atmosphere, I come home fresh. Saturday and Sunday, we have friends.  In Essen, we go there, sometimes we go to Badenhausen, to my wife’s sister. I told you, and in Essen lives my wife’s cousin, we go there, and we have. Here friends, there was a café in Lear we sometimes went there. In Lear Mitte, we also have friends here, we got to know them. In the camp, now everyone is.  In a house, my wife and I we have different. People had to do, and in the summer we made trips to the lake. We go outside for lunch several times.

[i] Do you have situation time or?

No, we are happy, we don’t have boredom.

[i] Do you like Bochum?

[r] I, yes a city. I loved them very much.

Do you fill up at home in Bochum.

Yes, I’m fine in Bochum.

Do you believe me?

If I go to Badenhausen, although it’s a village, it’s beautiful, it also has a lake. Maybe because I don’t have an apartment there, although I feel very comfortable with my brothers-in-law. Like my house, but when I come back here, the air feels different. When I travel to Beirut or Damascus, I go outside my village. When I get there, I open the car window, the micro. I say the air, our village is different, now when I arrive in Bochum, I say the Bochum air is different. Laughs… Are you laughing at me…

[i] No, you feel good?

[r] Yes. Very, Bochum has no problems.

[i] It’s not easy.

You go into town, believe me, sometimes I go home, I can’t. Sleeping, I drive at 24:00, at 1:00 yesterday night I drove at 24:00. Quarter of one, I went out of the house.

[i] Where did you go?

[r] So, the city is beautiful, on Friday all the people. Go celebrate, I buy a flat Pils.  Drink and run on the street, for my bodies, I am 50 years old. I have to move, I haven’t registered for a gym, that’s a problem. I want to register, but if I learn the language a little, but I have to move. I want to run a little faster, so I move in the city. Nobody has done me any harm, I walk alone, you see the sooty ones. Or drunk, nobody called me names, nobody hit me. In other places, I hear from some people who say that bothers them. In other cities, I say there’s no such thing here, on the contrary, I’m fine in Bochum.

[i] [name] , what are the cultural rituals. Which you brought with you to Bochum, something of your culture in the village? From your lives, where you can’t do without it, including you in. A European country lives with other traditions and culture?

[r] Yey, everything. Cooking has remained unchanged, here you find what you want, you go to city. To the supermarket, everything that existed in Syria, there are here in Germany, Bulgur, Mogadara, lentils. Chickpeas, first everything we want is there, Syrian food is there. The cooking remained unchanged, whether I live in. Syriacs, because of the food, No. 1. The feast day, we have prepared whether it.  We are in Syria, although here there is not, I told my wife who comes here to us. She has prepared the sweets a week before, has the clichés, particles. She did it a week before, after two days, she did the cookies. Also a varieties that beautiful before the celebration comes. I had invited my parents-in-law, New Year’s Eve. She has again made Mamoul, which is filled with choice nuts and pistachios. Also two days later, her hand hurts her, she can’t do everything together. And quantities that are enough for half of Bochum.  Each time three four kilos of flour, for what it’s all for. You were ready in a month, don’t forget that. The Christmas party has come, we have to decorate our tree every year in Syria. Why here at home, no one should give, we have bought a tree, from the action house. The first one was too small, she didn’t like it, we had to go again. Buy a big one, we brought it back and bought a big tree. We searched a lot to find figures for Mary and Beitlahem. We make Beit lahem in Syria, a cave, then we do the tree. And gives us papers to glue, how the cave sees it. Really, we made decorations in plaster.  And make the paper around it, the whole wall, then we do the tree. The lamps and the deco, we have not found these sculptures until we. On the Internet we searched, where is there such a thing, I want to buy it. We didn’t find it, we finished the tree, my wife did. The deco of the action, Kik and Teddy.  And finished that, the party joy must always be at home. You have to give him the feeling, we celebrate, we know there’s a celebration. But the kid also knows we bought the clothes too, a time before. We went to Dortmund and bought clothes. We bought a part from Dortmund.  And then we came here, we were also in Essen, she was looking for things. She always likes to look for their things, special.

[i] Special?

Yes, special, we also went to Essen. After that we did a tour in Bochum. I had a nice time, and Majida also bought herself a bit, I didn’t buy anything, she really wanted to. That I buy, I have enough, what should I do with it. I had two trousers and two shirts which I did not have on yet, we celebrated in the evening. Christmas, so family, she only invited Abou Moussa. That was Christmas, New Year’s Eve I had invited my brother-in-law from Badenhausen. With his wife, daughter, son, brothers and children. His children visited me you came from Holland and your other brothers. My wife, he is here in a town after Harford. He has come, and the son of her brothers is also in Holland, he has come to us. We had, with us New Year’s Eve the whole family meets.

Is so important to you, you look for each other, you organize yourselves.

[r] Yes. That’s, we can’t, even in Syria, we were. The family meets for the feast, in all occasions. No matter what small or big problem, the family meets, a problem happens to someone. Everyone meets to solve the problem when my brother-in-law goes to the hospital. The whole family goes to the hospital, my sister has one child, all of us. Visit the hospital before she comes home, she also comes home. The family, the neighbours, all come, but our family, for example. In problems, In weddings we must all be there. No matter what folk dance we must all be present, there is not. Even here, when there is a wedding, we have seen two, three seasons.

[i] Where?

In Badenhausen, we have been invited to two, three weddings and communion. We have two communions, and two weddings here in Badenhausen, celebrations with Syrian Singer. And everything.

[i] There are cultural relations?

[r] Of course. Weddings with us, you get the drum.  And music and get Singer the tables are set and folk dance. That is important to us.  A wedding, note and pen and they go get married, there is no such thing. They go to the registry office, and carry their wedding, there is not, we must invite, everything should be done. The acquaintances are invited to the wedding and the drum beats. After that there is a party.

[i] What kind of relationships do you have? Cultural you take part in an offer, you are a very active person? You have volunteered with us and have done some activity with us, I can only. Say that you have a very positive attitude compared to us.

[r] I have too little. Made.

[i] You have manners, nobody asked you and you said no.

Yes, of course I didn’t say no to anyone. But I don’t find myself.  I can’t find an oud to buy, I want to buy an oud to play with. I’ve seen one on the Internet that asked for 400€, from where, stays with me 400€ until the end of the month.

[i] You like the music?

[r] I type and play music beautifully in Syria. Not for sale, but I write.  Like a poet, criticism for society. The last song I wrote, a critique for the dressing culture which is newer. For the girls, the cunning things, short things, yes I made a song. A song, if I sell them now, that makes propaganda, but. They used to offer it to me, a lot when I worked in Beirut. I would be offered that, but I didn’t like the singers. Whether I’m superclass the song and I sell only for Singer. Who is famous, I hold the feast.  Maybe one of my children sings or I sing, but it didn’t go well. Our time has run out, but until now we take part, we go to parties. We go on trips, we sing, we have fun together. All summer every Samas day and Sunday we spend that at the lake.

[i] Do you have German friend?

[r] I have German friends. I have The Teacher Hana, a great friend. In the café we met some of them.  Many good Germans who helped us a lot. After my family came, it’s not like anymore. I tell you nicely, I say every Sunday, I want to take them, but. Today’s excursion, take us to the aunt who is contact. Not so the connection as in the cafe.  We met a lot of people in the church. A doctor and doctor, yes we have.

[i] What don’t you like in Bochum?  What do you not like?

If I didn’t like something in Bochum, I would have left you. I can look for another city and live there. I speak very openly, I like Bochum as a city very much. Very very beautiful, no matter where you go, everything is there. Trains, buses, the streets, the silence.  The few problems there, I have been for two and a half, three years. You can say, more than two and a half years in Bochum, there is no problem. The more has happened or I have experienced something in the whole city.

[i] Yes.

Not in the station, not in the city, no matter where you want, me. Have not experienced evil in Bochum, a beautiful city, very quiet. All celebrations have nice atmosphere, people are dear. I went to Essen, the station scared me, the people around the station scared me. Whether Syrians or Moroccans or Africans, I don’t know. You feel the smoking hash, they are alcoholics, Dortmund the same. There are places that frighten you of it in Dortmund, don’t go in these streets. Don’t go there, there is no street in Bochum they told me, don’t go there. I go, run, I was recently alone until 4:00 a.m., I went home, young women and young men were there. There is inner dysentery, the most important thing is inner security, nobody told me this place is dangerous, don’t go there. Dortmund they tell you this street, don’t go there. There are drug addicts here, Mafia and so on, we have not heard, there is Mafia in Bochum. I heard nothing, even my son nothing happened to him. He is 17 years old, he is travelling alone, he has not seen anything. What gets him down if something disturbs my son, I leave the city, but my children are happy in school. Are happy with their friends, my wife. We drive alone from the Orient, we are not accustomed, the woman goes alone. My wife does not go alone to Homs, no she must not go alone to Homs. I must accompany you, here she drives alone to the job centre, yes go. I want to go to the immigration office, she wants to go to Imar, to Zoubeida, go, I have no problems, go, she had freedom there, she can go wherever she wants. But in the city, safe city, very quiet. A beautiful city, I walk alone with Imar. Okay, is not a problem, we go shopping alone with Imar, is not an issue. Normal, I have no problem.

What is the situation in Syria today?

Still, there is no security.  Not everything is there, I’m talking to my parents, what should I tell you? They complain, there’s no gas, no oil, it’s cold, nothing to warm. It’s very cold, you can’t find wood like before, you could find wood before. How can people.  Everything is expensive, the Syrian lira, is dead, was the Syrian currency. Very nice, pays for the employees, for the citizens. Now everything is paid with the dollar currency. Everything is expensive, people do not have money. Like 7, 8 years war, who had nocht money they are beautifully finished.

[i] Certainly.

Cruel condition, I now want to try to send the money. For my family, I try every month 50€ or 100€. What we can save, that I want to transfer to him, is a sad situation. I transfer it to Lebanon, from Lebanon it is transferred to Syria.

Do you think about returning?

Not at the moment. Where should I go back, there is no security, the war is still going on. It’s not ready yet, you don’t know where the bombers are. I can go to the village, there’s nothing left in the village. Work, you want to look for work. You go back to the destroyed places, there is no security. You don’t know where there is an explosion or a mine, my children now as well. Visit the schools here, my children have left the school there when they go back to Syria. Here you have done in the same classes, your son is in the third, next year. Okay we will report him in the fourth when I return now. According to Syria, if my son is in the fourth, do me the fifth in the fifth, a question. My children are going to break, all the things I risked and the adventures I made. That run, come to Germany so that you can continue their studies here. If you go back to Syria, no, I don’t want to, I will break their psysche. No, I don’t want to, I got him to make his psysche good. There is more.

[i] You want to secure his future?

Of course, secure his future. I want him to at least study at university when he’s not studying at university. We are used to it, no matter what the main thing he has diploma. We want a degree, a good degree, I have my cousin here. He is now studying at university, where is this place, I forgot. He continues his education, yes although he can now with his C1 what he has learned beautifully. No, he wants to continue university, political science, he wants to continue. Yes, everyone, we love to study.

[i] Very nice.

If my head becomes clear, I would study again, I love it very much.

[i] What are your plans for the future?

[r] I plan. I want to start work, I can’t sit without working, so for me. I can sit without work, I have in these 24 hours. I work, if you like, mostly I work 20 hours in Syria, believe me, I swear. I work 18, 19 to 20 hours a day, I swear on great God. I go to work with tiles, I go to work with wood on farmland. Then I come home, work in the hairdressing salon, there are many times where we make the hairdressing salon. Until 24:00-1:00 work at night, we go at night take light with us. We drive with the engine, we sawed wood and sold it. At night.

[i] also the weather in your home is good, we don’t get tired. And we don’t sleep much.

I swear I haven’t slept much. In these 24 hours I sleep 5, 6 hours, you find me active. Active when I sleep an hour at noon, outside in nature. I lie down, sleep deep for half an hour, done. I become active, I have come here, I feel so broken, either from little work. Or I don’t know, you believe me, we slept at 2:30 yesterday. We were awake long nights, we slept at 2:30, Saturday to Sunday. We got up at 10:00 a.m., I wanted to sleep more, didn’t want to get up. If Marcel didn’t come to me, I finally get up, I’m hungry and stuff. We can’t, I got up, I said I’m going to take a shower. Yesterday I wanted to take a nice shower, nobody dares to take a shower. From the earache, I treat them with oil, what should I do. My body is loose I have the feeling, but before. I did not feel, perhaps the work makes you forget the pain. The sun, the weather, the water, I don’t know, everything plays a role for you. The air, the water, the nature, the sun, now my feet hurt me. Here I hurt, my wife I told you, her kidney she has stones in it. The doctor told her there is a quarry, the problem he has not given any medication. Yes.

The fear and the restlessness, the psysche? And then something like that, the physical plays along.

That plays a role.

[i] Because man can’t achieve anything with speed.

I think, what should I do if I have something at my disposal now? He rents me his license, I can here if someone. German comes how should I communicate with him?, one, two, three. Maybe I don’t understand him, maybe he doesn’t like the hairdresser. I am afraid, but in Syria, in Lebanon, in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. If I go to any Arabian country, I open a hairdresser salon, we immediately work. I’m sure I cut good, as the witnesses say. There are people I cut the hair, and who sees my children, who cut your hair? Best hairdresser, but I don’t dare to start a hairdressing salon. Or I’m not allowed to, they tell me you should do an education. Training lasts three years, imagine when I do the training. I have to have a degree, at least B1, I can not achieve that. That is impossible to do an education. I have forgotten this profession, I am looking for something else. You try to get a driver’s license, you work as a driver in Amazon. No matter what as a driver.  There are young men who did that, I want to try my luck. I’m a driver from before, but the money is the problem to get a driver’s license. It costs.

How much does it cost?

There are people who say that they tell you 2000€. And more 2500€, 2400€, yes.  If one does not pass the exam is difficult, it git an oral exam, a practical exam, that tell me, I don’t know how the costs, are exact. The cousin of Majida in Hagen, on his honor, he told me he had paid 3500 €. He with his son have paid 7000 €.

[i] Imaginary amount.

Yes, between driving lessons registration fee. The first exam you had not passed, they have repeated the exam, that has both about. 7000 €, if that would cost me 3500 €, that is a disaster, I do not have that. Seriously, I don’t have that.  I try to put 100 or 200 € aside every month, in the following month. I spend that, sometimes we do 200, 300 € to side we say well. In the following months we spend that, I am overjoyed that there are people. I can’t save, I want to ask someone how to save money, eat the dry bread. And water, Okay.

[i] The security in Bochum is there, you feel comfortable in your apartment in Bochum?

[r] Yes. The only thing that occupies you, you want to work and earn money.

The thing is not only, I earn money. You want to work so that you feel.  You live, work gives value to life, I don’t like to live. On costs of others.

[i] That’s what you’re used to.

I told you about ninth grade. I work for a living alone, not because my father doesn’t give me anything. No, I like to buy these mugs from my money, buy the shirt myself. The trousers, despite school I can earn my money.

[i] For sure.

Here when I get money from the job center, I feel. I feel ashamed, you believe me when I go to the bank I have the feeling that this is not my money. Not what I earned.

[i] No, you’re right about that, you’re human. A refugee who fled the war.

I can’t tell you anything, but I can tell you psychic things. I feel I don’t know, it’s not my money.

[i] You don’t know it like that.

I have never received money from anyone, believe me when my brothers or father. Now I told you, I came here with debts, I arrived in Germany with debts. I borrowed everything from my brothers, and from my brothers-in-law, for my brothers-in-law I paid back the money. I took it from my brothers and I paid my brothers-in-law, now all the money is for my brothers. I tell my brothers I pay back this, I can not sleep when Mrs. Zoubeida. From me 100 € gets, I wish I see you only when I have the 100€. So that I give her back, I swear on Maria, even in Beirut or in the village if someone. Lent me a lira, I don’t like to see it until I have that lira. I don’t care what I go to work for, so that I pay the debts. I have left the village, nobody gets a cent from me. But somebody gets something from me, nobody has knocked my door. My wife told her I was getting money from your husband.

[i] Unacceptable?

[r] No, that’s not acceptable. Absolutely, thank God I had enough for myself and for my family. We had a good life, agrees the apartment was small, but. Everything else was okay.

[i] What’s your relationship like? To church?


[i] Yes, in Bochum?  Do you go there, can you pray?

We were two, three times, maybe this is the wrong church we visit. I don’t know, I went to church.  There weren’t 7 people, not the problem. That there are only 7 people, you don’t go because there are supposed to be many. You want to present yourself there, but there are no priests where you feel. As with us, it does the service for you. For all people, we have gone the pastor sits with us at the table. They invited us again, I didn’t go, we visited another church, here in Wattenscheid. Yes, beautiful, a priest stands, prays and preaches. I do not understand him, but.  I pray alone, the church was full, we prayed with him. There is a church in Essen, we visited it once. The priest is an Arab who prays in Siriani and Arabic. Every two weeks, he prays there once and to the feast he comes once, we have gone. When we have time, we go to dinner, I’m not like that. Religieus, when I was in the village, I was not a church hanger. When I get work on Sunday, I go to work, I have no problems with it, my wife goes with the children. Let her go, the children had visited the church at that time with their grandmother, I am not. Religion was not in my life.  Important, I am not attached to it.  I hang with God, the faith is inner, but I should present it. In the church, sees me I have a cross is three meters long, and sees me I go to church. I have not done that, I do not treat people sectarian.

[i] Yes. [name] What do you expect from Bochum, as a city? What should Bochum offer you, you refugees?

Thank you for what she has given us so far. We are happy, I don’t want anything from Bochum, I want the children to continue here. Their studies, to be happy, I am happy and expect. A job, When I work, I think I’m stable here. My wife will start her studies soon, more than that. I don’t want to.

Do you feel stable here?

I live stable, very stable here. A city like the one I told you beautifully, I feel very comfortable here, has a university. If my children want to go to university, there’s everything here. The university is here in Bochum, they stay next to me. Unless they want a certain competence they can look for something else, I don’t have a problem here. It is important that my children have luck in their lives, I don’t want anything but life. My children.

Where do you see their future, in Europe or in Syria?

Here, because.  The Arab situation, you know that more than I am confused. There is no security in Lebanon, no security in Syria, not in Egypt. I don’t have the feeling that there is an Arab country where security prevails when there is security in whatever Arab country. 20% I go there now.  But there is no security in Arab countries all fighting against each other, inside and outside. Therefore no, here is the safe place for my children, I am sure. That their future here, they will be successful, God wants all children to be successful. And protect my children and you, I suppose here they will manage that.

[i] If. If you give a decree you must return, is this a shock for you?

Certainly, Mrs. Zoubeida.  Imagine, I tell you, the business is gone, the apartment is gone. Where should I go back, where should I go again.  Live with my parents, what should fit in it, or with your parents, where should I go. To whom, you will start again from scratch, and as I told you beautifully. The children will be destroyed, if you want to destroy our children, you should send us back. We did not run here for our sake. I did not come here to walk, I came to save my children and thank God. They arrived healthy in Germany, the most important step I took in my life to save them. I got you here to study further here when you go back, where to, okay when they do. Safety returns, and the lira as it once was, and the beautiful life, Okay. We go back, but when is this supposed to happen, in one night. When the streets get clean from the war traces, when the soul gets clean. The souls of people are destroyed by war, the brothers don’t recognize their brothers anymore.

[i] Of depressions.

Depression, people experience misfortune, there is no house that has not lost one or two. Children, house, cars, work everything he has. Anything that tells you things that you can’t believe. The brother steals his own brother, the neighbour kills his own neighbour, the rape, the robbery. The killing, because they have no money, there is no conscience anymore. If there are no more consciences, then life is destroyed, life needs certain things. I always say what is Allah.  Allah lets aside, as long as your soul is active when your soul is working. That’s life, that’s all, neither Mohammad. Still Jesus, Issa or Moussa or whoever you want does it with certain. Then you can serve God, be satisfied then you can also satisfy the others. But if I put the glass in my pocket, my conscience tells me, maybe Zoubeida. Saw me, I saw cookies inside. I didn’t eat that, I saw Gandour and the sweets, I didn’t touch anything. You have entertained me, although I know you, you will not tell me why you have eaten. Or you will talk about me, but if you give me, I eat two and three and ten. But I take it alone, I put it in my pocket, in my mouth I don’t do it. Maybe she sees me, she says a thief about me, no. I don’t do that, it’s enough if my conscience works here, if I take it from a human. Stealing, I didn’t learn these things. I only take what belongs to me, only.  I only do what my soul says, because my conscience suffers from it. Is that coming again, and the safe life. For people, perhaps we will return, I am not telling you. What past, what story, I lived 49 years in Syria. Friends, relatives.  Every tree in the forest, I know, every tree on the way. Every stone, every hole on the way to our village I know, even in Homs. There are streets whose way I know by heart. Even in Sham, even in Beirut I walk by heart. Now I go from Aukar Square to Auker with closed eyes. I take you to the house where I worked in Beirut. But where should I go.

[i] It’s hard to believe that a man would cap that. This speech beautiful life, you had a whole life behind you. A new life has begun in Europe for three years, there is suffering.

[r] Of course.

But we don’t want to end our conversation with suffering, we’re over. Your beautiful life, you are a successful man. You have ambition, you have a beautiful family, your wife is healthy. You have three children, God is to protect them, I hope they will have beautiful lives.

God keep you.

I wish you good luck that your dreams will come true. And the future that you have planned for your children, because surely that’s the right thing to do. In the end, education is the key to everything.


[i] You have chosen. Choosing the right country and the right way, I wish you every success. I thank you for the beautiful meeting.

Thank you my love.

[i] Thank you for your commitment in the association, you are active in many things. I wish you much success.

God keep you. We wish you only the good, for you, for your children and for everyone. Children of the world, if all children are well then our children are also well. Thank God, thank you.