Welcome Mr. [name] today the 12.02.2019. In city Bochum exactly in Westenfeler Str. 92. I am [name] , chairman of the Humanitarian Solidarity Middle East e. V. Your fieldworker today in the program Specially Unknown in Europe. Please, imagine, and what have you brought for us today?

In the beginning, welcome Mrs. [name] , thank you for your effort. I am [name] from Syria. I am 50 years old, I came from Syria. I don’t have so much with me, maybe an envelope, for the memory. The family photo, I have my glasses, that’s all I could take with me. From the country.

[i] Show me your glasses. What you brought us is reading glasses.

Yes, I use it for reading, unfortunately I forgot it in my library. In Syria. I don’t have any books here, I don’t have much under my hand. But by the technique. Thank God we can read in the computer or the mobile phone.

[i] Good. If we need your glasses. Can you lend it to us so that it can be exhibited in the museum as a souvenir? What reminds you of something?..

Yes, if you give me another one. Cling heartily.

[i] Thank you, very nice.

What do you want to tell us about yourself? Tell us something about you?. About your childhood? about your family?

[r] I am at. 1969 born in north of Syria in. A state, name Edlib, my father. That was forced to work in 1970. In a project in the east of the Furat River. On the Furat dam, it was supported by the Soviet Union. In this priode, they had founded a workers’ town with borders. Of 5000 socialist housing unit. And Stalinist style and Syrian workers. Syrian workers with predominantly agricultural workers. With owners of agricultural professions to make a huge construction project. Were employed workers. From all Syrian provinces. All national and ethnic colors. I was lucky to have lived in this city, in the all. These sectarian, ethnic and social colors were at home. It did for me. The Brete in my horizon of thought. This was the result of my early encounter with all the components of Syria. From the school I attended in 1975 until. Until I finished my Abi in 89. After that I went to work, I could not continue my studies. I have worked various professions. In construction, in small trade. After that in the same city I met a girl of other nationality, and I connected with her. We got married, I got a job in the same city. In the State Ministry of Finance. Until 2013, I should. Left Syria because of frequent arrests. The Assad regime, they always complained to me. That I support the peaceful movement. With strikes, conflicts, incitement against. Demanding change, democracy, citizenship. I was very in 2013. My situation was anxious, I had for my life. Four arrests in a row. In between not even one or two months, I would have to flee. In a night without light, as they say, I went to Turkey. In Turkey it was the German government. Has had a program for refugee aid. I would be nominated to the Foreign Ministry. They had given me a German visa to fly there and apply for asylum. I currently live in the city of Bochum. With my family, small family consists of. Two girls and my wife.

[i] Mr [name] . Did you get together with your family or did they follow, a family snack?..

In the beginning I came alone. An administrative error that the situation is not appropriate. But after six months I had applied for a family reunion and they came. To me.

[i] They came legally?.

[r] Yes. They had visas from the embassy in Turkey. They came by plane.

[i] Mr [name] tells us a summary. Come your life, I want to have details of your person from your childhood? Tell us about your childhood in your parents apartment?.. Mom Papa, siblings?.

My father. And my family, my mother. are an alphabet, my father can read without certificate. They have founded a family of twelve persons. We had in an apartment, sixty square meters of bottle. There was nothing private for a child or. A hobby the child could have. Primarily, my father’s care was to provide food for the family. The clothing was there. Always very restless because the house is full. Part of our lives we had spent in. One our hobby as children was the street. That was our greatest pleasure. Maybe this is a Syrian weather in all living rooms especially in the war. In slums, the street is our pleasure. I remember since I was six years old in summer. From 16.00 pm afternoons as it is very warm. From 16:00-21:00 we always play on the street. Without end or games the Syrian children invent. Games with force sometimes. Games with laughter, we were not looking. for something that brings us together and invent the games to occupy us. The parents were for it, the mother plays this role. Go out and play, the street is a part of the house. Even in our place the Syrians. Man receives the visitors on the street, your neighbour comes to visit you. You go outside the door and take chairs with you or sleep on the floor. If you ask him for tea or coffee it may be you stay with him for an hour. Two, three that was a pleasure, the summer nights. Was very very beautiful. The winter was very difficult for us, we were always locked inside. By the rain and mud, we could not. Play but the summers and spring nights were very beautiful. We also had fun at school, after. The school, the school was our playground. During school time that was like prison, and a great place of oppression. For us children, but after school we met in the schoolyard. To play or to retaliate from school. Sabotage, rioting or glass cracking. No matter what we could break, it gave us the feeling. That we have to retaliate from this mechanism. Or strike, we went to school. I wasn’t bad at school on the contrary I was a good student, but I was. In the morning when I went in to school, always with fear and stomach ache. Scared what happened.

[i] Why this idea?.. Whether man is nicely tongued to go there to learn. Even though you were lucky to go to school under these circumstances? A big family, teu teu teu 12 brothers and sisters and attending school? That was a duty for all of us, we were conscious. Who is not bad with the Syrian, that must be. To send the children to school. Me. Wants from the end of the Fifth Class. And then they talk with the eighties unbreeds accompanied in Syria. Destructive events in Syrian society, the security authority began. The oppression was very widespread and caught the authorities. From state institutions to camps. You are in school with your ten years. You are in an organization which is Tataa el Ba3ss. That is taken from the ideas of the socialist system. Maybe that was this student organization. We would have to stand in the line. In a military way, we would have to sing military slogans. Violence slogans I remember. Fire Fire we are all revolutionaries, sacrificing ourselves for the flag, for the country. We should sing the greeting of the leaders, these things. Were, This is the tendency of fascism and violence that is born in us. A state of fear and confusion. And the climax as children, at the time we had not discovered this danger. But at the time that was an invention between ecstasy and fear. When we went to high school it would be even more military. As a student I went in military uniform, called. The dress of strength, One Black Boots and a military suit in kaki color. A cap and medals point to your class. I have started to get a Military Lesson, Military Training. There was an attempt to make you a fighter more than a student.

[i] That’s the reason. Why do you feel a psychological case that you hate?

That left something with me. Fear, you are always afraid, there is something. You felt what would happen if you didn’t. Fulfilling the great national mission. Learning or education wasn’t so important compared to. That which forces you to go to school. You go to school. To a military institution you have the feeling, you don’t feel. The relief those are your classmates, that is your teacher, there is always. A huge gap as studying and gap for the main cadre of the teacher. Especially the administrative staff of teacher and management. You have a leader, the teacher from the Stärkeu and the director. The teachers. Erhlich said are normal people but they do not have. A power in the schoolyard, or. If you were good, the teacher spoils you and he likes you. But that was not sufficient because the public order in which you live. Is very very military that leaves a case. In my person I don’t know what it was like with the others, but for me. That was very benünrihigt and anxious this topic.

[i] Yes [name], that was elementary school? Or middle school?

[r] Yes.

After that, when you filled up? You are an adult, a young man? Between the ages of 16 and 18 your character develops, tell me about? This period of your life.

In the period 16 years. And after that I started. To become curious, to know, to read and visit. A cultural center in the city, try to get at books, I read. I try to understand what is happening around me, the basic problem was. Was as an emergency was the religious topic. You learn that as a social case, the religious topic. You know a young man takes the ideas from the source. I had read the religious books. To understand more and to learn more. This has earned me great social praise. Our society, my relatives, my family, the listeners. [name] reads religion, [name] tries. Scih religious to engage, they had me more. Treated whether I would be older, that has too. Pacified and proud I made as a child. From a family I became an Onke family, earlier I would be treated like a child and spontaneously. I would be like an adult. ([name] looks at page.) I would be treated like a man. He does the right thing with religion, he reads. He has future, this history, this period has not lasted so long. Less than a year or a year and a half. I had contrary thoughts. I see the state of social and religious hypocrisy. Which there was, for example Reglion says, but society. If it doesn’t carry that, it does exactly the opposite. I started to read more about nationalism. In scientific books, after that I read. in books about socialism, about leftists, novels. Novel literature, my reading would be deepened I had formed a know. About religion or a complete push about the religious thoughts. In this period, I have begun to see life in an image. Completely different, reading helped me from one side. And my social situation since I had lived a colorful city. Where we are ethnic we are close to each other. We were children poor layer, lived together but from other races, other community cultures. And of different society, there was village or town. There were sons of the old cities, we call that. The place where we lived is called el-Shawaya, there were differences. Many, these differences have helped to build my person. Has my fear dissipated from others. What is strange to me intellectually is also social. Or Rasisch, with reading this priode I feel these two things have given me immunity. That I become opener and my society. Don’t be strict or razor-sharp. Rasish or religious afterwards.

Did your father play a role? For your person, what was his role in your life?

My father had a family of twelve persons, his first concern was. If he gets his salary a lot of fruit to buy or meat. He didn’t have time to take care of his children. In an individual way, or take care of their problems. He had concentrated on values that all Syrians use. From love, respect to the older or the little one. The education, they absolutely wanted us to learn. Because education is the only realm of self-realization. And after that.

[i] Was he a strictness or love father? I want to understand?

[r] Yes.

[i] Your bond with your father?

[r] Yes.

[i] In his upbringing to you he was hard?.

It was. It was Hart, now I look into my look Hart. Maybe they hadn’t seen it that way, I’ll give you an example. Can’t bear that a father beats his child under what circumstances. At that time it was normal, the child needs that. This method, scuffling etc. sometimes he was hard. Other times he could cry from his love for the child. At the same time he exercises violence into an anxious method. It was a mixture of all the pressure he had had, a family of twelve people. an economic situation. Very bad, an apartment of 60 m², 50, 60 m. He had a lot of pressure, he was sometimes aggressive, unpleasant. He bit all or beats, but at the same time he had sacrificed his life. Because of twelve children.

What was it like?. The situation with the neighbors with the friends?

The neighbours on the family level always. In Syria or in our region they are an extension of your house. These Syrian rituals, the neighbours have cooked dolma today. They send you something, they come and go, you can borrow from them. No matter what from salt to…, kitchen utensils. When a guest comes to and has no place for Him you can yourself. What borrow to cover, the Syrians. The place where I was is a landscape, they have kept their rituals. Which is quite simple, or that openness towards the neighbour. Your neighbour is your house at the end when I was on the street. I see the neighbour’s son if I see my brother if he needs help. Or I look for Him he looks for me, this is normal and it can be manschmal. That inconvenience happens, or screaming. Then tolerate in other occasions.

[i] Yes. At what age were you independent, you became alone? Was that when you got married or did you move before?

[r] Me. I left my family at the age of 20. Or less than 19 I left the city and am closed. Another town moved town Halab. I rented a room and worked. In different factories, in a plastic factory, in a printing house. In a restaurant, no matter what was left to me. But I work without a job or something long-term. I could not I threw Jung. At the beginning of my life in a very strict situation, it could be you work in a nylon factory. With a machine that is not Save, 12 hours. One dollar a day, that was 50 lira. That was enough for it to eat or that was possible to pay the rent. Or not, so we lived with two or three people in the room. We work Two weeks, one month, I worked in the flea market. In 90 when the Soviet Union collapsed, in a city like Halab. There were Syrians from Armenian roots. They had brought Russian goods from there. Very cheap in Halab, we had bought these goods. Or work with them, we ourselves made the flea market on the street. In this period until I went to the Bundeswehr. To the conscription. Fortunately or UN luck I do not know, I served in the security forces. Combating unrest, that means. There is a city on the Syrian coast in Latakia. As policemen they take us to the football stadium. We have the audience apart or when there are big arguments. In protocol events they take us. About two and a half years, have finished my duty service. After that. There was no work, nothing. What I could do I hadn’t learned a profession that I could do properly. I didn’t finish any profession. I had only Abitur, with it I could get no employment. It had started with me. As one says political tendencies or Oposition in this time. I was not a member of Baath Party. I had no power to get a job. Or money that I can make myself self-employed. Small as hundreds of thousands of Syrian Young Men. The best way was that you earn twenty US dollars. You fly to Lebanon. (He gets distracted) Really. I got the travel expenses and went to Lebanon.

In that time you got married, or in what year?.. Did you get married, you say 19 or 20 years you left, you were independent, you started. In Practical Battle, and you stood on your own feet. During this time you wanted to get married or did you help your parents?

No, at that time I couldn’t think of getting married. Getting married early, we are talking about 23 and 24 years. I hadn’t thought about getting married, especially because I did. Experience of a family that has 12 people. Since was not relevant at the time to think about it. To marry, but a bond, perhaps I liked. I had a girlfriend, a wife, after that we got married, after a while. I got married at the age of 29. I had a relationship for about 4 years, four or five years. Engagement and love . I have a lesson from my parents. That early marriage is falsh I would have to have my chance before I do anything.

[i] In a moment we will talk about your love and how you have bound your life companion etc. but I would like. From you know, how is your relationship to the homeland.

[r] Now?. Or?

Now or in the past, what you want. Syria has always been my basic dream in every sense. Just like any other person who lives in his country. He loves you in the first place, he thinks you are the best. I had dreamed that my country would get better. Think about everything. Like any other young man, his own encourages the national team. In football, and loves more his country. In competition from education, military no matter what. You like. Mostly your country and you see that is the center of the universe. And the most important thing, after the Syrian border nothing can mean anything to you. Everything for me is, yes Syria is my land with all. Not Syria in the whole area. In my place or city, I have lived in more than one city. From north I lived in the east, lived in Halab. Three or four years, I have my Bundeswehr in a city. Ladekia, Practically I have in the north, in the south and in the capital. Certainly there is no Syrian boy man who has not lived there or some months. I had loved them and feel them special. The government, the media and the press. They make up the propaganda and the history and and and and. The Mansch has Two Lönder and his real country is Syria. And the greatness of history in Syria. Everything is pumped in you. The father of the leader who built modern Syria. That had a reaction when you see the differences in the story. From Syria and binds the media to you pumping. For such a young man, he has built the modern Syria. What is modern Syria, I have always repeated this from modern Syria. The successes of the correction movement, which represents the coup history of Hafez al-Assad. He built the Euphrates dam, I thought it was a nuclear power station, for example. A great work, at that time, I was 17 years old. Eighty years old, from the anecdotes in the eighties in Syria. There was a British-American blockade against Syria. There was a crisis of consumption and an unusual bread crisis. My memory tells me that, I am not sure from the source, there was a donation from East Germany At that time there was still East Germany, there is to be built an automatic oven. For the bread in the city, in fact. They had built, the building method was different than was usual there. A hall with metal brackets, metal legs and metal structures. A bread factory with full production. We left school. They took us trips to visit the factory, they called it the Zarka factory. Atom factory, yes, you can find this name until today for older people. We bought bread from the nuclear factory, according to the motto “technology”. Was a nuclear production or something special, afterwards when we grew up. We wondered why we called it a nuclear factory, it was an automatic furnace with a mechanical production. Normal not what special works with a generator, but is called Atomfabrik. No, no you find people screaming we bought bread from the nuclear factory.

Thank you very much for the nice story. [name] we’ll go right on in the topics. Other topics, we’re breaking off now.

[i] Welcome Mr. [name] , we continue to talk together. We were in our topic until. Taking up your working life, you have exercised different professions. In different directions. You have been standing on your feet before your age, please go on? Here you go.

[r] Yes in the. When I finished as a service. The employment opportunities in the country were bad. I was working. In Lebanon as well as hundreds of thousands of. Syrian men, in the industry. In the construction field. I have as a roofer. In houses, as painters, on bricks. I have about three four years I have saved a sum. I had supported my parents, although the wages. Wages were low but compared to the wages between Syria and Lebanon was. The Okay. end of the nineties-eight. I was tired, Lebanon is not my home. Not my atmosphere I need my family. I want to lead a stable life, I decided to go back to Syria.

In this period, how long did you stay in Lebanon?

Four years. From 95-99.

[i] Oh. I went back to Syria, married my girlfriend. We had had a relationship. I was looking for a job until chance helped me. In a job in an agency in the Ministry of Finance. Because of my school-leaving certificate. It was. The city, the residents’ town. What the city in the seventies had decided to sell the . For their owners, my father had left the city. Was retired, I had had the right to benefit from this house. We bought it from the state for little money. My wife. Was employed in a company. Construction company, whose headquarters in the same city. We gave birth to two girls, we limited. We have organized offspring. For the family, my financial condition was good, my wife is employed. I am in employment I have an additional job outside my work. I always leased a cafeteria, a fashion shop. I needed to modernize and improve my income. Our salaries together well but I aspire that it will be better. In this period. From 2000 to 2010 these ten years. From my wedding and my stability in the city, we have passed changes. In Syria, Political changes. Social and financial, Hafez el-Assad was. Beautifully died everything his son inherited, he began. With a public speech with an open social discourse towards the opposition. For a short time. I got involved in a civil society forum. In Syria, or what Damascus calls spring. I was an activist. We visit. Evenings and Pollitic Discusions in forums in all provinces. Even in our city we had a forum, we invite thinkers. Politicians in our houses this forum of course. That was not allowed to have an official place, we did that in our private apartments. Sometimes in a room less than 20 m, we were 30 people, we listened to a lecture, some symbols were invited by the opposition. Riad el Turk, Aref Dalila, Abed el Rasak Eid. Abed el Karim, many names. All names, Mrs. Kusama Adey, Great names all names. All those who have participated in an effective way in Damascus. Will be invited in the city, personally of course, who will be received. In our homes in these forums. The security campaign has started on us. They had invited us to guard, harassment and interrogation, we would be interrogated. What do you want from this story, we had no opinion. For political associations, first of all, that was forbidden, and the method. That was the only way to express ourselves in these forums. Until the idea was mature enough to have tried in the city. A festival for the Syrians, I had contact. To Sarwa organization, ammar abdell Hamid so that the financing. Festival financing that had had support from America. I was very afraid, I didn’t want to do it anymore, I tried to do it alone, I got pressure. I would be interrogated by the police. To stop this project. I stopped it but I paid the price. It was very expensive, from 2003 to 2010 at work. I was always under control I would be confined and monitored. I would be suppressed in every way even at graphitization or reward. What could annoy you and you don’t get what you deserve. Have you done also my wife has experienced this. Even in society people had started to get scared of us. In this period in 2011. 2010 when the phenomenon started with the Arab Spring as well as thousands of Syrians. We had spring beginning in Syria. And. We weren’t sure it would come but we all had hope. And the spark has started in Daraa. The city where I lived. The big community, at the beginning of the fourth month in April. In the demonstration something strange happened to me. Before that when you see a policeman looking for you at work, you panic. Fear alone that he will come this is beautiful horror. A routine you get restless, spontaneous you. You are in a demonstration around you, not normal policemen but officers of security. Who are in town and you as a demonstrator. The number is not more than 30 or 40 people, you are known even where you live. Your work, It was a rare courage of us 30 or 40 people. We could go out and stand against this power. An authority power to put people who make you afraid face to face. Of course this demo lasts no more than half an hour. They put pressure on you, your support has arrived. In the demo was not a push or something, that was. The motto is freedom and lifting the siege of Daraa. The city of Daraa was besieged. After a week I would be invited by telephone to the public prosecutor’s office. I have gone, I must go to military security. I have gone, they had discussed for hours. And after that had decided to Branch Abi Deer el-Zoor. I with Three Others. Men with me, they had taken us there tied up. Nobody hit us or anything. They had asked us about the demo and our desires. We talked about the programs. The 2005 Damascus demand for freedom of the press. Freedom of parties, citizenship, we did not talk about a push. The government or big orders. About a month, we had a trial. Then you invited me again, second time they had kidnapped me from the street. Because of an invitation to strike, I also spent about 20 days in prison. They had invited me back because of Damascus. To the Political Security Department this time. In this department what happened to me was me. In this department the boss had one. Improvement of the emergency law, we spoke of freedom of the press. And the investigating officer. Who spoke to me, who told me. What do you want and why do you make demonstrations, I told him. We have a promotion of the boss has crossed the line. By far, he has several requirement. What we wanted he did more than what we demanded, why are we stopped here. He said no, you want a state with law we have to do the gesture here. etc. I even said what is accusing me of. So I was in prison before. I would be released from justice and a pardon from the president was granted. He said Okay, and now the same is you will be put before the court. When the justice finds. That you are innocent, he even tried to play with us during this time. This game, this is legal action if we were really guilty. Just because you go to a demonstration and promote your rights. And what there is in every other country. Again I would be dragged. For the fourth time, because of a betrayal or no idea what. I have tried, in the city has many refugees those of. Other cities came, because of bombing of the regime and expulsion of people. With the vote of the Raqqa Provincial Council. There was a lady who was a member of the management. The committee to support the people. Under the law, I thought we can not work politically. Okay we help the people who came to school who need medicine. No matter what we could do for the people during the meeting. In a Cultural Center with the official presence of the State Council. I would be stopped at the meeting and arrested and accused of fraud. From the mayor, and that is impossible in such a small state. When they arrested me this time. This time I was most afraid. They had me directly blindfolded, you go to a security agency. There is something done with you, you should not know that. They had treated me very hard I would be tortured and slept, which was other times. Did you have respect for us or a little respect. They hadn’t attacked us physically but this time they caught us beating, my eyes were too tied. They wanted to send me to El Zoor. Since the city belongs to the police. I was very scared, very scared, I heard them. The one who wants to take me by plane, I make it to the airport. I had the feeling that they wanted to throw me off the plane. I don’t know what happened outside but my wife and a group of men. They did this work with me on a voluntary basis, they had contacted the mayor. Tried to put him under pressure, “You brought [name] in with this work”. He does nothing but help the refugees. In the city where the city recognized them, the state should help them. These people are in a city where the government still rules. They’re not against the city if you look at it politically. So that they come here, therefore to help them is a duty of the government. And society, you have involved him in it. [name] with this story, maybe they had had pressure, they hadn’t taken me to Deer el Zoor. They had me in city jails after about eight days. Left me free when I got out. I didn’t believe that when they gave me back my phone. I’m looking at the city, I was seven days long in a single cell. With unheimlische much fear, this is the fourth time I am arrested. Because of a peaceful activity. News had reached us. From murder and destruction when I came out until now I think of these moments. I was not where I was, this is my city. I called my wife, I said come pick me up, I don’t know anything. She told me take a taxi and tell him to take you home, nothing more. Here I took a taxi and drove biin to the garage and from garage (driving station). If I have a service, I was afraid alone with taxi from one city to the other. I drove by public transport. I have not had normal panic and anxiety attacks at home when it rings. I think they are coming now. Especially in the evening, during the day I go to work. And come back less unbrehid but evening, at night I feel. No matter who rings the bell or the phone I panic, horror. When my cell phone rings I panic, the phone just like that, the door. All this together, the pressure. Everyone have advised me to go, I was far too scared. The fear I can not forget the period these 15-20 days. Before I leave Syria, I have decided to go to Turkey. There is no chance to go to Lebanon. You must take the checkpoints from east to Lebanon. The next possibility. After Turkey we are at the border about 60.70 km away. I am direction Tal Abiad and from Tal Abiad I crossed the gate. The gate was under the power of the Free Army. There was not the government, I entered the Turkish area, my friend welcomed me there. He took me in after three. Days, four days my family came. My daughters and my wife were. The city ended there, it would be bombed, plush bombardment, artillery bombardment with us. In the city, clashes, they have come out under very serious circumstances. I did not imagine that it would become dramatic so quickly. We were in Turkey. 3a tab, my first shock what happened to me when I left Tal Abiad. Direction Urfa, I have traveled. The only country apart from Syria I visited is Lobnan, but I have none. I have no idea what Turkey looks like, I never thought I could travel. When I crossed Tal Abiad, Tal abiab is a city. Has more than 150000, maybe 200000, but is a city. Looks like camp, random accommodation. Not abnormal economic neglect. When I moved to Urfa I paid attention. The entrances to the city, the capital Damascus is not so. Construction. Villas, gardens, even when I entered the garage I thought I was in the airport. I look at the differences between infrastructure, was my first shock. Between the country where I lived and between. A country on the border is about 100 – 200 km from my house, Urfa. Not anymore how much there is a country that is tired and working. And the existing service status, where do the people live. And where already lived. I lived in Ain Tap with my family. I was about eight months. Or seven months the German government had. Had a project. Maybe because of the refugees from Turkey. Lebanon, by the Foreign Ministry my name was nominated. I had a sick history. I had a file with the political arrest, so they had me an appointment. IM Embassy.

Did you make an effort?.. At the embassy, did you make a request, how do you know you’re there?

[r] Yes. I think someone German. Who has to do with the foreign ministry or. Political ones are close. From the external, they should name names. By Syrian, I was there. I didn’t think that I would come to Germany, never. For me that was not Attrative, everything I knew about Germany. That the one philosophy is country, Marx. And industry country, for me that was attractive. I never think to go there neither as a tourist nor an asylum. Asylum I never thought I would leave Syria but under these circumstances. I came to Germany, there was my first shock.

[i] Tell me what is your first shock when you came to Germany.

First of all. We are victims of the understanding of the West, there is a false image of the West. It’s in our brains, it’s not true about the West. It’s in our heads, from where my information is in my head. From the West, perhaps from the cinema or through small readings. And impressions but impressions from the contemporary witness that is not. It doesn’t reflect the right image, it’s not important. The contemporary witness or the one who was here at the time has the tool to um. To think like the society in right form, he speaks of his personal impressions. But the subject is not right. We have a typical image of the West. A country of well-being, an exact country. Country law, all these pages. Didn’t shock me, my schoock was from the social side. You come to the first shock that you. You will live on the edge of the society. In your country, even if you are a marginalized class, but you do not live on the margins of society. In your motherland how much your class statue is erased. Or your educational level is a little, you have your world. Social structure, you live in the core not pushed to the edge. You are on the edge by and large, but in the core where you live. You are not on the edge when you come here. Spontaneously you will realize that you are on the edge. The company on the edge, very lonely. Hard for you. To penetrate this social structure, and when you complain about the difficulty of penetrating into this social structure. You are told the German is so. The German is not in the social structure, the German is also lonely. You are not used to that in your country, you are used to it. You are in a cell in which they interact. You react, you take, you make visits, you get visits, suddenly you have come here. You don’t just feel alien when we talk about this. When we go beyond the theme of alienation, you feel. You will not be a part of an effective structure in society. Speech impairment is an absolute must. But even the people who beherre language that is good. And polarizing that also tells you we are alone. In this society, you must be with yourself from your homeland. The food of life, your culture. Your ideas, here you can live, the law gives you the right. Society allows you that. You live that on the edge in your border, that they break in? Difficult. At my age, my generation was a great shock. I hope that my children cross this topic.

Do you find the difficulty in the integration, the mixing or the language with Germans?

Or the big difference in culture, I don’t want to ask more questions… The language is certainly difficult. That you control the language so that you build a conversation. To imagine yourself outside, where do you go or where do you come from? That you the language and the Accent, that is in any case difficult. But the subject is not only the language, even the one it possesses. I want to talk about my daughter, for example, four years in Germany can speak very well, but when I see who are their friends. In class for example, I discover that the Syrians are, Only. Isn’t she nice, no, a nice girl at the beginning of her life. What special, what prevents when a class of twenty students. That the one who is friends with someone else is except the Syrians. I ask you, try to understand what the reason is. She says papa who are nice, we are friends in class, outside class. Gives a certain block where the blockade is that I can’t determine. Four years I can find where this block is. Who to whom? is that from us?. As a normal social pattern with current meaning, I don’t find my life in Germany. Changed me, in Syria we live like this. We have respect for the law, do not complain, we are tolerant. With the other, I speak as a person of myself, not intended for all Syrians. I cannot speak in name but within the society where I lived. That is not alien to us, I do not feel. A social divide. My neighbour is an example of how he deals with certain problems. I don’t think it’s good, no, we love it too. In general, do not forget your neighbours. Many stories about the refugees. That they stick to it, but we stick to it, not because the law is because. That comes from us, we want to be like that in our country. There is a very big gap. I say of myself, my age, the language. It is, but the new generation, if I consider. My daughter She is sixteen years old of her friends. Are all refugees, migrants. Migrants not from Middle East but important is refugees. Or foreigners.

Or Europeans.

[r] Yes Europeans. In the end, why what prevents a child. Or a young man to build a friendship with another child. German child.

What I understand from you, the problem is not only ours.

[r] AUf any case that needs integration.

[i] Two sides.

[r] Two sides in any case, I’ll give you an example. See a long tradition. We are not a religious family, not religiously discredited. We have no problem in this picture. The cliché of a Muslim, the Muslims do not shake hands, who eat only halal meat. He does not drink wine, I do not have such problems. Not only here in the German society, we are already like that. Syrian society is only Islam, angry. Or religious, no. There are many differences in Syrian society. In a way, very strange when I mention. An example, a city like Halab, from one street to another. The culture changes a lot when you go to Halab city. It may be that you see Five Weddings in a different and contradictory way. A wedding, men alone have no contact with women. A wedding is mixed dancing together. And others very Soirée with evening dresses up to the maximum. Wedding. In a settlement, with singers, Mixed. Here there is no such thing, we do not see this social differentiation. We see it as a high fence. From here or there. why we. There is something, we did not come as refugees. How we are poor or out of need. We are victims of fate, victims of war and oppression. All peoples could pass, the German people was a victim of. Oppression or war, we are not war victims. We are not only because of the bread, or we have not seen anything, no. We had. Our working hours were longer than here in Germany, we had worked more. So that we could survive, not only our economic situation. What brought us here. The German manschmal, “this is a refugee”. You can give him your compassion. these sorry looks. makes us more sad, we don’t need compassion. This compassion is if we are very low and you feel sorry for me. You take me by my hand. When we discuss within my family. My daughter feels the theme, we must. The other or German a kind of compassion. She gets excited in an unusual way. No, I am also a human being and have abilities. In terms of education, knowledge and sport. No matter what I can talk to Him and distinguish Him, I am no less than Him. Only that I happened to be myself. I am a daughter of a refugee.

[i] This subject causes many problems. In integration, man lets be third degree. Without feeling it.

Yes I have told, our generation. We the first refugee founders in Germany, the New Wave. We say that’s over for us, we can’t live in Germany we can live. The way we lived beautifully, and we can’t. A part of this society in social terms, in the legal sense. We are obliged, we have arbait, we learn, we fulfil our duty. We abide by all laws, because this is law. Something that in our country strive for we have a national law. that in the spirit of justice and in the spirit of equality, but integration. Is not only in the sense of the law, integration in the social sense. We are very far from it. Now you tell me [name] to go to the bar, German Bar. Or foreigners, I say a foreign bar, there is wine and there is alcohol. I feel like that there. I am no less than the others. When I go to the German Bar, maybe very narrowly. I feel looks, Oh yes he is. Refugee and drinks, no idea what, you feel something. Maybe it’s not like that, but you always have the feeling inside you.

[i] Yes [name] tell us more. Where we left off, we said.

[r] We had talked about integration difficulties. For us.

[i] Yes.

[r] We’re talking about. For me personally, I feel. I live on the edge, Okay, maybe I have to get along with this idea. My fears are far away. My daughter are, one of them is. Twelve years old, were in Germany, who have. Start learning at school, they are good at school. I think they have great difficulties when. When they finish learning here and finish studying here. That they think that one day they will return to Syria for example. If I were to force them to, I don’t know, but return alone. I think the level of education they have here. I think the economic well-being, the existing lifestyle. The comfort. The distance from the country and Syria for a long time. Can it be that they forget, my little one says. I do not want to forget Syria, but I do not think about it, is away from my head. Your memories of Syria are nothing.

[i] They are still communicating. With Syria with friends and friends do you have contact?

Yes, we communicate with my mother. She is still in Syria, my siblings are spread between Turkey, between Austria. Between Denmark, Lebanon. Of twelve brothers in Syria I have only my mother, all my brothers and sisters are. Fled, we communicate with my mother. They are prevented, even she cannot get out. This is her house, her property and her livelihood, she has her whole life. Where she grew up, she can’t leave her country. I had talked about the idea. The fear that my children will live. In the future in Germany on the edge, that’s the thing. The idea frightens me, what tax should you pay in Germany? So that you can be a part of this society? the level of education, for example. A certain material situation, we will certainly not be able to accumulate wealth. We live, part of our life is a support and. Even when working that is a minimum wage. We are on the horizon, we cannot accumulate wealth, and not live, the only thing is. What we can do about our children that get a good education. In good branches, possible. Can we help them, that is enough when they reach it. They form a part of the structure of the German society, at a certain time. They are Germans with Syrian roots or they are Syrians living in Germany. These are things that make differences when I say I am Syrian and live in Germany. Now, I follow the laws of the country where I live now. Have respect for that, but they should be at a certain time where they feel. That the Germans of Syrian origin are not Syrians and live in Germany.

Did you regret that at a certain moment you came to Germany?

Now I haven’t regretted that. When I see the other people. Who are in other countries, I consider Germany as. From the economic one. From the law, there was a sympathy for the Syrians. From the government has a lot. Service offered, help and support and still. Economic programs, right of asylum, right of residence etc. I see in other countries is worse, secondly Germany. Is a country, a nation, a great nation. Has a depth, history, economy. You feel better than another country. A country that has respect. For culture, art that appreciates that, yes, I didn’t think about Germany one day about coming. But I think that was the right decision or I say I was in Germany.

Do you feel at home, do you feel like you’ve arrived home?

Now when I go home, my first impression is. I am with my family, my family is my home. I have no affiliation that this is my city. I mean I didn’t fall in love with this city, I didn’t learn there, I didn’t run away from school there. I played in their settlements. I didn’t discover the things there, I didn’t go to the cinema for the first time, not to the theatre. It wasn’t the first time I had stepped there, I don’t have any memories. Unless I go to an authority, I go to the market. I go dining at the lake. It can be that you go to the coffee or in a bar. But you don’t feel that is from your tone. I don’t know if I leave Bochum or the city one day that I say. Means something to me, I can see what has changed. The cities with us in the east change every ten years. Example: If you live in a city and have been away for ten years, the sights of the city change. Ten years, and come back, you will stand new streets, new shopping malls – there is something that has changed. Here nothing changes, after ten years you come back, you will find the same station, nothing has changed. You find the same city, the town hall where it was, the court. Is the same, even new residential area will not be rebuilt, new park. Take over, changes you feel a city. Finished the completely finished, nothing will change. It may be in the city, a store what had sold fashion, now sold. Sausage, or a phone store has turned into something else. It’s possible but change in your landmark. It’s impossible, I still love this city, I’ve tried. To love that you build a bond with the street with paths, try to walk there. I try to discover that, but. Love comes from you, sprouts from you. It has done me no harm, a peaceful city all in all, I am four years old. I am not exposed to any racist situation, directly. Or I have not filled it, someone treats me so racist. Not in my neighborhood, it didn’t happen to me. But people tell me that I didn’t experience anything. A city with cultural activities. You have to be released 24 hours a day to catch up on the activities there. A small city and bound to other cities. I have tried, but the German language is very difficult for me, there are other activities. It is possible to have a cultural centre in my neighbourhood in Langendreer. There are activities, it can be that I participate there, sometimes I visit. something where music is played, I go to the carnival with only. as an observer, you are not a part of this carnival or you celebrate with. You just go to look, as they say, at our carnival. Or the celebration or places, we are a part of it, here you go. You have the feeling that you are a spectator, there is an umbrella in front of you, and you tell yourself that. More than you are a part of it, nobody takes you by the hand and tells you that come is a part of it. There isn’t, they are so together. I want to tell something, there is something in the building. Six flats, I don’t know anybody there. Between us there is only the greeting, in the morning, or hello. Nothing more, we exchange that grin, nobody. It rang my bell, I don’t know what they work. I don’t know anything, the thing is not only. With me so, they are also so with each other, because I have not paid attention. That someone is talking to someone else, that also. Go into the house, and topic ended. was in the apartment. In the apartment downstairs, was an old man. Maybe I can’t judge his age, the 90 years or older. I see him watering the flowers, or sometimes. I see him when he climbs the stairs, once I have offered him my help, he would be nervous to me in a way. No and with aggression, he had had bags. Runs with his rollator, after which I went up two, three stairs. I couldn’t, I helped him despite his will. I carried the bags and put them outside his apartment door. My memory of him, the man had disappeared, we had not seen him again. After a while, my wife asks someone from there. In the beginning she finds the question strange, why do you ask!.. after that she says that. He died beautifully, he is dead. He lives directly under my flat, he had been dead for two weeks. We could not know that, there was no ceremony.

[i] Do you feel. That is very big difference in our culture and our environment?

[r] Absolutely.

[i] That’s out of the question, not even the idea. It’s acceptable.

In any case, his apartment downstairs directly. There’s someone dying and from the two weeks, we can’t experience it. No voice, not from. People crowd, I haven’t seen any ambulances. At the moment when the pick him up. From the neighbor, not the one you disappeared, my memory. From Him is very simple, once he did not want me to help him, and my wife. Or my daughters are nice with him, the greetings to him who was gone, it could be. Even after a year, we dare not ring the doorbell. When my wife dared, at first she was surprised. The woman, maybe she was ashamed afterwards, no idea what. She told her he died beautiful, she told her her condolences. And apologized that we didn’t know, she said it was normal for her to be with us. That is not normal, never, you feel. The reverence for death that leaves. Even when it is cruel, people reach out to each other. They feel they belong more to each other, they press each other. It’s very strange to me, it just happened like this if nothing happened. Someone is dead, your curiosity has let you know that, there is no such thing. Other, you don’t know if you should say your condolences as duty. Or is that acceptable, or how do you do your duty. In this case, your neighbor has died is okay, what is required of you. As a human situation, in my country I know I am consoling. I help, I share this destiny. So that this will be facilitated by his children, by the people who surround me. As I can, but I become a part of it. Maybe I will get their condolences because I am his neighbour in Syria. But here I do not know, I would not know how I should behave.

[i] We come back to the subject of the relationship of exchange between. The country of Syria, because here people have become many. And between Germany is still distant from the place. The German must accept the Syrian in some way.

[i] Explain to me what do you expect?

[i] From a German or you, [name] ?

[r] What do we expect. From German, I have a point, perhaps. It hits scich a little with the extreme right. Or with the German right, sometimes there is an exaggeration. With respect to our private sphere or it bigt privacy. That is nicely past, also in Syria is past with it. There are traditions, I can’t think. That a girl who is 10 years old wears a headscarf. I am not against the headscarf, is a private decision, but 10 years I think. Is not only minors even less, you find voices. Yes they are a group that have a certain tradition. We have to keep them, I think there is exaggeration in this story. There is a law, sometimes the strongest is culture and rituals, this law. If these customs and traditions have the gross violation of childhood. For example, when a father beats his son, these are customs. In Syria it is normal, I have to do this here, that a father beats his son, for example. Same story, headscarf of a little girl. Yes or other social, social issues, we must keep, example. Shake hands, we know. That is not a primary problem in Syria that the woman shakes hands. The hand, can there or happen, you come, you find people. They have a certain private sphere and is their right not to shake hands. No, is not their right, that is. A literary protocol has nothing to do with culture or religion. Millions of religious history is above this woman. And you man automatically marries Religious. That’s not a protocol problem, that has nothing to do with whether you eat. And wash your hands when you say my religion doesn’t allow me to. Must I have respect to you, example, sometimes I see. Sometimes I see an increase of these stories. And at the same time there is a profiling we are all like this. Also with the German, most refugees or all refugees. Have a certain topic, no. They should also see us. Of different configuration in this subject, social or political. Or scientifically, they see us as a block. What is required of the German?, you ask what is required, which is German. Which layer of the German, the rich, the right, the left. The Protestans, the Cathols, they also have severe divisions. With whom should I integrate myself with the working class or the technocrats? With the sage collar, the university teacher or with whom too. Together have many differences, me. Wants to integrate me with the people who are on the fringes, because I am on the fringes. Too little income, we have no language skills in the Arabic language. There is no integration except with the layers that are on the edge. These are the foreigners, the migrants whether the elderly. Or newer, that is the atmosphere in which we work and talk. And we spend our time, or with Germany which Germany.

Do you have the feeling that something should change in this topic? Necessary, is that necessary that the German. check again, about the people who brought here with their will. So that the integration can happen, because we deal with it, the integration can succeed. Only from both sides.

I feel that this must happen.

[r] I feel that has to happen. A new evaluation. For the subject in a different way. And the focus, and the investment. In the second generation of refugees, the first generation. Is almost impossible the subject of integration. Legal integration is not a problem, everyone agrees. All are legally integrated, as refugees perhaps. Few who like to deviate from the law, all others are under the law. They love to work, learn, obey the law, and pay their taxes. Pay his bills, don’t cross a red light, everyone. Have no problem but the social aspect. It must be invested with changes to the second generation, because the second generation. If the waxes that are born here and that came here. After 20 years or when you become 25 years old, what about it. How does the German see you if he doesn’t take them by the hand? It will not become a part of the structure of German society, and you don’t want it. That he becomes part of this structure and wants to be the only one. You are not a young society, the society needs this. They contribute to helping them to maintain the status of Germany. And the strong Germany, because here they are a part of the culture. They learn in Germany. His education, his culture is Germany, it remains that his soul becomes German. You will win him, I think. He has no problem, the second generation has no problem, if you give him your hand. And you helped to bring to you, in the second generation there is no problem.

[i] In your environment and the society in which you live. At the moment in Bochum, you find this ? That intergartion between the Syrian and the German is a problem? You have two girls when she comes home with her boyfriend. Does that make you nervous or is it okay?..

[r] For me personally. In any case, that doesn’t make me nervous when I talk about myself, definitely.

[i] Yes.

That’s normal, anyway, I don’t have a problem with that. Whether German or not German, whether I am in Germany or in Syria, but if. When we talk about the Syrians in general. There is a problem with this issue. Generally, bein parents they have. They have an obsession.

[i] I could tell you from a fanatical environment, the idea is unacceptable. Integration okay but personal relationships between. A Syrian girl and a German boy, but Syrian boy and a German girl. Is not a problem.

[r] Yes, yes, yes.

[i] You’re talking about your person. I noticed you with your secularism. I felt like you were a European before you came here with your way of thinking. Although you lived in a country. What dictatorial pure, I have a lot of democracy. Feel in our dialogue, that’s why I asked you this question.

[r] Yes. Generally the refugees, the Syrian refugees. When we talk about the religious class. Those who are religiously committed. They are careful. With all religious affiliation. They have an inferiority complex and feel inferior. Not only the German man is a wise man. Towards the first world, therefore. He indicates with his friendship to the German and he has invited them. The German keeps his privacy he loves this aspect. And as you already say it is possible when his son binds himself with a German. It’s no problem, but his daughter binds herself, that’s a red line. That’s the line that you can’t cross at all. Because in his opinion, too. He has a wrong picture of the German society, whether the German society. A decaying society and broken families. Looks in a state of social distrust of its composition. Social, first because he is ignorant and knows nothing. He could not enter into the fabric of this society. remain his imagination. To what we said or from here and there, he is not much. In a relationship so that he knows this family how it lives. How she lives how her relationship to daughters is to son. You do. The legal age. 18 years is his daughters. She could go away, move if he forces you to do something. The Youth Welfare Office can interfere and such stories, he lives even more on the edge. I think they were in society. Syrian society before that came and become a problem in German society. They are also a problem here, in the country. Were a part of the problem, and a part. Of the example we want to talk about. Syria, from certain underdevelopment indicators. We are talking about early marriage. They are the ones who allow their daughters to marry early in general. 13, 16, 17, we are talking about low. Woman’s education these are you who do not have their daughter educated in Syria. If you already have a problem that hinders the development of Syrian society. Syrian from the beginning, when the Syrian war forced her to come here. They moved the whole block here. And they practice that here, but they are not all Syrians, that is the minority. In Syria, however, it is nicely prevented in Syria, and here perhaps. It contributes to this and helps the German right. So that he takes models of it which are to be distributed to all refugees, there are people. People who are religious are many here but not radical in this sense. Women who wear headscarves go to work, stretch out their hands, travel. Those who go have a family alone are self-employed. Although they are religious and committed, not. all of this small variety that. The focus is after the motto, these are the refugees. Those who have come, and they are the typical picture. Of everything that comes, and Germany will experience a big problem, in my opinion. The group, there is. A certain method has to be invented. Laws for them, in Syria is. Gives a new law change that marriage age is 18. Marriage is certainly not under 18. Here they marry, or they have another method.

[i] Much has happened.

[r] I don’t know, it has to. There must be legal methods to deter them in this issue. The idea of preserving your privacy is right. What is advantageous in the humanitarian laws agreed legal status. Among all civilizations this cannot be done. To preserve his privacy we allow him this thing. Example several women marry, yes the Muslims may marry several women. We preserve his private sphere we allow him to marry several women, what a farce? Because this contradicts the civil contract and the civil state. Because it contradicts contemporary logic. This thing goes back to the Middle Ages in a closed social environment. Is impossible to go this way. Like a law it gives verbitet. That in civil law several women of a man are not registered. there should be a duty. To learn to stop violence against women. The women who are oppressed, manschal we hear stories that. Women who are refugees in Germany practice abnormal violence on them. Social violence, authoritarian violence from the father and forced marriage. They are forced to do anything if they still live in Syria. Or lives in any country has no values. Citizenship and equality as well as the right of unrestricted citizenship. We live in a country has an unrestricted citizenship right. It is also necessary to draw refugees in this area.

[i] Your relationship in your society, you have spoken. Mostly you are, you are forced to be. In this situation, tongue?..

[r] I. Example of a relationship with Syrian society, the refugees. In a city like Bochum, example, even. The relationship does not mean to me blood related whether there are relatives. I have a cousin or he is related to my wife, that didn’t even mean anything to me in Syria. And certainly here nothing means anything to me, if I would have needed it a little bit in Syria. Here I don’t need that, here you are in a country you need. No blues relationship so that you get your right or be. Life without that injustice happens to you. I don’t think this topic needs a family nerve. I come to social status. Also you are looking for people who are similar to you, similar to your soul. Similar to your intellectual orientation, political orientation, the same is here. You are looking for people who are similar to you to understand. Integration with the family in their home, I can’t. example, being befreudet with a family, the man hurts his wife. Egall who that is, no matter on what level. Or he has no respect for the woman, or he speaks sarcastically. With his wife, how should I be friends with him. I can not start from religiously fanatical people, for example. I cannot be religious. Not only Muslim but also Christian religious I can not.

[i] No matter who is religious? When I see someone has a scarf. Or has a cross, for me these are all religious signs. You show me your religious status before you show me your human status. You tell me I am a Muslim, I am a Christian… I before you give me your human face, maybe I will find a plane. Gemiensamkeit between us so that we become friends or acquaintances. The space remained small, in Syria is better for me. But with distance here in the city. If that is small, there are friends more than one family, we go and come. Of course Syrians, there are also. Similar views the outline view, the wide lines for a friendship. in any case the friendship. Is not a copy but there is wide line that is close to us.

[i] Do you think you are a person who has won in this case to come to Germany, or have you lost much by being here?

I won and lost, I lost my dream. My dream to build in Syria, Syria is lost. We didn’t wish it to happen to us. This setback, this brutality and this ruthlessness in society. International Bashar al-Assad on Syrian society. In this sense the loss, I have won, I see. Opposite my daughters, the level of education that existed in Syria. I can’t offer this here, here they get it. A very high educational chance is enough example. I fphle my daughter on Monday is happy to go to school. I remember I was not happy for school. I see if something does not attract her, she does not go to school. She wasn’t once sick so she didn’t go to school. Like the illness of children when they say I have headaches, stomach pains. She’s always in a hurry to go to school, so she’s happy to go. To school I feel this side. Which is very positive, the level of education. Also the fear. The health insurance that there is here, cih do not worry me so many. If a sick becomes, I find the things are simple and easy. The luxury they get even though we are refugees. And live on the edge but the least what is there is good. For us we have moved from the Third World. There is war there and it has a totalitarian system. We are coming here, no the least is good. For the way of life, perhaps that is positive side. Are you happy or sad?..

[r] I. I’m sad about that. I don’t know what I am anymore when I tell you. I am [name] , Yes, but where am I, there is a loss state. What am I supposed to do, back to home. If the country we installed, and there is a Political Solution now, Okay I feel like returning now. My daughters drive back when the. After five years she is in the university, leaves her university and goes back to Syria. If she binds herself and loves someone, she comes with me, I have no one, my little family. Is my daughters, Yes I return and my daughters are here, example. I don’t know, it confused me. Yes, I am happy without my family, I am happy with my family. No matter where I am I am happy with my family but without my family. I go or not, I don’t know, there is something. From the inside difficult.

[i] Hard to explain, Mr [name] . I would like to thank you for this exciting dialogue, thank you for your time, me. We have gained a lot of experience with your lecture, you have given us information. Which we would not know before, we have seen the Syrian refugee from a different angle. We wouldn’t know that either, thank you very much for your openness. Also for the opportunity, I wish you a happy life. That you find yourself here in Germany again, I wanted to ask you about Bochum. What did Bochum do for you or what did bochum give you but I didn’t have the feeling that this topic. From the beginning, because you have one. Other problems and other stories in your life, regardless of it. From this topic, thank you very much for you.

[r] Gladly.

[i] We end with your word.

In the beginning. I would like to thank you as an activist in civil society. And active in your work. You are a role model as an old migrant. That has brought me positive, that is possible. There remains someone who continues to deliver the sound. It remains one of the struggles in the asylum and alienation community, so that the voices or so he I say. Through your work you prove that. You were also MIgranten one day, no you are today. Do you live in Germany, perhaps with a German soul and German culture? Maybe one day I will tell my daughters. Can be like you. I thank you.

Thank you. I wish you luck, you and your daughters.