[i] Welcome Dr. [name] , I’m glad you took the time today. For us for this interview.

Thank you for the invitation, I am pleased with you. To do the interview.

[i] This is a nice opportunity. This is the first interview I do in German. A warm welcome. Dr. [name] here in Bochum. We are sitting here in the Westenfelder Str, in rooms of the humanitarian. Solidarity Middle East, today the 20 Ferbruar. 2019, we will interview. And in German language, very Bewünderswert. My name is [name] , I am the first Humanitarian Director. Solidarity Middle East, I want you to welcome here. That is, and perhaps you can imagine.

First of all many thanks to Mrs [name] for the invitation. I would like to do this interview with you, my name is [name] , I am oral surgeon of work. By profession, I am married and have two. Son and I am here in Germany. For three years and six months, I think I have. Well learned German.

[i] Yes, you can tell, very good German. That is admirable that we do this interview in German, according to. Such a short time, even though it is your national language?


[i] You get out?

[r] I come from Syria. I will be in Syria on 14 February 2081. Born in Homs, this is a town in the middle. Syria, I have. In our village, first the secondary school. And attended primary school. Then we went to big city. Moved to Homs and there I have that. I went to grammar school, and I graduated from high school. Passed with good grades, I passed and.

[i] Very good.

[r] Studied at university as. Dentistry, that was from 2000 to 2005. After that, I also continued training as an oral surgeon. A hospital in Homs too. Five years, studied. And in the end I get the certificate as a dentist and as well. Oral surgeon, I also have in Syria. About 10 years worked, yes. I have been in. Our family, you have great interest in education. My father was an engineer, and my mother is. My mother is a housewife and you. Have been around us, me and mine. Brothers and my sister took care so that we. Studying at university, I studied dentistry. My brother studied civil engineering. Also my sister as a nurse. Studied.

Everyone has such a great education.

[r] Yes.

[i] Very nice. Before I yes with you deep in conversation. Go in, I just want to ask what did you give us today. For this interview brought along?

Yes, I did. A picture of my son, that was with me. When I left my home. That was when my son was about nine months old.

[i] Get to it. To the camera, Oh very sweet.

His name is Elli of Elias.

[i] Yes, thank you.

We also have a son here in Germany. Having a child.

[i] Here?

Yes, his name is Adam. He is six months old.

[i] Oh well, congratulations.

[r] Thank you.

[i] Dr. You are since. Almost three and a half years here in Germany.

[r] Yes.

[i] I would like to know why you. Have left your homeland and come to Germany so briefly told?

It is well known that in our homeland. The war started in 2001. And yes, one can say. Private worked, I am. Dentist, I had two practices there. One in the city, and others in our Dor too. My wife is a pharmacist, I have three times. Leave my practice. It was broken because of the war, I always tried to stay there. But in the end, I couldn’t buy myself any new equipment. Or new practice. To build and that is. At the end I sold my car. So that I could come to Germany.

Yes, of course a lot has happened, but only.

[r] Yes.

First we talk about you, about your person, you come from an educated background. Family, which of course is really great, tell me. Tell me about your childhood, How do you remember your childhood?

Yes, that was, childhood is always very. Beautiful in Syria, we live in our village like a family. We go to school in the morning, in the afternoon. We meet me and my colleagues, the children. In the neighborhood, then we go play. Evening too. Meet with families for dinner. And entertaining.

So we love this cultural and social thing. Very important.

[r] I am a Christian, we go. Every Sunday we go to church, in Syria we always do. To make the respect of the elderly. For example I may not speak when my father speaks. Yes, I think life in Syria was very very much. Nice before the war, we always had respect from. The parents.

[i] beautiful.

That’s why I have here in Germany. I’m doing voluntary work in a nursing home here in Germany. Yes, for one and a half years.

[i] Fine, so you did. Also a lot of contacts and a lot of experience here.

[r] Yes, many contacts. With seniors, I also have four or five. German families good contact, with one also in nursing home. Also here in Wattenscheid, also in St. Joseph. Church, in Saint Mary.

[i] Beautiful. Did you come directly to Bochumm when you entered?

No, first. To Neubrandburg near Schwerin. Come, but I don’t know anybody there, I have. Contact with a family, you also stem from my village, Sien live here also in Bochum. Therefore I am after. Bochum moved.

[i] And since then you have been living. Here in Bochum.

I was only in Neuerbrandenburg for two months.

Two months, Bochum was no coincidence, you wanted. To come to Bochum because they had confessed here.

[r] Yes.

[i] And do you like it here in Bochum?

[r] Yes. Bochum is very beautiful city for me, and also. I have good contact with the people here, the people here are very nice. They are always ready to help. And you helped me a lot in the beginning, a family. It’s called the Bovan family, it helped me too. To find an apartment, in the beginning we have to. Englich contact, but that was only so. When we were three, four months, after that I went here to school. Language learned. And also with konkakt. With a family in Joseph Church, Arnold family. The wife of family Arnold, she also has that. Has us with four or five colleagues. The German language.

[i] Teached. I think you speak a very very good German, for this short time.

[r] Yes. But, German is a difficult language you always have to speak. Make contact, be diligent with it. You have to go before the articles, before the verbs, that still takes a little time.

If [i] is not an easy language, you have to confirm that, but that comes. With time.

[r] Yes, of course.

[i] You’ve gone straight back to your education. We’ll talk about this later, but I’d like to. Start this interview, learn more about you, about your family. How did you experience the time in Syria? Do you still have contact? There to your family and how?

Yes, I must. First say my wife was a patient with. Me, I got engaged to him and yes. After that we got married. We were so yes, it was there used to be. But my wife was pregnant, after that we had a child. Syria was so dangerous, we have to decide, I have to. To another city or. I have to go to Germany, that’s all. The first year so difficult, I am here alone in Syria because. You first have to get a visa for the families. Then you have to get the stay first and afterwards. Can apply for a visa for the family, it takes one year. So that my wife and my son.

So, you have brought the family together.

[r] Family reunification.

[i] You were only here alone?

[r] Yes, one year.

[i] They then have their wife. With her son to Germany as a family reunion, also interesting. Let’s talk about it later.

Yes and yes. Parents are not allowed to come to Germany together as a family, that’s why. My parents, my father and my mother you are still.

[i] Would you like to? That your parents come to Germany?

Yes, of course, that’s why I want to start working. So that I can give a visa to my parents.

Do you think that would be better for your parents to live here in Germany?

[r] Maybe. Is it so difficult for my parents to live here in Germany, but. In Syria there is war and danger, yes I am. It would be better if you came to Germany and can think about it in ten years. Yes, because nobody knows how much the war will last in Syria.

[i] All your brothers and sisters have left Syria or you are alive.

Yes, my sister also left Syria, she lives here. Also in the vicinity of Bochum, in a town is called Essen.

[i] Oh, beautiful. My brothers now also live in Dubai.

[i] Yes. Well, that means it’s difficult for your parents without children.

Yes, it is difficult, and in Syria we have no old people’s home, no insurance.

[i] No pension system?

Yes, it’s so difficult. If one of him gets sick, it’s so bad.

[i] And above all. Parents invest in their children, so the children later. Take care of them, so is our culture, still.

[r] Yes.

[i] We are obliged to look after our parents, so we are educated. Yes, of course, that’s why I want to start working with it either. Send money to my parents or my parents to Germany. To get permission.

[i] Yes. Contact, telephone contact?

[r] yes, on Watsup and. Yes Facebook.

[i] Do you still have contact to their friends there?

Yes, of course the friends you can not. Forget, special, as they say, the school friends.

[i] You’ve spent many years together there, too.

[r] Yes, about 30 years, of course.

[i] How was the time for you, Dr. in yours? Village? You live in a village, is that a big village, a small village?

Yes, this is such a small village.

[i] Are all Christians? Who live there?

[r] Yes.

What was the name of your village again?

[r] El Hafar is the name. El Hafar.

[i] El Hafar.

She is also next to them. Big village, called Sadad, my wife is from Sadad, and I am from Sadad. El Hafar.

[i] Yes.

And we have our village several times. Abandoned, there was rubble, always war.

[i] Yes. Is not so underestimated, and then they are? In this big city, that’s where you studied?

[r] Yes. And your professional life, you are also there with your wife. Relocated, and your parents are still living in your village, aren’t they? Where did you live at that time?

No, my parents lived there. In Homs, weill in our village, there is no Apother for example. Shop for groceries, it is difficult to live there. We also have one hour electricity per day. That is so difficult.

They live in big difficulties.

[r] Yes, in the village. It’s always more dangerous than the city.

How do you feel about life here in Bochum, is there a big difference? Comparison now with life in Syria, so you told me you were happy there. You have your professional life, you have also had your own job. You belong to the families that have had success, you have. Professional life, job, family, wife married on their own. Legs Have you stood yes, what is the difference? Or no difference?

Of course, gint it differed, life in Germany. And in Syria, here there is always rule. You have to follow the rules for everything, you have to say that. Even in Germany you have to do it first. To know the German language so that you can start working. That takes time. Three years, but everything. Residents I have to say, the residents here are very nice. They have helped me so much, for example. In a foreign office or job centre. In an organization, for example with Mrs. Khodr. Or, also the private contacts with family Bovan. Or in Josef Church, yes there is. Difficult, but with the help of these people was always.

[i] We would also like to talk about this integration later. Speak, you said, language is the key to integration, yes. That is the most important thing. I have that impression, it wasn’t so difficult for you, because you are a beautiful academic. You learned the language directly.

Yes, but as an academic I need more certification than anything else. To have, I must have at least B2 certificate. In German so I can send my certificate to the district government to you. To get recognized there, that takes more time. And I also have to do an examination in dentistry. And I get the exam for one month, I get one year. An appointment that takes one.

[i] A lot of bureaucracy?

[r] Yes.

[i] We don’t know that much bureaucracy either, that’s so much bureaucracy for us. You can say that, but it’s also nice when you go to a country. Live where the law is.

Yes, of course and security. Is most important for me and my family for example. Here my son he goes to kindergarten, they have health insurance. Yes, that’s great.

[i] Feel comfortable here. Are you sure?

Yes, I think so.

Do you think we’re here now? Arrived home? Do you feel at home here, home is always home?

[r] Yes. Of course, home is always home, if you are single, you can. Think, you have a family, yes, you can’t just. There is still war there.

Yes, of course.

It’s dangerous, you always have the feeling. I want to go to my home, I want to see my home, yes, of course.

[i] Dr. Feel you’re a stranger here or it’s okay? Do you feel there are so many differences here? For migrants and for Germans? Or fill yourself. Well in the meantime?

[r] at the beginning I had the feeling that this is a foreign place. I could not speak well, I could not talk. I couldn’t shop well or something, and that’s it. That was a problem, but if you talk well with. Of people entertained, not a short answers. Yes or no, that was and is great, I am now doing a preparation for that. Mini God’s ministry in Saint Mary Magdalene.

Yes, how beautiful.

[r] Yes. I think they are real. I am here and my son speaks German like a German.

[i] Yes, very well integrated. That’s also important that you’re willing to do it.

[r] Yes, of course.

[i] You have to be ready yourself, because it costs a lot. Time, a lot of strength, you have to want that too.

[r] And the fear. Because in the beginning there is always fear, fear, people. When I go I can’t talk to them, that’s afraid and makes back so. But if you can speak well, talk to each other, then there are always problems. Easier or so, special here in Bochum. Maybe to the Neubrandenburg, was a bit difficult. They don’t speak English there either, but here in Bochum everything was okay. At the beginning they are very good.

[i] One speaks in Bochum. As a colorful city, we have a lot of nationality here. Those who live in Bochum also find the Arabs here. You can find all Europeans, all other nationalities are represented here. That is so very mixed, very colourful.

I noticed that here in Bochum. And for example, 85 people come from my village here in Bochum. In addition, everyone comes from a small village.

[i] Your community, from your village? What is it like? Contact to your community, who live here in Bochum, do you maintain the contact?

With my colleagues we always make contact and for example. We always meet in Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we book in. Hall, we have a big party.

[i] Very nice, we always meet together.

[i] Is also important. Because they say 85 people who are from their. Village people, that’s not just little here? Whether that’s the people.

Yes, so it is.

Are you organized here, are you well organized here? As a group?

Yes, I think that’s very good. We have each other first. Helped me, for example one from Dorf stays with me so her family. Come, then look for your own apartment. Here we are 30 person.

[i] You also helped each other a lot?

[r] Yes, of course.

[i] You wanted to start such a community here from the beginning?

[r] Yes, of course.

[i] Consciously so?

[r] For example, the things for the apartment. Carrying and moving.

[i] Beautiful.

Help if, for example, I have my wife has a problem. We had to go to the hospital. Can I leave my son with my colleagues, a day or two.

[i] Oh, how beautiful.

Yes, I have the delivery as my wife. From my wife, we would have to be in hospital for five days. Staying there, the collegue helped us. Yes, of course.

[i] You have right about laying for the future? That is also very important. Because somewhere you come to Germany, and you have many years. Spent there in your own country, and suddenly you’re here in a completely different country. There you have to adapt a lot.

And it’s also good for our children. They go to kindergarten and there about eight hours.

[i] Yes.

They speak German, but I visit my colleagues, they speak. With children of my colleagues also Arabic, and she can. They speak both languages, yes, they do.

[i] That’s very important. Do you have in the meantime, you are under so much pressure. I notice family, children, a lot of pressure here. Six-month-old child, you’re very keen directly. To work here, you forgot this. Homesick, I have the feeling I have to go home, or because you are under this pressure? You need to find home here?

[r] Me. One always thinks of one’s homeland, we think of that. Parents, you are still in Syria, yes, I wanted to stay here in the future. And work, but you always have to parents. Think if you may come to Germany perhaps it is easier. Not being allowed to come to Germany is difficult and you have to. Maybe one father is about 89, 69. Nine and sixty years, he is healthy but in 10 years or so you have to do something I do. I there simply, my parents do not simply leave there. That is not possible, but we try there. To stay here, and here our future, becomes too. Building.

Yes, you always hear it like that. Say when everything gets calmer, people have to go back. How do you feel about that? That’s yes? Now the Syrians have them all. Quiet, they have to go back, because you have a piece of your life. Here started beautifully, how do you feel about that?

I believe that. Germany always has rule and you when you come here. Works and makes money and pays tax, I think. Here I get a great chance to get an unlimited stay. But if people just sit here and get the money from the job center. Yes, two, three and four years, if you learn German and. Why don’t you work? You can also go there to our home country. Don’t sit without working.

Unemployed, you have to do something.

[r] Yes. Up to 5 years you have to study German and think about it, and then. Decide which area you have to work in, but if you only stay. With the help of the Jobcenter. That’s not good, especially for the Syrian people. Syrian people they always think to work, to buy an apartment in the future or something. Yes, but I think all Syrians come yes. Did we not have the problem when we work here and. Also orienting and paying taxes.

Yes, have you also had difficulties here, so. Problems with official gönge, translating papers and so on?

Yes, I had the big problem here, that. The embassy in Syria was closed and we were. I had my documents in the embassy, in the German embassy in Beirut. Don’t believe, that’s why I don’t get a chance. To the reviewer, that means, I must first have a technical language. After the language test, I only get two years. Beruferlauniss, after the Beruferlauniss I should take another exam. Knowledge in Bochum make, but before the war, or before 2015. If one has the documents and the certificate. Certified in embassy, then he only needs certificate in German. And then technical language examination passed and then can work easier. That is so difficult, although the district government is not easy. Contact the university in Syria to ask her if the certificate is correct. Or wrong whether I studied in Syria or not.

[i] Of course. It is better to certify whether the original documents or not.

[r] And that takes time. Now I am here three and a half years and. Next month I also start with the work. Yes, I still have two years to go. Doing another exam, that means five years. You are insecure.

You can also talk about good luck and success in the next month. Will you work in your profession what you have learned, and there you can really. Be proud of it.

Yes, that’s not nice. To underestimate three and a half years in your situation. Wife, two children and then the whole situation. Learning the language and working in your field, that’s natural. Quite a great thing, special.

Yes, of course, my wife. Always helped me, especially with the last exam, that was. So difficult, he orders two parts, one entertains with patient. One in writing on the x-ray. What everything. Treatment, and is in two languages. Two have to talk, yes mine has talked to child. Two months also the children, she was. Caring, and also the library here in Bochum, has me too. Helped, I go to the library from 10:00 am to 16:00 pm. Daily, so that I can study there in peace. And learning, yes was very very helpful.

[i] Super, you could say.

[r] Yes well, I have now. Employment contract, and I start next month with work, and as a dentist. That is also so important for me, because I also have in Syria. Five years studying dentistry, then five years. Further training as an oral surgeon and I have. I can’t do any other work here.

[i] That would be much too bad then. We’ll continue right away. Welcome again. Dr. Shammas, we are talking. We’ll go on about your lives, about your journey. I want to start by saying that when you made the decision that you finally did. Want to go to Germany, what was that like for you?

Yes, of course. That was so difficult, I tried in Syria. To stay, the war has started on 2011. And I started there. Still three years, try to live there, but. I have changed my practice several times. Yes, and I have to change every time. I have to buy equipment and work as a dentist. Practice is so difficult, chairs also X-ray. Equipment that is so difficult. But we tried me and my family there. To stay, but in the end I have almost. All lost, and I could not have a new practice. Open, I had in the end only mine. Car, I have to decide with my wife. That we have the first child, it is so dangerous. Also for our child to stay here and also. In the future, maybe we can no longer work. And that was a difficult decision. To leave our homeland, but we ended up doing that. And especially my brothers were not in Syria. And my sister is married and also her husband. She also had to go to Germany, she also comes later. And I must also consider whether mine. Leave my wife and son there alone, with my parents, but of course. Also too difficult, for example my father is 69 years too. Old difficult him there.

[i] To leave alone.

[r] Yes with mine. To leave mother alone, yes. And yet, that was always dangerous, so I have the decision, I have to. To go to Germany, and then we. Try our family there, too. To come.

Yes, Dr. You have the decision. Not alone, the family was for it, yes of course, the parents wanted too. That you just wanted to go and start your future where other, mum and dad start. Or were you also very much afraid for you?

I must also say, as my brothers to Dubai. Flown isz, my mother was so sad, she told Him. Always come back, come back, but after the war, she recommended us. We must leave our homeland.

[i] Yes.

[r] And they can not. The way is so difficult and dangerous.

[i] Yes.

I first went to Turkey, for example. Flown.

[i] Yes. Did you pay money?

Yes, of course, but I said nice. In the end, I only had my own car, I have my own car. Sell it, with it also with the money to Deutschalnd. Driving, I have flown to Turkey, also from. Turkey to Greece.

[i] How long have you stayed in Turkey?

In Turkey it only takes a week. So that the sea will be calm in the first place. And then we’ll go to Greece. One, say man, with a ship or a boat.

[i] Balam, that was with the Balm.

[r] Yes. And that’s so dangerous. And normally only 10 people are allowed to ride with it, but.

How much were you on the Balm?

There were 25 people. Yes, that was full and dangerous.

[i] Could you also swim?

Nä, but it is so.

[i] The people. They took that risk.

Yes, even with an old ship. As man says, it’s all old and almost broken, but. Because you leave the ship, just like that.

[i] In the water.

Yes, and we also a lot. Money pay about 1,500.00€. Yes, and after that we were in Greece. There we can’t go to Germany, directly. Flying, that’s why we have to go first. On foot, and from Greece to Marzedonia.

Are you on foot from Greece, to Macedonia?

[r] Yes and it was.

[i] Did you run.

[i] This problem, we have tried five times the borders. Between. Greece and Macedonia, cross over. The police always come and leave us again. And we look for another way, and we have eight. 48 hour we were on the border so we try and. Have we tried 5 times, amm end has it worked, this managed.

[i] After five times.

And if you manage that, you have to. At least 30 km deep in Macedonia. Running so that not even the police comes and back again. Yes, that was also difficult, and from Macedonia.

[i] Dangerous?

[r] Fully dangerous because we’re running. Along the rivers.

[i] In the forest too? In the forest?

And in the forest, of course, too.

[i] So they won’t discover you.

[r] Yes. That’s why and after. Were we from Macedonia to Serbia with a train?

[i] Yes.

[r] Also with the help of the UN.

[i] Were you relieved? When you were in Serbia, the UN was there, and they welcomed you, or still were. A risk that she sends back to you.

Yes, because we. Can’t understand the language there. And we have to, too.

Did they understand that you are refugees?

[r] Yes, of course. You’ve already understood, and we always walk with the group 200. People or something, and that’s very clear that we’re refugees, even with that. Syrian papers or something.

[i] Yes.

Yes, but in Serbia. We also wanted to go to Germany, and how that works.

How did you get from Serbia to Germany?

Also from the contact with. Also Collegen, there is a man there, he also takes money about. 1500€.

[i] Also pay again?

[r] Yes, pay again. He collects us in you, as they say. Small bus, that was without windows or something. And directly from Serbia to Germany, that was too. So dangerous, we were about 17 people. We can’t breathe. Smell.

[i] Was there no oxygen in the bus?

[r] Yes. At the beginning, first hour Yes, but afterwards. About 16 hours or so.

[i] No break? And no window? But?

[i] You could suffocate in there?

[r] Yes, that was so difficult, but. It worked.

In the end, did you manage that?

[r] Yes, we did. And I’m behind first. Hamburg, and there’s a camp nearby.

[i] Yes.

[r] I have in the camp. I’m in camp about say a week.

[i] Yes.

[r] There.

[i] Remained.

[r] Yes, that was the first bad feeling. When you’re a dentist in your home country and you can. Earn money and can buy anything, here. Must sit in camp with the people, in a long queue. Wait for the food so you get too. Potatoes and… That was the first feeling. I have that.

Yes, you can’t forget the feelings.

[r] Yes. Of course.

[i] Of course it’s very difficult for you, you were full. In life and also have a good life, Independent.

[i] You come to a camp, everything is unknown, no language. Many people?

[r] And different ones.

[i] Different people, everything possible, and then you have to. Yes, get along. Were you glad you came alone? Without a wife and child? Did you say thank God? I came alone.

Yes, of course. Especially when we came from Greece to. From Turkey to Greece. Was so dangerous and.

That would not have survived the little child, perhaps.

[i] We can’t swim, and if something happened.

[i] Yes. Okay, then you were a week so in camp, and after that?

After that. Do I get an interview, and. A dish or something.

[i] Decision about it.

After that we. Are me and eight person.

[i] Transfer?

Transfer to Neubrandenburg. Yes.

[i] So Berlin?

[r] No, not Berlin, that is. Nordschwelen, and in a city. It’s Bremen.

[i] Bremen.

We were about 10 people in an apartment.

Yes, was it a bit easier or still a lot of stress? As you then yes.

[r] We threw everything Syrian. We could talk.

[i] Okay.

[r] But the hard part is, we do. Were under supervision or protection of one. Employee, they were very nice, but. She does not speak good English, because most speak Russian. And German, but in the beginning. Was everything all right, she gave us. For example supermarket, Rewe and so and Aldi. Where we buy the groceries there, she showed us how we do the garbage. Separate, and from the rule here in Germany, one must. Also note that do not be so noisy because we are. 8 person an apartment, that is so difficult for the neighbor.

[i] We are very loud anyway.

[r] Yes, the Arabs. They are always loud. And also, that was also the case.

When did you first feel so good that you said, thank God, now I am. Here in Germany, war is Hintermir?.

Because the war is behind me. That’s the most difficult thing, yes I am in Germany. But my family in Syria, and there was in that time. So difficult in Syria, and so bad. Yes and we can’t always make contact.

[i] Yes.

It was at that time also in our village, and my families. Has left our village, and I do not know where gone. Yes and was the time is so difficult. Yes and, I also said nicely, we have contact with them. Colleagues who live here in Bochum. They have recommended Bochum to me with it. We went to Bochum afterwards. In the beginning was also difficult, because only one person. From us, there were 5 people from our village. Only one found a small apartment. That was only one room, Yes we are. We have lived with him, and now she catches. For example, one can say the new way. Because we have to think about the papers, how it works. How can we find an apartment.

[i] How should we first. Let’s understand how it works here in Germany?

[r] Yes.

[i] That’s a whole different one. Life as what you know in Syria.

[r] And in the beginning. Is it difficult if a refugee of an apartment. To find yes, but thank God, I have one. German family who knows us and also with the help of. Mr. Youssef, his name is Omar Abou Zahi, he has. Also helped me, also with, and he always helps me. When we make an appointment and translate them. It worked, and I have now first found a small apartment, this is for one person. And I have.

But it’s also important that you get an apartment. Otherwise you can’t get your family, it’s also the law.

Yes, I should have an application. I for example. Prepare the papers for my family.

[i] Yes exactly.

[r] And that was it. In the beginning there is a little bit of Schwieirg, I have with the language. Language course started and we were still five people in one room.

[i] Still.

With problems, I’m looking for an apartment, I have to speak German. Learning, I have to think about my family because the foreigners. Office, the first two months was all mixed up. But then it worked, I have an apartment, and managed. I could also learn in peace alone, and the appointments too. Done, the workers in the foreign office was very nice. And you understood the problems. And, yes, the first good feeling was when. My wife has an appointment in the embassy, in the German embassy in Lebanon. But that is very positive.

Yes, but it takes time. I was here in July 2015 but mine. Wife and my son, are to Germany at the end of August. 2016 came.

[i] Was intended for you, one. Quite a long time? Nope? But seen that way for the German bureaucracy? That was okay, it took other families two or three years until you came. And they always wait nocht biis today.

That was very good there in. I get the three years stay, only in one week. And that was so fast and that was very good.

[i] Yes, that was very positive. And then your family finally came, woman with child?

[r] yes.

I’m sure you were very happy about that. Really I have my son who was my son. 9 month old when I left him there, yes and. He comes only after, he was two years when he came here to Germany. But he doesn’t know me, he only knows my parents. Because you got the education from my parents, he knows me. Only on the Internet.

[i] Yes.

[r] Yes, but. That was very nice.

[i] Of course, that’s very nice. This fate is very dysentery. But that’s a good thing. Also normal, you can also show your feeling that you’re so much about it. Sad or happy, that’s not the worst, the most beautiful thing. But you did it, Dr., and you did it. They brought the family here, they got a lot out of it. And shows a lot of strength with Him, that also has a lot of strength. Tasted, now they are here, woman is here, child is here and you are him. Man who has to do everything, and responsible and so on. Somewhere, you are happy but then there is even more work for you.


[i] You would also have to start again, everything from scratch the whole registration. Here is a lot of bureaucracy? Or?

[r] Yes, that’s true. Do you have to register for the family. In citizen’s office, in foreign office, my wife had to extend passport. We have to go to the embassy in Berlin there, so still. Extending for the passport, we also have to go after the kindergarten. For our child also search. Also I have daily in two schools. Learned one in the morning and another in the afternoon. And now my wife also has to start with language too, she is. Also pharmacist, she has beautiful in Syria. The A1 certificate also get. Our way is a bit long. We also have to do as much as possible. Make it shorter.

[i] Yes, of course.

[r] And but. To this day I can say that it works, I have. B2 certificate in German. I have also passed the technical language exam. And a year, hospitation done here in Germany, and now I have. The employment contract, and I start working, next month. My wife has also learned German here and B2 certificate. Has two months also in a pharmacy. Hospitation done. But you would get pregnant and you must. She gets a baby and you would have to take care of the baby, maybe next year. Start working to find that for us also baby. Yes, but the problems remain the ones we think of ours. Parents in Syria.

[i] The family there. I notice beautifully. In conversation, you had no time for yourself, you had no time for. The free time, you were always busy around the clock, you have a lot. Achieved in a short time.

Yes, that was completely different than in Syria. In Syria, we always work and go to the restaurant. Also to visit, we always go on holiday. By the sea, two, three days. That here in Germany was always difficult, we must always learn German, learn German. Remember the date on the weekend. You go here to buy, yes you don’t have enough money.

[i] To do something, because actually. I would like to ask you about your cultural life here? How did they? Then your cultural life, your tradition? Do you cultivate your tradition? Or is there no more time for it, because. For what you want to achieve and what you have made beautiful. Don’t I know if there is any time left for you? To do something like I said?

Yes, maybe, that is. We went to the swimming pool several times, but not. We went to Xanten once, that’s one of those. Old town, so old Syrian town. But not planned a month. What to do because we must study intensively, then my wife. Would pregnant, we must also pay attention she was in third month. Yes and after that, after delivery with a baby, and that was.

[i] do you have hobby?

Yes, of course, travelling.

Do you like to travel, that’s your hobby?

[r] Yes, and bicycle. Riding and also reading.

[i] I can pretend to be nice. With reading and what you have achieved beautifully. Mr [name] , future? It’s nice for you now, I say almost for sure. You have planned and achieved this, I hope you will do more. To reach further.

[r] I can say. It’s not quite clear yet, yes.

[i] Okay.

[r] We’re thinking. Still for the future for us and for my parents. And my children, there are three different things here, maybe for. Our children, here is security, they can get used to it here. They have friends here too. And you also speak German. For me and my wife. We also have to think about how our profession will continue. I have to say that my documents are not certified in embassies. That means I have to take another exam here, my wife also has to get the certificate. Admit and we always think of ours. Parents, thank goot, to this day nothing has happened and they are. Healthy. But. That’s difficult to decide we want. We hope in the future, I and my wife work, so that is. It’s easy to decide.

[i] Yes. Definitely. So free time is now, of course. Not so the topic of us. But culture in your country, what you did in Syria in your village. Great celebration, if Christmas, if Easter, you could do that too. Here experience, we try to do this here, it is difficult. Yes, but we usually try. In Easter or New Year’s Eve. To book a room. You have once worked. And the hall here costs so much money and we get two. Time the chance, Mr. Reihemann, a pastor in. Saint Joseph, she has rented us the hall three times until today. And we had met there.

And beautifully celebrated?

And with Arabic music, Arabic dancing.

[i] It is important.

Yes, but the way you know it at home. Cultural life, you go for a walk once a week, Friday. Gone, or with you now every Sunday, you go to. After that the family meets for lunch or something. Here one has cultivated this cultural life as far as possible. Or here is not so much time for it, or every day visits at home? Without calling, without an appointment, it makes a difference, doesn’t it? Normal.

[r] is with me, was. I had my private practice, I do not make appointments on weekends. Yes, and I would have been nice. Enough money for the spare time or. Spend. Here I must, I like to go somewhere. Findeich my son is happy.

[i] Happy is. That’s what I do Yes. Because also there are differences, maybe what is interesting for me, is boring. For my son, but we came to Germany. Because of our child, that’s why my child must be happy here.

Yes, that’s true, and for children you can do some things they don’t make so much money. Costs, the children are happy when they spend time with their parents.

That’s true.

[i] When you walk in the fresh air, on the playground.

[r] Riding a bicycle.

[i] Yes, I said so, playground, playgroups. Important for children, but you are also very anxious to have a nice life. To find here again, Dr. My question now to you, have you regretted coming to Germany? I have. In the beginning I did not think. That I am going to Germany.

[i] The idea wasn’t there?

No. And because German language is so difficult. I drive to a country you can speak English. So that I can quickly have my certificate recognized. We had contact with many refugees, you were here in Germany, and they were. You were here earlier, and I can say thank you. Thank you for Germany, you have helped us.

[i] You have never regretted it, it’s okay?

[r] Yes.

[i] If you are facing the election today. How do you think about it, today so after all this experience. Would you come to Germany again? Or would you rather say I would go somewhere else? I’ve had a lot of difficulties here, haven’t I?

Yes that was. Thank God for the security. For the children, but for me, especially my wife. We have in Syria, I have studied in Syria about 12 years, that is so difficult. When I was here at the beginning. Yes, perhaps I will not leave my homeland. Yes, that was so difficult here. When man finish studies and then work and then I have in Syria. Also as a surgeon also in a hospital. With 5 dentists and I am until today. Three years and six months to start working again, that is. So difficult special for me, maybe as a boy man or something, that is. But easier.

You haven’t regretted it so directly, but it’s also not the best solution for your life. You have had many difficulties, you have too. Pressure, this is really life in Germany with a lot of pressure here. Connected, but other side. The positive side now that the law gives here, everything is organized here. Everything runs by appointment, that is relief for you, you are academics. And you know this regulated life.

Yes, you can learn that.

[i] And that’s what you need, and such a big Kaos in a country and so confused. Of course, that doesn’t make you any easier in your life. From one side it’s good, from the other side it comes, it’s very good, then the language comes. The time, the hurdles that then come? Do you feel at home here? Are they in Bochum? Have you come home or not yet?

Yes, of course, grateful for. The help, but it is difficult, you can no one but at home. Want to, there I had my own apartment. Here you have to rent first and also as a doctor. Is difficult if for example live from Jobcenter, another paid for him. Money so he can rent an apartment or. To buy food is special for me. A bit difficult. Yes and also, we have a baby. In Syria, my parents can take care of our baby when my wife. Work, here must my wife with. Our baby stay so that she gets big enough. So that we leave with childminder, or with. But.

Here you are all alone, you have to do everything alone. Even if you have a family here, you have to.

That’s completely different than it is here in Syria.

In Europe the society is, here the society is completely different.

Different culture. Yes, that’s true, I noticed that.

[i] With us there is not when I go. I have to organize before, maybe the other year. 2018 and 19 you have to make an appointment, but. You have an appointment, you just go in to your parents’ house, then the children stay here for now. Three hours or afternoon or something.

Yes, everything has to be done here after the appointment. Must make on the calendar, everything stands.

[i] Yes. And regulated.

[i] Here everything is so with limits, so there is. Yes, of course, many boundaries.

[r] I find here. Just a workplace, you always have to work here, work. Learning German, shopping or going to work. And less time for the family. That’s a big difference between here and Syria.

[i] Dr. what doesn’t please him in Bochum? What do you find? Missing in Bochum?

[r] Bochum is one. Quiet city, but. For example, I don’t like that when I go to the Wattenscheid. Station and find none for example. How do you say, lift us like this?

[i] Elevator?

Elevator, yes I think for that. Old people who can drive from Germany.

[i] Isn’t Barierre Frei? If you have prams, then you have to go up the stairs.

The delay is always from the train and so on, I thought. In Germany is always at the appointment is so punctual, you have to man. Be punctual, but I always find. Train is late and how can you achieve that?

[i] Not everything is perfect here either.

[r] Yes.

[i] What do you find beautiful in Bochum? What is important for you in Bochum?

First I have to say, the residents here in Bochum. Very nice, always helpful. That I can say quickly I have contact with Five German. Family and she has always helped me with the appointments, with that. This is completely different here, I am a stranger to the people and you help me. And you don’t know.

[i] Who are you?

[r] Yes. This is here, and Bochum is a small town. Can man, for example. The dates, you don’t have to drive so far.

[i] You find everything.

Everything nearby.

[i] Everything is around the corner.

[i] Shopping, school, kindergarten, that’s nice.

[r] Yes.

[i] Everything around, City Hall plays a big role? For the Syrian community here in Bochum, they always find Rathaus, and where the bell is here. Very nice place, and they all meet. That’s kind of.

Yes, of course the place for the dates. Yes, if my wife tells me where we meet, I say next to town hall. Yes, that is town hall is. Very nice place. With many buildings.

[i] Do you think that’s nice that so many Syrians. From your country your home country are also here in the meantime or there are sometimes so. Problems, conflicts, one is like that, the other is like that. That the German people has a completely false image of the Syrians, how do you feel? Like that?

Yes, everyone has. Own problems, other. For example, my wife came to Germany after a year. As the other one, she got the papers later. His family must also come later. One has also lost such papers, that is. Also, everyone has a problem, completely different. But they all stay here in Bochum.

[i] I believe you. I didn’t understand my question correctly, you think it’s beautiful for you. That there are a lot of Syrians and the people here the inhabitants have the right picture? When I speak to you as a German woman and I tell you I have an opinion of Syrians? Is that the right opinion or is there always so many wrong things. And you think that’s the right picture, don’t you? People are so different and they break many things.

[r] No, until today. The people I think Syria have good orientation here. I have also read several times. They are beautiful, the Syrian refugees. They make a small percentage with have problem. Or so, not as much as others who have been here for a long time maybe.

I can also confirm that, you integrated well here, in a short time. And they also try to avoid problems and stress.

[r] I think when I heard of German people I know well. The Syrians have quickly learned the German language and are after it. Three years almost 50 % have also started with the work. That’s very very good.

[i] Very positive.

If you also work, then don’t think for the wrong way.

[i] Yes, if you have the opportunity today to go to Syria. If all is well, you would say, Okay, now I was here three years in Germany. And now the decision has come, I’m going home, or not anymore? You say no, now I have started here, I must now.

I have to go first. Try to build the future here. And maybe if everything is quiet in Syria, I’ll go there. Vacation or something.

[i] Or so normal to live there.

For me that is so difficult, you have to buy your own home. And practice, that’s for me.

[i] Unimaginable. Yes at the moment, unimaginable, I think too. That says yes, Okay, now I’ve started here, and I have to finish that first. But if you have a German passport, you can still make a visit. And you can go there and look.

[r] Yes, that’s right.

[i] That develops over time, but. Today you don’t know, there are so many secrets, so many unknown ones. You can’t read the future, you can only have that hope.

Yes, and to this day there aren’t any, they are, refugees haven’t caused a big problem, and I believe that.

[i] This is also positive.

Positive, yes.

[i] The role of the community here within bochum that you network with each other. Be, you can talk to each other, make phone calls, visits, appointments. You have told your brothers or sister is here in Essen.

Yes, in Essen.

[i] Sister or brothers?

[r] Sister.

[i] This is also beautiful for you.

[r] Yes, it is, too.

[i] And also for the children, the aunt. Is there.

[r] Yes, of course, that’s why mine is. I was there, too. I went to eat so that we could live next to each other. Maybe we can always, contact one another in the month there go. Yes, that’s different, in Syria we can meet every afternoon. My sister lives in one. Near me 7 km and I see you only once every two months.

[i] The time here doesn’t allow for daqs man can’t. Have you registered your child beautifully in kindergarten?

[r] I have mine. Child registered in kindergarten but is difficult thing, he gets no place for. The lunch, he has nice a place for lunch for this year, but for next year. Does not get room for lunch, because we had a baby at home. And my wife stays at home, then he just has to stay there until five o’clock. And that is difficult, because my wife also wants to learn German, and must also. I don’t understand that very well. Here in Germany.

[i] Perhaps it would be better to regulate this, more. Kindergarten places for working people, all the children. Full time.

And especially my son has to go to school next year. Go if you only in the year. 25 hour to 12:00 pm to go to kindergarten.

[i] Until 12:00, no. That is more, until 17:00 o’clock.

[r] No, no, until 12:00. Yes, only 4 hours or 5 hours.

[i] This is too little.

Yes, and then he goes to school, he can’t speak German well. Because the children are here first 4 hour just playing.

[i] Of course. They come with power, and you just want to keep busy, maybe you can? Introduce him where else to announce?

I have my son in Four Kindergarten. Registered, we are always on the waiting list. And the hardest thing, if you have a place in a kindergarten, then come. Something else.

Because, you nice what have the others have nothing yet.

[i] Do you have a lot of time for the family? Despite this everyday stress, and you are the head of the family. Is there any time left for the family at all?

[r] Until today. Enough time, but when I start working. Work until 19:00 your late, and the children must. At 20:00 sleep.

[i] Who will take care of the children?

[r] My wife.

[i] When do you have to get out early?

[r] Me.

[i] To work, when do you go?

[r] That’s different because. I have my contract is 38 hours. Per week, and also once Saturday morning. Yes, I can say at 9:00 am until. Yes.

[i] Until 19:00 o’clock.

[r] With an hour break.

[i] Is also long day. That means you will both work, you work outside and your wife. Is at home.

Yes, and even if only. The man who works alone doesn’t earn that much. Money.

That’s not enough either.

Must both work, but. Go, everything goes, and goes easier too.

[i] As I know you. With your commitment, you will hopefully manage that. And your wife will be able to do that, starting a family isn’t easy.

Yes, of course.

[i] Family needs a lot of time, family needs a lot of money. Whether it’s in Syria or in Germany, it’s the same everywhere. Children need a lot of care, and are expensive, now you have. Two small children, would you like to have more children?

That must be done. Here we think so much. Want to have a girl, but it doesn’t work.

[i] Only the boys are coming, yes, boys are too. God’s gift.

That’s good, health.

[i] Their parents? Are they happy?

Yes, of course, especially my father.

[i] They are certainly very very proud. About that, with us when a girl comes, they’re not so happy about it. Boys, that’s very special, of course.

The Arabic culture.

After all this experience, here in Bochum? And everything you’ve experienced beautifully, you can share with me. What do you think about your feelings here in the Ruhr? In Bochum, how do you see it?

[r] Can you do it again?

[i] How do you see your life here in Bochum, would you like? How do you see Bochum as a city, as a place?

I love the quiet city, I think here the city is good, and I have. Looking for a place nearby, with it. I do not change the city, and is also works. I need next month in one. City here only 12 km.

[i] That’s good.

Yes, because we have lived here and everything was in. All right, there goes Four Buses, and the S-Bahn. And there are doctors nearby and. The colleagues and the relatives here and the Germans. Which we know, I do not change again to other city. And then the feeling everything strange again.

[i] Do you have any so Rasistic? Contacts or someone was angry with you, or do they have the feeling. Here in Germany, strangers are not welcome. Did you experience that in a situation? Did you feel that? With you?

[r] No, no, nobody with me. That never happens until today.

[i] Nobody was rude to you?

Special about the employees, you always are. You’ve always supported me and you’ve always helped. Which I can call the Mrs. Blaske in. Jobcenter has always supported me in the course too. Pay, and also. In foreign office, Mrs. Schurmann told me. That is great to master the German, if you can work I too. Quickly make the application so as to stay indefinitely. Yes, she was always motivated and has us yes. Helpers and the German family here, until today for three years. And six months make a good contact with him, no problem. With neighbor also to this day I have in the beginning. I was alone in my small apartment, and all mine. Family have come to Germany, we have changed the apartment, which for two years. We live there, until today everything is okay.

[i] Beautiful. That’s very positive news that you didn’t experience anything bad here. How does the nutrition work, how is it? Was the food here? Was it foreign or was it good? How was shopping with bread? Maybe you tell us a little bit?

Yes, in the beginning two months that’s so bad because it’s in Neubrandenburg. No Arab or Turkish shop, we also have to have German bread. Or eat toast, yes the name of the thing we can not. For example I want to buy Joguhrt but the Joguhrt comes with me. Other fruit.

[i] Fruits. We don’t know at home.

Special also at the beginning with water. Normally in Syria there is only Still Water, but here. If we must drink, then comes water, mineral water carbonated.

[i] You don’t know that, isn’t it common?

[r] But we have to go step by step. The good experience and we can know which we need to buy.

[i] Yes. Have you ever invited someone to your home? And did you offer him Arabic food?

[r] Yes, several times. The German family and the pastor, and the Arnold family, we always make contact. We also invite him to Arabic food, and we have too. As a parish feast, that was two years ago in Joseph Church, an Arabic. Food offered, and that was very nice.

[i] They love our food. Our Arabic cuisine, the Syrian specialty.

[r] Yes.

Do you also love German cuisine? Do you also like German cuisine? Beautifully tasted any dishes?

[r] Yes I once did. Tried it, but I don’t know the name of the dish. There’s a big market like that, potato with it. Dutch sauce, as they say. The witch, pig witch.

[i] Waw.

[r] And what else. And also, so much, you eat here so much with fish.

[i] You haven’t had any problems with that.

[r] Yes.

[i] And all the things you can find today. All the specialties you have. I would love to do that for you. Giving the key word that you just end this interview. I would like to thank you for this opportunity. You did a great interview in German, I think it’s so nice. I can only motivate you to continue like this. I wish you a lot of strength and patience and also a lot. Happiness for your future, because you do not make your future alone but there are so many. Other people together with you at the boat. I wish you only the best Dr. Shammas, you are a role model. For many people who are here in Germany. Thank you very much for this opportunity. That you are with us today, and that you are. We have been allowed a part of your life too. To hear, I have also learned many beautiful things from you. That one should never give up.

I would also like to thank you for them. Support for the refugees and yes also. And also for the interview. And I hope I could take a picture of our homeland. Or those who also live here in Germany. Or they also offer, and yes you say. Thank you for everything.

[i] Very gladly and thank you very much to you.