Welcome Mr. [name] to the European project Oral History. Today the 24.02.2019 in city Bochum. Especially in the Humanitarian Solidarity Middle East e.V. in Bochum. I am [name] the Fieldworker today with you. Imagine that and have you brought us here today? Welcome to you. In this program also for the opportunity to have everything guest with you. I am happy and feel well with you. I came from Syria, I only have. The photo of my father.

[i] Please show us the photo of your father. The photo of my father in my pocket. Because my father and I, after leaving Syria. My father died.

[i] Please bring the photo to the camera. Thank you. Thank you. From all over Syria. I just the photo of my father.

[i] Yes.

[r] Because. Father, God bless him after I left Syria. He is disturbed I did not attend his funeral.

[i] Sincerely. With sorrow. Thank you. You and your family.

[r] Thank you.

[i] Please introduce me to your name?

[r] I’m out. Syria, born in Halab.

[i] What is your name? My name is [name]. I welcome you warmly. Born on 1972. 1970 is in my passport and the correct one is 72. Because the date is not calculated correctly.

[i] Yes, tell me? Something about you, about your family we started with something sad? That your father died is all you were here in Germany, let’s change? Right. Me, two years ago before Silverster. Four days before New Year’s Eve I left Afrin city. Towards the Turkish border, I was looking for someone. Who brings me out of Syria, of course. Through a broker or a smuggler, and the people use them. They demand a lot of money and tell you that’s a safe way. You trust them, I found someone. I made a deal with him about a certain amount of gel. He brings me from Syria. ( An ambulance passes by).

[i] Later. Will talk in detail about how you got out, first? I want to start my dialogue with you you [name] , you are a son? A family, tell me about your family?

[r] Yes. From your father, your mother, siblings. I have a big family, somehow the nature of the family. In Syria, the family members are many. We are five brothers and six sisters. From the boy I am before last, three are older than me. One is younger than me, then we are five and six. Girl, 11 person, The father and mother. 13 person, thank God. We are all educated but somehow. Which of us would have to give up their studies so that the others can continue. I am awake in the village name. Sheik Schakali.

[i] Sorry. Belongs to Sheik al Hadid. I stayed there until fourth grade, after the fourth grade I am. Area moved to Jenderes, I am in Jenderes. Until the day I got there, I got up. Eleventh grade learned, after the eleventh grade, I had a year. I meditated myself for the Abitur, Arabic literature, after that I went to the army This is my level of education. What I learned when we were in the village, we were small. We know nothing about war and tragedy.

[i] Please tell me about your village? My village is in the middle of the mountain. Across the Turkish border, when we. Standing in the land of the country we see the area of Iskenderun. More than the Syrian area, On the border is high. And there is also a village below about one kilometer. We see the whole village like a picture and see the sunset on Torosberge. It was very beautiful I was very small and was not afraid. We did not know what fear was, all the mountains and valleys. And plains, which I have all walked on foot. Even before the Fagr prayer, I go out of the house. My mother sent me, I do not know what fear is in my whole life. I was afraid only once, my brother was sick who is older than me. ([name] becomes emotional and cries). My mother sent me to town. I remember the scene, I left. After the village I don’t know what time it was my mother wouldn’t know what time it was. She said Mama go get fruit for your brother he is sick. I would have to walk five kilometres to buy fruit. For my sick brother, I went to our village, there was a valley. The sound of dogs that I heard at that time was anxious. Where should I go, group of dogs, I’m alone it was dark I don’t know what time it was. I did not know the time, I hid. Behind the fence of the street, there was a wall I hid there. The groups of dogs ran from the mountain. From below where I hid, they didn’t see me. After that I walked on I did not go back. Because my brothers are sick I have to get him some fruit.

[i] Did you get him fruit?. Thank God I went on and got the fruit. After I went out to continue, The call to prayer early in the morning. He prayed that I knew at that time that the Mogen call had not yet taken place. I bought fruit for my brother.

[i] Who was up at this time of day? Until I reach the city center comes tomorrow. Because I was a child at the time I had learned in the third.

[i] How old were you at the time? Third grade nine or about ten years old. Ten years I had to walk five kilometers in the valley and mountain and forest. To city center. Our village was far away.

[i] Was far? That was the situation that scared you? That was the situation where I was scared where I wasn’t scared. Did Mama rejoice when you came with the fruit?

[r] Certainly. I went and came back, I told her something happened to me on the way, she was scared. She felt like she was sending me at an inappropriate time. The time is wrong. How are your brothers today? Thank God my brothers are healthy again, we’ve grown up. Time has turned with us, thank God.

[i] Where do you live? My whole family lives in Jenderes. In Jenderes, in the houses have work. On their interest, my sister is a teacher. At present lives in Halab. And the rest are all in Jenderes but the circumstances are hard now.

[i] Yes. The circumstances are very difficult, I talk to each period and period. There is no security, you do not insure apartment. Not your car and not your life is safe. Is very Shwer.

[i] Mustaft the family? Is still in the village, you went alone. No, my whole family is still in the village I went alone. Because I had sent my family to Germany. My wife and three children I said go to her. Now there is no life here, no future here anymore. Go you I take care of here. I organize my lives here and follow. They have come. About Turkey from Istanbul. About the sea they are after the Greek islands, from the Greek island. They are further away to European countries up to Germany.

[i] Later. Let’s talk at length about how your family went and how the family reunion was. But I want to talk to you about your life, your childhood? Did you have a beautiful childhood? Yes, thank God. We were relieved, happy and had played. We had been busy, we played in the settlement with the neighbor’s children. We had felt nothing, there was security. But the economic situation was difficult, my father was an employee.

[i] How did he feed you? Right.

[i] How do you eat and drink? We had also not spent much and had never asked for anything. From the father or mother because we know they have nothing. We never asked for anything, I go to school I need a pencil. A pencil sharpener, a Radigumi, I need a notebook a day or two before I say my mother. So that my mother can ask my father for a few liras. So that she gives me to buy a pencil or notebook, I know my father. His situation is difficult and we are all in school. The expenses are big, we don’t charge anything, my father has learned. Until third grade in his time, earlier.

[i] Only? He liked studying and he couldn’t go on. He wanted his children to go to school and continue, but the situation. The economic situation is difficult, he was a normal worker in agriculture. He cultivated the gardens, the land, ships, melon, courgettes. Oberginen, peppers in agriculture and had helped him. In summer, in summer we have no school the whole family works in this field. We help him so that he saves our expenses together for the school and the house. In the school holidays we all boys and girls. We work in agriculture to get money to help the father. Despite all that we were doing well. When you get old, they will care bigger with you.

[i] Yes. Tell me about your youth? And you are 14 – 15 years old, how would your personality be built up? And you became self-employed?

[r] Me. My two brothers are older at home and the father. Through his work he is always out working, we. For me was my older brother and the second one is younger than him, for me they were. Like my father, we did not dare. Talking to him directly is like Dad. He has a respect, just like a dad. That means we were committed. A family that is obliged is a common apartment. Five or six guys, five guys. 3-4 girls in an apartment with mother and father, three rooms. We slept together, the father alone, and the boys. All together and the girls all together in one room, we guess. Very the situation, this is our economic level, we are poor. We have to bear it.

[i] Yes, marriage? How did you get married, you fell in love with your wife? Or did your parents choose it for you? You are a son of a village, tell us about this tradition? What happened to you? I joined the army after my studies. I did my duty, I was a specialist in aerial photography. Two and a half years I served in the army. I came to town. I opened my own shop, a photographer. After two – three years by chance I met my wife. Through my work I got to know her, she came to me for business. We had made a phone call between us has become a number and conversation. After a while I talked to her about it. That I love you I would like to ask for your hand, she said I have no problem. I told my brother, my mother, my sister. The last for the father of course.

[i] Sure.

[r] At the time. My younger brother said I wanted to get married. We boys were about done with the army. And work, the beginning of our education. The material we could stand on our own feet. I said to my little brothers if you want to marry me. Will not marry I give you my role, marry you. And the older of me he is also not married, the father said. My son watch this marry also for me the same. I said no, I am not ready now I will not marry. I give my role to my younger brother, he had seen a beautiful older one. He got engaged, one week later my younger brother got engaged too. After that, after six months. I told the father I wanted to get engaged too he told my son. In six months we have had an engagement for two. That means we don’t have any money, where should we make a celebration for you at that time? Six or seven months had passed for the engagement of my two brothers. I had worked and saved money, I told him I don’t demand a Gled from you. The money for the engagement, thank God, I have, I pay everything myself. He said if that is so there is no problem after this conversation. I talked to my wife on the phone and told her we were getting engaged. I have explained everything to her I have no Gled, I am still a beginner and my existence. Is small, I will engage you but under the conditions after two years. Can I make a wedding, she said it is not a problem, I told her. Our situation is difficult, I have to cope alone without the help of my father or brother. She said it’s not a problem, and so on. I got engaged, after the engagement I told her we wait two years. I have a year and seven months I had the money for the wedding, I told her. I want to make wedding, of course, the two brothers who were engaged before me who had been beautifully married and were gone. I had the money and celebrated a wedding, thank God. I didn’t take any gled from my brothers or father not a Syrian lira. I have relied on myself in everything. My fiancée was a hairdresser, during the engagement time. We agreed and we bought a shop in. The place, she works in the place, I work in the city, she as a hairdresser and I as a photographer. Until the wedding date came. We had a shop together. And a capital, a deal. She didn’t take a lira from her family and I didn’t take a lira from my parents.

[i] I became aware of your early maturity and your ambition? And courage, where did you get that strength from? From. The circumstances I experienced and I loved learning. I have read a lot and sit in Gellesachften. Where the great ones are, I take the ideas and counsels from them. Education, I heard a lot. The discussions of people who have knowledge and experience of people. I had a lot of ambition to become independent and to build something on my own. I alone when I was young. 14 or 15 years old when I walked in the street. I am ashamed to take the same way back, I take another way, go back home. So don’t tell me this boy has left the street and is back after five minutes. 10 minutes, why??? I have protected my name and name my family, I walk across the street. Straight ahead, without mistakes, nothing, because of it.

[i] Yes. My name, call my family so I’m right.

[i] You are a man who has a lot of honour. Thank God.

[i] Tell me? You got married and started a family?

[r] Yes, I got married. Thank God, after one year I have the first child, a young man. His name is Joan, I called him Joan.

[i] His name is very beautiful. Thank you. My wife and I agreed. Not every year we give birth to one child and not too many children. Two years I have brought a second child too far, I called him. Rodan and two years also I got a girl. (it is knocked in the background). I called you Rosan, all names end almost the same. I called you Joan, Rodan, Rosan, thank God. They’ve all grown up, young men. They are studying in German schools now, but in Syria. My older son studied up to eighth grade, my second to sixth grade. And my daughter has learned to fourth grade in Syria, of course. First my wife has played a big role that we at and an institute. Music institute, private, a music teacher opened a music institute. In the city, a music institute he studied music. He keentdie grades, he founded a private school. And we know each other, the people have registered their children there. In this institute and we have registered our three children in the music institute.

[i] This is a good educational path with learning music? Thank God my wife is. A hairdresser, I am a photographer, that is normal that we are interested in. For the music, the children of the future of the children, the child is small he does not know. Where his future is, the parents know, they have to paint. And plan for their children and open the way. So that they can get away with it. When they grow up, they see themselves as musicians, artists. Thanks to their parents, their father. Do they pay money for it? Something symbolic.

[i] Or did the state pay? No, never, the institute was private. We paid money, symbolically. Just enough for the costs of the institute, it didn’t take much. My son played music with the tanbour, the bouzouki. And my second son played music on. Alquanoun.

[i] Yes. And my daughter played music on the violin. They had learned the notes. Now my son here in Germany, we registered him in the music school, he leaves. To music school, he has an hour every week. His teachers are from Turkey, he gives him notes, Turkish songs, Kurdish songs. Altanbur with right note, the teacher told him “You are a good one”. Schuler”. I.e. you are a good student. Because you play well, you know the note and understand. I give you a song, on the same day, second day he plays the song. My second son we have reported him, but Qanoun teachers do not exist. Here in Germany, Bochum does not exist at the time, they have told us when a Qanoun teacher. Come we will let you know so he can come. Excuse me, my daughter in school she also plays music. With a group with her teacher, the grade in school. She plays well.

[i] Did you? Much proud in this subject, also rightly so.

[r] Yes goot thank you, I am very. Sotz, man is proud of his children when they are good. And successful, the capital of man are his children.

[i] Your life in your village with your parents? Was the life situation with you? You were trying to make a living, was it a political situation or a religious situation? Or how did you live, your parents, relatives, grandma and grandpa in the village? Tell me about this atmosphere of the village where you grew up? It was in the village. Of course Muslims, in every village there is a mosque, my father and I as Muslims. Once a week he goes to the mosque when we were little we went. To the mosque or around the mosque, we wait until the older ones come out. We come back home together. In the village. Had we played a lot, we were very busy. We forgot the time, whether it was tomorrow, noon or evening. We were very innocent, we had no bad ideas, we had played in the evening. Boys or girls, of course small children.

[i] Yes.

[r] We didn’t feel any class differences. Or social we didn’t feel anything, we climbed the mountains. Through the valleys, all normal, we lived in the village. About agriculture, my father was a farmer, we worked with olives. We had sheep and goats. We had a donkey, we went with it. To the farm to get grass for goats and sheep. I was small, so our lives were very simple and down-to-earth. My brothers and I went to get the grass. And sometimes my mother sent me the food for grandpa. For our grandpa to the vineyard, we brought him food. He gives us one full of grapes to take home with us. So that you could eat it with siblings and mother, the atmosphere was in the village. Nice, the weather in our village is very nice. You cooks up, you see the mountain, you look down, you see the valley. You see the Turkish border, you see 15 – 20 km with the naked eye. You see the sunset daily behind the mountains. Toros mountains.

[i] That’s exciting to hear you, you have fun. When people listen to you. I have experienced all the events. I wish to go back to my village and see this view. After a while, if that’s what God wants.

[i] What was the festive atmosphere like? The atmosphere of the festival was. For us children that was very nice, we go. In front of the mosque celebrations that give us sweets, money. We take off our new clothes, the nature of the village. When they buy us new clothes and new shoes. That was our biggest celebration, let alone oath. In Eid there are new things the celebration will double, once the new clothes and the oath itself. The oath is double joy. What was

[i] ? The biggest event that happens in your year for the whole family? That brings joy at home, we from the East. The wedding means a lot to us, joy a lot of preparations. Right.

[i] The weekend has played a role in your life? Saturday and Sunday or from Monday to Sunday and doesn’t mean? Just like in Europe, here everything has a structure, everything is with an appointment?

[r] Certainly. The talk is now like 30-40 years I tell you.

[i] Yes.

[r] At the time. This time cannot be compared with this time. Only on Friday we had free, only on Friday. If we go to school and tomorrow is Friday we had a lot of fun, tomorrow is free. We sleep a little and go to nature. To the plain or to the mountain, so we went to the mountain a group. A group of children when a wedding is celebrated at the time. 30-40 years ago the weddings were rarity, in the village. Example every two, three manschal six months. So that a wedding is celebrated in the village, when a wedding is celebrated in the village people talk about it. Three days before the guests come from other villages. And every family stays. And sleeps three days before the wedding with a certain family. As guests, and earlier. The wedding lasts about three to four days. Even the kiosk owners bought things. For the Albeidar, the things go by, the people. The people are gathered, many children the people buy, salty nuts, sweets. And biscuits.

[i] Is special?

[r] Yes. Yes has a melody a taste a eat. And special memory, very special we had a lot of fun.

[i] Yes. The adults dance folk dance, we have played hiterher. We run behind the Dabke and in the middle of it. We run and play and had fun in our own way, we wouldn’t know. How to dance Dabke, we play and run.

[i] That’s a part of. Our culture and tradition.

[r] Right.

[i] We have come to Europe. A large part of our culture and tradition but certainly we can not. To do everything, we are in a European country. We come from an Arab country that is far away from difference. We. Are now here guests in this country, a beautiful country. The people are beautiful, the laws are beautiful. The laws serve the interests of the people. We have to obey the laws here and their rituals. Have respect for them, and we cannot leave all our traditions.

[i] Yes. Man is the son of the environment, he changes. Slowly, slowly, man changes his way of thinking, his morals. With increasing age, with his eye for life even when the old becomes old. The perception of reality by man varies little by little. Yes.

[i] Lord mustafa we continue and we talk about your lives in your country. You got married, you formed a successful family, you had children. How many children did you want to have with your wife?

[r] I had. Planned two children only two. But my wife likes the children, she does. Said we get three or four is not a problem, I said no, the upbringing. Raising children is not easy until you raise them. And growing up is a responsibility.

[i] Yes. The kind of work, I work my wife works. As a hairdresser and I work as a photographer, we have little time. We can’t do that if we have a lot of children, we can’t keep up with them.

[i] Yes. Since I am ambitious that my children are well educated and clean. And I can take responsibility for those who have to. Two or three children are enough.

[i] Yes. In what year did you think about leaving your country and why? When the circumstances were confused. In Syria we were a little far away from the centre of the units. Slowly, slowly, the cycle of war expanded. And moved from province to province. We live in the countryside, the war came a little later. We have persevered as much as we can. The regime and the opposition had problems with each other. We in the country nobody comes close to us we in the village, in the city is somehow. We are far from problems, as it looks when the fire burns takes everything with it. I have seen. Slowly the fire, the war comes close to us, my wife. She was ambitious to see. Europe used to be natural, and as. The circumstances have become so. I told her. The future of the children is no longer here, okay both of us. Have no problem to live here or die but the children, what. Are they to blame for what a child has when a war happens. The child is innocent, he knows no war, he does not know why is a war. Who fights against whom, they know nothing, I told her. Take the children, now there are people who go. In a way you come in Germany. We have decided to go to Germany, we have met. With my family I have the narrative would like my wife and my children. Send them to Germany, to Europe, they told you nothing was missing. Everything is fine, everything is working, yes, right, I am not missing anything. But there is no security, my life is not safe. My children also live that, nobody here is safe. In Syria, everything is at war, everyone kills each other. Everyone is bombing each other on one side, you are with one side the other side kills you. Are you with nobody who accuse you of one side and kill you? War, in war there are no laws.

[i] Yes. My parents when I talked to them like that, we said our opinion. Don’t go and don’t send your family, but I will. Didn’t see any future anymore I know, somehow I know. I see the news, international, Arab news. I hear stories from people from journalists. From the station, The future is ambiguous. When the problems happened in Iraq until now. It still lasts until now and there is no security, the security is heavy but the destruction. It is simple. We have decided my wife and children are coming to Europe. Later they send me a family reunion I am coming. To my family, I could not come directly because the decision what we made. Was something fast, and until I. Everything there under control, I need a year to liquidate my things. Until then my family is in Europe, live here and do me. Papers and family reunion, after one and a half years. I left Syria, fixed my situation there.

[i] Lord [name] in what year was that, in what year did you send your family.

[r] Four years ago.

[i] In 2000 and???? 2015.

[r] 2015, beginning. Early 2015 about, my children have gone inside the Turkish border. That stayed about a week in Turkey.

[i] With their mother or alone?. My wife and three children.

[i] Have you planned the way and the trip?

[r] I have planned. For the way, the trip everything I have planned with my wife. Did you pay? Did you pay money? I paid the right amount. How much did you pay? Approximately. I paid 5000 USD dollars. At the time.

[i] Yes. I paid

[r] 5000 USD dollars.

[i] Which ones did they take away?

[r] Without the simple paid things.

[i] Yes, how did they come, tell me which ones they took away. The wife and the kids? The hardest thing about leaving Syria is the hardest thing. What’s even harder is the meen. The most difficult thing is saying goodbye, isn’t it? The border?

[r] Of course, the goodbye is the must. It’s deadly when you break up with your family and say goodbye. You don’t know if you’ll see them again or not. You go to die, a wheel of happiness between living and dying. If you stay in syria you die 90%. 90% you will die if you go from Syria. 50% you will die and 50% you will not die.

[i] But the hope. Hope. Is great.

[i] And the dream. The dream of saving your family in the future. And the dream of your children that lets them go to die, to the sea. You go to the border, and the soldier. He who has the gunpowder in his hand, he can shoot you from afar, you could die. But hope and salvation is before your eyes, and Allah says so. You go.

[i] You have the family and children skillfully, tell? Which way? From the Turkish border. They went to Turkey, I was always in contact with them, of course. Every 5-6 hours I call them. Where they arrived beautifully, from Turkey. To the sea, with the smuggler, of course. With the Balm.

[i] Can they swim? No, they can’t swim, lucky chance, either. Die or save yourself. In the Balm should be only 15 people. Be on it. The smuggler was good, he only transported 35, they leave 45 on it. 40-45, but he was good, he only carried 35. Instead of 15, so, my wife. Is awake, so that the children of the sea do not get afraid. They drove in the evening, they were sitting in the middle of Balam. They were sitting inside and the adults were sitting around. On the side of Balam, it was like a wall for the children, they don’t see what is happening. The Balam driver. He can’t drive, the smuggler asked him you can drive a moped. He said yes, he said that’s exactly the same. He got in instead of staying in the sea for an hour. The Turkish water to Greece is two and a half hours. The screw of the engine was loose, two young men who had held the engine. And one drives the turned two and a half hours in the sea. Their departure takes an hour, of course my wife. After reaching the Greek islands, I talked to her, she told me. She said we told you is a matter of half an hour with it. So that you don’t get scared there. Yes, they arrived in Greece and stayed on an island. About a day, after that a big ship came. They carried it on the big ship. The smuggler or the city in the Greek island gave the police. Brings the immigrants together. They ride on the big ship and go to Athens.

[i] Yes. To the capital, the capital of Greece is Athens.

[i] Yes. From there they walked along the Genze. Or by train or mkit passanten cars. People walked a lot, hundreds of people walk on the streets. Private cars come to see a family with children. Of course, Europe is cold, not like our countries. When we are still warm, Europe is cold, they had light clothes on. They are frozen from the cold, on the border they gave them something to eat. They give something to the clothes. To drink, private cars let family get in. They take you where they want to go. Of course, they help you, a humanitarian aid. In a week they are. Arrived in Germany. That counts as lucky immigrants, one week, others took months.

[r] Yes, because the people. Those who came before are one and two Monte on the way. In the woods, they walked in the woods, they get lost in the woods. UNd different forbids and the police. On the border, arrest the people and take them to prison. Monte they were on the way, but in this period. Germany and the European countries have opened their borders to immigrants. In this period my family came and were of the lucky ones. During one week they could arrive in Germany after they arrived. I was a little relieved in Syria, I said they are now safe. Thank God.

[i] As they say, you breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, I rested, thank God. I have calmed down, I can now settle my matter bit by bit. You’re doing the paperwork for the families there. Send them to me and I will come. In any case, is not easy. For a woman to come alone with three children was meant to be your wife. A conscious woman is one of those committed women who want to do this alone. Her case settled, there was no language, no connection. Of course. Between Syria and Germany so that you know how life is here. Right.

[i] Or so, we see on television, but we had never visited here. Or we made a trip to know how the atmosphere is.

[r] Right. My wife has personality, will and is optimistic. Has a strong personality I trust her very much. I rely on her, and as they say in Arabic, sister of the man. One is not afraid for her, she was also in Syria. She does theatre performances and sings. From local team, there is a singer. In Syria, Aram di Kran, his name is he sings. A song of him my wife sings along in the Coral. Comes on television, Aran di Kran is a Syrian famous singer. People know him, my wife is Stark. She can get along, gets along with the children. She is ambitious, ambitious for something better, in my opinion. She is like men. Man needs not to be afraid of her, goot thanks.

[i] God protect her, Did she come here Clear? Did she make the family reunion for you? Yes, thank God.

[i] And you how have gone. Of course she got the papers running here. And made an appointment in Turkey at the embassy. In the German embassy in Turkey, in Istanbul, she booked me an appointment. And she has asked me for the sponsored documents, and I have in Syria. I had a lawyer, I demand from him. The papers, he gets them for me, I am a photographer, I have a computer. And scanner and printer, my papers I get, I scan. The and save in my phone. My mobile phone and she here passes that on to the city. I have all the documents I need. Skilful, and all the people who have traveled. To Europe about me in the city, they bring me the papers. I scan for them, even once I have made fun with my friends. I said I’d scan the papers for the people who travel to Europe. There is nobody here anymore, I see that the country becomes empty. The people save themselves the flee from the war, I said at the end. I want to see if nobody stays, I get my papers ready, I want to go too. In fact, I made my papers, I left too. I left at the time I could not. To Hawa door, Salam door of Syria and Turkey. Every door. Every corner has certain side. Certain Melizin, i.e. everyone. If I go to him, you will be interrogated or he will arrest you. Or he sends you back, you don’t know, a mysterious fate. The best is I go with smuggler. The closest border I make a smuggling operation better than when I surrender. For someone I don’t know, or stranger.

[i] Yes.

[r] I saw a smuggler. Of course before, my papers were complete. I got an invitation via my e-mail, I got an appointment. To the embassy, I should go to the embassy after New Year’s Eve. I saw a smuggler before New Year’s Eve he took me to the border. He certainly gave me security, our border is. One goes with you to the border, he takes you to a point. In the border there is one who works with us he hands you over. There for one person, he takes you with him and takes you to the Karnak. We said a good thing, this is a walk. The astrologers lied, even if they believed. The speech was never, never. Right, not like that, they took us to the limit. They left, they said you have to run straight out. You turn right, someone is waiting for you there. After one kilometre, there were seven of us. Three men, of course. And four women, we also had a baby who was. Two months old, and a little boy one and a half years old, his father carries him. When we cut the border, the wire border. The woman. Got her baby for the young man who was with us, she was. She searches among the grass at night. At eleven o’clock at night, she searches between the grass. The bag for the baby where the milk is inside. And the child’s things.

[i] Yes. After her, about 100 meters. There is a small valley, they have discovered us. The Turkish soldiers, when they felt a movement. Not normal, there was a BTR, soldiers with BTR. Military mechanism that discovered us. They turned on the car and started shooting. They also turned on the projector, us at the time. I said to the people who are with us, the woman. Searching the bag is away from us. 20 meters in the night, I said to the men. Let’s go, save us so that we don’t all get arrested. And arrest us, there is no problem if she is arrested alone. One sacrifices herself, better than seven. Die, the bag. I have two pockets on my back, it. Was rainy, twilights and mud bottom. Farmland, we are in the mud. With this smeared in our backs, we ran so that we could save ourselves among the olive trees. At the Turkish border, and the woman. The soldiers were very close to us, we fled. And the soldiers came to her, and the little one to our hands. We carried Him, we left. The police ran projectors, we see that. After 700 meters there was a police station on the mountain. They turned on the projectors and the soldiers were shooting. The dogs were shooting and the noises from the soldiers vehicle. The BTR, we said enough, either they take us by force. Or we will die with a bullet, a Divine ability. Have we saved ourselves, we have walked.

[i] What happened to the baby? The baby was with us.

[i] And the woman. And the woman behind us, what happened, I don’t know.

[i] Until today you do not know? I still don’t know what happened to the woman. We have come. I walked about 3 km, a strange ground. Mud, rain, twilight, cold. Fear, death follows us. We walked four hours, three km we would have to avoid. We walked for four hours, right, left, straight ahead. One in a village opposite of us in Turkey. Has Läser he should receive us, we talk to him. He just says where we are, we don’t know where we are, we don’t know the direction. I told him on the phone, make us a laser, he said I don’t dare to do that. I told him to turn it on, he said if I turn it on, I’ll see us coming and arrest us. I see a point so we can get to the point. (An ambulance passes by), we were standing there. Everyone in a corner so we can see where the laser comes from. So we can go in that direction, he made one. Once, I said make it out I’ve seen it. I said we must all go in that direction, we have gone of course. On the way, in the mud, we. Three have taken off our shoes, boots. Without shoes.

[i] Barefoot. Barefoot, we ran because. From all the mud I could not lift my foot anymore. I said this foot will break two pockets on my back. The mud and the fear, a problem, I ran barefoot. We have gone, there a man has received us, he has us. A car worried.

[i] The baby is still with you? The baby with us first when we arrived at the man. Were two men, of course. When I arrived, I recognized someone, he was from us. From our village, I knew him, I said. That’s you? He said welcome [name] , he also called [name] . I told him this baby would take him. That’s for a woman, he’s two months old. The woman wanted to come to her husband. On the Turkish side, her husband works for a Turkish man. In the village, that’s the son of XY. His father is here in Turkey, in Turkish village, I don’t know what that village is called. She gives the baby to his father and his wife is on the border. She is killed, would be arrested, is lost. I do not know, she is giving the baby for her father. And the father goes to Janderma, the border police asks for his wife. What her fate is. We went to the garage, of course we are barefoot. When I went there, I saw many people from the province of Edleb. Also many people, in the garage. All barefoot, without clothes, children tremble from the cold. I went to the washbasin to wash my hands, I see. I look at myself in the mirror, I was afraid of myself. I was full of mud. Whether one has done himself, I have washed my hands. My jacket, it was made of leather, I put water on it. Because I could not take off my clothes, I die of cold. I had in the suitcase, I have two change things. Clothes. The Unseco, red cross, next to the garage of Turkey. He built a tent. A big tent for the refugees, I went there. I lay down there, I wanted to get up and change, I couldn’t. I sat on the chair and four hours a night. With fear of running, two suitcases on my back and barefoot. I have arrived there, broken, at the end. I said I had to undress I said to my friend, come hold tight. Hold my hand and lift me up, he held my hand, I got up. I went to a lot of trouble to get changed. I had a pants reserve, my college, his clothes were ready. From the mud, he said brothers if you have a reserve pants for me. I said please, I gave him a pair of pants. And I gave him socks, he put them on. And I changed my clothes, on the second day, I had no boots. The second day in the morning, is one. Smuggler came, one hands us over the other. I told him I need a boot, I don’t have one, I went barefoot with him in the taxi. Tomorrow morning we went to a shop, I bought a pair of boots in Turkey. I bought a boat came the have us. In the Bolman, a bus. 18 hours ride by bus until we have reached Istanbul. I was tired. I was sick, I was parted. We called, they came to the garage. With a taxi, my relatives, I wanted to get out of the car. Did not go, I got up from the chair stood in the hallway, I said I can not. I said let someone come help me so he can get me off the bus. He carried me behind my arm and slowly pulled me off the bus. That you were sitting or getting up I had a problem. I sat. In the taxi, and in front of the apartment he helped me to get off. From the car, I am with them, they are relatives of mine, I know them. I stayed with them for three days, lying on the mattress. Of course when I went barefoot, without boat, my feet. Were all injured, I waited three to four days until the swelling went down. And the pain has subsided, after that. I was in another place, in Istanbul a little away from me, the children of my sister. Three children lived there, they work there. They drove me to them by car, I am. Stayed three months in Istanbul, after three months. I got a visa I came by plane after. Düsseldorf airport, I arrived here my family has welcomed me. I wasn’t so happy, that was a dream to come to my family. I go and meet my family from the beginning and see my children. Even. I had talked to the phone, my children, after one year the children. When they grow up, I hang up. Because I can’t stand it. I put on amit they don’t see me I cry, I miss them very much. The money of all the world is zero, against the children and family. The family. And the security, the future of my children is the most important thing in this world. Money is not security. And the optimism in life, they leave you. Life and start from scratch.

[i] Do you feel safe? Hamdellah I feel safe here, the safety of my children. My children are safe too.

[i] Did you not rest that on your laurels? That you made that decision? No, I have never based it, because there is no security in my country. Now, I didn’t regret coming here. It should bring peace and security to my homeland and everything will be as it used to be beautiful inshallah. We will then see if we return or go for a visit. As the future decides. Do you have contact with your parents? Do you communicate with them? Yes, I call every week, every ten days, sometimes I don’t have time. We also have enough to do, time is short, I talk to my mother. After I left Syria my father was 75 years old. 77 years old he had Athma. When I was in Istanbul and left Syria. His father died one and a half months ago. I talked to my mother, my brothers and sisters. There is no security, you have a car. In this street either it is picked tomorrow, or they let it explode. Surviving is hard, there is no work.

[i] Mr [name] . We continue with our conversation that doesn’t end with you arriving in Germany. You flew by plane from Turkey, you came legally with the family reunion to Germany. You arrived in Germany, tell me about the first moment and the reception. From your family and from the joy which is indescribable. When I arrived at Düsseldorf Airport, my family had been waiting for me. With my children. With the brothers of my wife, they were outside. When I arrived and saw them I did not believe. I did not believe my eyes to see my children and my family, and I did not. Believed that I was in another world, I was in another world. Now I am in another world, I didn’t believe that. And my children, hamdellah they had grown bigger, one more period. I had not recognized them when the means of communication. The phone with sound and picture. I wouldn’t have believed my eyes that my children had grown so big. In my eyes they were always small.

[i] How did you see them? When I saw them, an indescribable feeling. Did you see them well-groomed? Hamdullah, I have seen them styled and have clean clothes. All modern, happy. I was happy because they were so happy. I was glad they were safe. I could save my children from hell, and to them. Coming was a great feeling, the family.

[i] They took you home? Yes, we came home, I didn’t go. I didn’t have a job with it, I didn’t love in the camp. I came home, my apartment was ready. The apartment was furnished. The job center had paid for everything, my wife was. Had bought everything, El Hamdellah had bought the apartment. It’s not very nice, but thank God. Is acceptable, since then, thank God. I’m looking for another apartment, El Hamdellah. After two and a half years of searching, we have found a new apartment. In a few days, inshallah we move, an apartment that suits us all.

[i] Yes, Bochum? Why Bochum of all places? When my family came to Germany, they weren’t here. They were in a southern city, I can remember their name is Lanson. Lansod, the family had called me, we want to move. From this Budesland, because here no one, no one we know. There are no Syrians here, as you say beautifully. We are lost when we see Syrian people. So that we don’t feel so foreign abroad, she wanted to move to Bochum, there. Give of us known, which we know very well, I said is okay, you can move. I have come they were beautiful in Bochum. Bochum is beautiful, is safe. Are there good means of transport, every point in Bochum is reachable. U-Bahn or S-Bahn or bus, no matter where you go. You walk 200 meters you find a connection. Public, the weather is nice. It’s not as cold as we thought, there’s always snow in Europe. There is a spring, an autumn and a winter. The weather is nice, the residents are nice, Hamdullah. I have met many people so far, German. Everything is beautiful and good, but once by chance. I have found a German woman, she is. She has climbed, she has changed her facial features, I am not satisfied with us. By chance we had come from the swimming pool and park. In the evening all were about Syrians, and a German. Woman got in that sat so. That she is afraid, we looked at her, we just sat. Not, we just sat. Germany or Syria? I was new here, a girl. Can speak German well, she was standing next to her when she made the facial expressions. Bad somehow, she still said. The girl told her, no we are in Germany. No, we are with you in Germany, do you have a problem? She was quiet then, she didn’t say anything anymore. This is the only unpleasant situation that happened to me here, everything else is okay. If you are good, people try like this. Good to you,

[i] How are you with the language? El Hamdellah, I came and stayed at home for three-four months. I got mail from Jobcenter saying you should come there. When I went to the Jobcenter, I found. A stage full of people like me, everyone has appointments on the same day. We were about an hour in the playhouse. There was an interpreter and a woman talking. And there was the computer on the wall, come. Photos that explain, we. Want to send you to the course and action. Everyone like his situation, the one can do a course. With measure, a course alone. I have explained to us there are several priorities. I make language, integration, contact. We said okay, no problem, I was ambitious to go short. Since I have come I wanted to recover briefly a month or 15 days. No problem, I was motieviert, I prefer to study, I love the language. I like to learn, like contact with people. I make contact with people, talk to them, I like to talk. With people, my nature. I am social, I like to talk with my neighbors, with my friends, I call. Daily, I see you all two, three days, we meet. I like the social person, they have us. Papers with the address given, you go to action. The second day, because I am flexible, and thus. I am not late to school, to the institute, I have called. My friend, I have an address, new school. I don’t know, these are three different means of transport, with the subway I have to go. With the S-Bahn and the bus until I arrive. I said this is very difficult for me, I also can not talk you should go with me. He’s been here for two years before me, he said okay, day later. In the morning, we left, the note with and with addresses. How we should go, he knows that, we have seen the address. We saw the school so I could go to the appointment later. So that I arrive tomorrow morning in the school punctual. The day before, I looked at esmir. It took us three days to fill out papers and sign them, I don’t know. What I sign, but this is the system and the protocol. I have to sign, I am living there. Completely one year, language course. Illiterate A1, measures. I worked in the kitchen, the work was not hard and the course. Was good, beautiful we were. Little about 8-10. Our teacher was very good. Dear and quiet, very noble, his learning method was beautiful. I learned from him, I profited from him. Thanks to him, in one year I was only two days away. I am committed, very ambitious and I want to learn. I like to learn, I can go home, have patience three or four hours at home. I can not learn without when I learn a word, I want more. El Hamdellah, I stay a year, I was not there for two days. I had three days appointments at the job center and foreigners office, once. In a company so that we visit an apartment. I had three days appointments, and two days I was tired, I couldn’t walk. Nevertheless I got mail you have absences. My friends had every month 4-5 days or a week. Apparently I am very good.

[i] Here are very many appointments, bureaucracy? Right, here daily. I have a family with three children, we are five, daily we have. Post. The mail is kind of heavy when I open it. I don’t know what’s inside, hamdellah there are clubs. Non-profit associations, there is Ifak, we know someone there. He helps us or he sends someone who helps with the appointments. Or by post, I go to him he translates for me, he tells me, this letter is like this. You have to go or appointment, or you pay. That made it easier for us. With the Ifak e.V.

[i] The translation costs money. And there isn’t much money for the translation here.

[r] Of course, there are translators. They work, you go there, accompany you to the appointment, he wants money. You go there and show the letter. So that he reads and says what that is, he needs money. The money is not enough, too much mail and too little money. If we pay the appointments and that translates, there is nothing left for us to survive.

[i] Your life at home, you tell the language. How is your social life in Bochum? Do you have the feeling you are at home, you have arrived at the place you are looking for? I have friends here that I know from Syria. There are 5-6 families I know from Syria who live in Bochum. And they visit each other, every week they have to visit us. Or we go to them, Saturday or Sunday. I love Bochum, it’s beautiful, little one. Is not so big, the human can not get lost in big cities. Man can get lost, has a nice climate. People are beautiful, small, they have friends I know. The course was effective, of course. Now I have myself after a three month break at home. After that I got mail. How does it look, what did you do, I told him I learned a year. A1 and action, simultaneously and daily 8 hours. One hour there and one hour back. 10 hours, I have made 3 months break, after that I am. Gone is not a problem, was the other employee than mine. You should not take any action, you should only take a course. Only, I felt sorry for him. Measure 10 hours a day, I said so. That’s how the employee said I can’t put a backwash. He said go, now A2 I do. A2 at the Ifak organization. My teacher is good, we get further, but our teacher. It’s fast, she explains fast, I told her. Sorry I’m not. Since two years here in Germany and who are with me in the course, are four years here.

[i] Yes.

[r] I learn with them like they do. I said she has to slow, slow, she said no. Good if you’ve been here for two years and you’re learning with them, that’s. Gu,. Give Gaz. Yes, you told your social life. Your friends are here you tried to cultivate your culture, cultural programs? Have you contacted or participated? Yes very much. How do you spend your free time, what do you like? What do you love to do? Didn’t you tell me? Since my children learn music. Daily, in the evening they play music, I have a friend. He plays and sings, from Syria. He visits us, he plays music with my children. Together, that’s nice, we go to the park. Saturday or Sunday, the children play. Football, we barbecue and meet with each other. Two-three families, we listen to music. We talk, the parks here are very beautiful. Is safe playgrounds for children. Are well done here, exellent. Rarely we find something like this in our homeland. In our places.

[i] Beautiful.

[r] Since I like to be with people. Making contacts to learn and achieve something better. When I registered at the Ifak. When asking, name, address, hobby, the employee asked me. I told her I was a photographer, I was 23. 23 years old I had a business until I came here. Before I came to Germany, through the border here. A week before. I stopped my work in Syria. I have a lot of contact with people, I know a lot of people, I am one. If someone passes my shop, I watch him, I know. I analyze his character, from many contact. With the people who have tell there is a newspaper. New here, “New in Germany”. I don’t know if that’s what it’s called.

[i] Newer in Germany.

[r] Because you’re a photographer? You can volunteer with us, I said that’s normal, I don’t have a problem. I have my own camera, I am a photographer. I want to work, I don’t like staying at home. Man becomes depressed, one becomes lazy. The social life becomes back, the conversation comes back. State progress comes back, I said no problem. She gave me an address, I went there two or three times, didn’t work. After that I worked in the same organization with another person. The music festivals the taking place, they send me address. The dates, I take my camera and go to concerts. No matter what kind of party it is, I go and take pictures, which I send to the man. They come on the Ifak website. I work honorary.

[i] A very nice engagement. This sweet social activity gives you the opportunity to integrate into Bochum. Do you have contact with the Deutsched?

[r] Wahhal are here. The Germans in a certain way. If those of you don’t have the security, they don’t come close to you, that’s the first, second if. They don’t have time. Everyone has a full program, if they have some time, then they want to relax. Until you find someone German. He must get to know you, trust you, then he will. Make contact with you, you take an appointment from him, he looks at his calendar. If he is on the day at the time, something is difficult.

[i] Is there a difference between the contact in our countries and here?

[i] How was the contact in the village, appointments and so on?

[r] Me. In the shop my friend calls me, you are in the shop, I say yes of course. I’m always in the shop, he comes to visit me. I always work and more than eight hours, I had worked 15 hours, from 8:00-20:00 in the evening, after 20:00 I have. A wedding, sometimes I close at 18:00 and go to the wedding ceremony. I stay until 24:00 o’clock, that is 15 hours work. I had worked 18 hours, I was happy. I was rested when I was in business from morning to night and evening I go to the hall. A feast or wedding, I work and earn money, that relieves me. We had worked a lot, but thank God we were on our own in every way. And we earned well. Contact with the German is little. Yes, very little. Do you find yourself today as a human who. Has gone the right way? Thank God I am. The right way gone, after some time for me here. I communicate with my parents who tell me the situation is getting worse and worse. The situation becomes more and more difficult. I can’t describe how difficult the situation is there. Very difficult, thank God. Made a good decision, sent my family here and then came here. Now I am well and my family is well and we are all well. Thank God, there is security here and the city doesn’t let us need anything. With us too, thank God.

[i] When a decision comes? And you have to go after a long journey? There is peace with you, we have made a peace agreement? And all Syrians have to go back? How will your decision be? Like the situation we see beautifully. If there is security, which I don’t believe. Job offers and our house is still there as it used to be. Maybe my wife and I can decide. That we’ll come back, but I don’t believe the kids that were raised here. With this service here. The comfort and everything you can get here. I don’t think the kids go back. They are missing very hard to live in the village again. Very hard to live there. They can’t suffer the way you loved, they can’t become normal. Right, when I tell you about the things I experienced when I was their age. They don’t believe that I experienced this event and the situation was like this. Every year, every six months, my father buys me a boot. And from one party to the next he buys me clothes.

[i] Well, others don’t buy anything. Good that he buys you. Right, my children don’t believe that. He was brought up here and grew up, how should he live? In this place, Schwer. Do you have the feeling, the future? You have secured your children here, and they have to take care of themselves, but? You, our tradition and culture are important to you? You say I tell my child, i.e. you tie him to the past, what does that mean to you? Your story, your roots? The human being, everyone human. As he is used to, he has to keep his tradition and culture. Because if everyone forgets, then there are no more societies. Different societies, then there is only one society and life. It’s beautiful with your diversity and your different cultures. When I am, and you are. Are another, if all are equal, living without color is not beautiful. Life is beautiful with your diversity, with your tradition. Different, diversity. Everyone must cultivate his tradition and take it into account by others.

[i] Yes. That’s my opinion. That’s how I see the situation. What is important to you in educating your children? My children, I would like to study music, complete the musical journey. And become like this. With ambition, hope and confidence in the future. And to make oneself successful, as I have made it. That have the personality, nobody need. And they don’t rely on others, they rely only on themselves. That’s what I want, that they have a strong personality. Yes, you have reference to your mother and father. And your love for them, you have rented your apartment to give the rent to your mother also your father. So that they live off it, although you need the money yourself, although you live in Germany. Right. Do you have the feeling that your child will live in Europe? Your affection and generosity will have, or is there a difference? I feel that the same. I will be with you as I do, because I give you the education and love that I give you. I don’t think they’ll do anything bad because I. Daily, my son is greater than me, and the second. It’s about as big as me, every day I say that. Come my son, he sits on my lap and kisses him, my children. Get love, every day I do that in my lap. I knock on his back and kiss him every day. I love my children, I plant in love. My son no matter what happens to me, tell me there is no problem. What do you have as a ritual of your village? And you do that every day?

[r] Aha, me. I learned to drink mate in military when I was young. Here, I drink mate every day, mate every night. I enjoy that. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink alcohol.

[i] That’s wensi. Yes, not that I don’t like it. My nature I don’t like to drink. Or cigarettes, but I can. You could make a mistake but if I smoke manschma, once a week, or every 10 days I smoke. Maybe I smoke a cigarette with my friends, in the park. Every 10 or 15 days, or a water pipe. It can be, I can smoke, I can drink alcohol. But I don’t smoke, I don’t drink when there is an evening. I drink a glass, but every day. I like to drink a mate.

[i] And eating and drinking?

[r] Eating and drinking, my wife can goot be thanks to cooking. Anything, I can cook anything, dishes. Heavy dishes like ours in the village, she cooks. Everything, even once, someone has helped us a lot. He has done us something good, so of 10 days. My wife said let’s invite him, my wife cooked several dishes. The one you came with someone else, two people, than he has seen. The food, he asked you invited 20 people, we said no. You with someone else you are worth to us like 20 people. Ofa, my Fdrau is called Ofa. When I first saw you, I told myself there was nothing you could do. You are a factory, a company. You can cook, you make the papers, the children, the appointments. You do the family reunion for your man, you buy one in the supermarket. You can make sweets, we offered him sweets, we also said homemade. You can do everything. I said my wife. It’s a company.

[i] Are you helping your wife? Yes, I am helping my wife. With everything, even in Syria, I have always helped you. Because those around us weren’t like me. In front of the door, at night we both at 23:00 o’clock at night. 24:00 at night, we take the water hose. She splashes water and I wipe the whole street. Our apartment was in corner, 20 meters x 10. 200 meters was the area of my apartment, I was obliged. To wipe and clean the whole area at night, because. The neighbors thought, one may not clean the street, that is not appropriate. We threw obliged to clean in the evening and daily. She splashes water and I wipe or something else. Daily, even the shop, studio where I worked. And my wife’s shop, a hairdresser, my brother’s shop. He was an electrician, and the door my other brother. All together in a row, I had daily. With the water everything washed. 10 meters the curb, 10 meters the street. Also the sidewalk I washed, daily, Eib, not possible that. In front of my skin door or my shop dirty, or is not bad if I. Clean yourself.

[i] Your conversation is exciting and has a lot of meaning.

[r] Thank you.

[i] I hope you have success in Europe.

[r] Thank you.

[i] I wish you and the future your children all the best and happiness. Stay as you are with your good attitude.

[r] Certainly.

[i] I wish that you achieve even more of your dreams. Because what you haven’t told is more than what we’ve experienced. Right.

[i] I thank you for your time and that we could participate. In different periods in your life, welcome to Oral Hstory. In Europe. Thank you.

[i] Would you like to say one last word. Thank you. I love Bochum, Bochum is beautiful. Its inhabitants are beautiful, I like to learn language. And work, I love very much to work in my profession. No matter how many hours, that doesn’t bother me, I am. I am convinced when I work in my profession. When I work a lot I spend the night where I work, because. I love my work, this is my hobby at the same time.

[i] With success, inshallah. Thank you