Samer Jadallah



Samer Jadallah came to Belgium in October 2013 to do a master in educational sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), after the devastating wars in Gaza in 2009 and 2012, which left nothing for him except sorrows and gloomy future.


This project has enriched me with many useful skills and knowledge. I learned a lot about the professional way of making an interview, for example how to ask the right questions without bias, how to use the camera, and also about the body language during an interview. For example, moving the head as a sign of agreeing or disagreeing with the interviewee can cause a negative effect on him/her, can even make them say something they didn’t want to say, just to satisfy the interviewer. This knowledge helped me not only in my job but also in the real life when I talk with people.


Some of the refugees agreed to be interviewed, have cancelled. They were worried either that they might get into trouble with their government if they would return to their home country, or that the local government or some other organisation here, in Belgium might use the information against them, not for them.


When I found another two refugees willing to do the interview, one of them asked me ” Will they hear us and help us?” and the other one ”Is it safe?” It is not about the trust between the interviewer and the interviewee, but about how the information which they give will be used by the local government or any other organization, and maybe cause trouble in the future.


Their motivation to talk for the interview, although they don’t get any benefit from it was – as I understood – to send a message to the local and EU governments and public, to solve the difficulties they encountered when they had reached Europe, after they crossed the sea. Some of these difficulties, such as mistreatment at the refugee centres or police stations in the eastern European countries, need to be solved by the EU. They also want to change the public opinion, what people think or believe about their country. For example, the ongoing violence in the Middle East created fear of refugees coming from these countries, Syria for example. This fear has been very noticeable to the refugees and it had caused many difficulties to them either in finding a job or integrating with people.


One of the respondents asked “Will they hear us?”.


What I expect from this project is: an analytical study which will classify the topics that emerge from the interviews, into categories, and sharing it in such a way that they could be easily found by the different institutions engaged in solving them (by for example collecting in one category the fragments of all interviews which address/talk about a certain issue). I think that some of these issues can be solved by the media, for example: a national TV can influence and change the public opinion, others need to be solved by the EU, others need to be solved by local governmental institutions or non-profit organizations.