I am 30 years old. But I look much younger. Many people think that I am 22 or 23 years old.
In Iraq I was a teacher of geography. I taught for children between 12 and 13 years old. They were only boys. I was not paid for three years and when I complained they threatened me. That is why I came to Germany. I come from a city in the south of Iraq: Diwaniya.
To become a teacher I studied at the university for four years. I speak Arabic, a little English and now I am learning German. Before I went to study in Iraq, I worked as a designer for five years in a company. I could do this work in Germany too.
I have two brothers. They are both managers in oil companies in Iraq.
Two years ago, I left Iraq. I took a flight to Belarus. I didn’t have a passport for Belarus, only a visa. After five days, I went to Lithuania and was arrested there. I stayed in Lithuania for eight months. Then I went to Germany via Poland and applied for political asylum.
I came to Belarus with Ahmad and Leila. Leila was arrested in Lithuania and has been there for two years.
I visited a friend in France and was arrested by the police in Lille. I did not know that refugees are not allowed to travel. I stayed in France for three months. When the police released me, I went back to Germany by myself. I spent a week in Stuttgart and was then sent to Eisenhüttenstadt. After three months I went for 20 days to the refugee center in Wünsdorf. After that I came here.
First I want to learn German and then do an apprenticeship. I would like to work as a geography teacher again. Every day I go to school to learn German. I like it. We are only 15 students in my class. We come from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Albania and Iran. In Iraq there are about 50 students per class. In the afternoon I work in a supermarket. But I have no papers and I am waiting for a work permit.
I would like to stay here. I fell in love with a woman from Chechnya whom I met in Lithuania. She lives now in another refugee center. She was married but got divorced because her husband was violent. I can’t see her because the Chechens don’t allow it. She is a dentist. We speak English and we want to get married. I would like to have two children.
I want to have a German passport. I can’t go back to Iraq because I am a dead man there. If I want to see my family, I can only meet them in Turkey.
Not a single German has said anything bad to me just because I am an Arab. But the Lithuanians are racists. I was just waiting there. I could not learn Lithuanian or anything else. In Germany I can learn German. The Chechens are also racists. Because I am Arab, they don’t want me to meet my girlfriend. The Chechens are Muslims, like me, but they still don’t like Arabs.
In Iraq, there is racism against Syrians, for example. For my country, Iran and America are problematic. But I don’t want the time of Saddam Husein back either. I think that life in Iraq was better during the time of the monarchy. I would like it to be like that again.