Hans Blokland

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I arrived in Germany on July 1, 2019. My husband worked in the military police in Baghdad. Opponents of the government burned down our house killing one of my sons. Since then, I did not feel safe in Iraq. At the invitation of my sister, who has lived in Germany since 2006 and holds a German passport, I came to this country on a tourist visa and then applied for asylum. I am here with my two remaining sons aged 14 and 16. With my husband in Iraq I have no contact anymore. There is no response to my mails and letters. Maybe he too has been killed. My children regularly ask about their father, but I don’t know where he is or what happened to him either.

My asylum application was not granted. I appealed against this decision. This appeal has been going on for a long time now. I don’t know when there will be a decision. My lawyer says that I have to be patient. I now have, as long as my proceedings are ongoing, a Temporary Residence Permit (Aufenthaltsgestattung). I would like to take a course in German, but my applications for such a course have been rejected twice. I do not know why.

In Iraq, I was an accountant. This is a profession I would no longer like to pursue here. I would like to become an interior designer. I can ask permission to work again, but as long as I don’t speak German this doesn’t seem to make much sense. I’m not psychologically ready for this yet either.

I don’t know anyone in Germany. Even here in the shelter I hardly speak to anyone. I only have contact with my sister. She also does all the paperwork. I am mostly in my room. The curtains are closed, yes. When my sons don’t have to go to school – they are both in the welcome class and are already starting to speak German – I try to take trips with them. I could never do this in Iraq because it was too dangerous, so I try to make up for it a little here.

In Iraq, I always had fear. When I left my house in the morning, I was not sure if I would return alive. It was unlivable. In Germany, I am happy because I am safe. Safety is the most important thing in life. I am very grateful for this. I don’t have much more to wish for.

It may be that I don’t get asylum. However, I am told that even in that case I will most likely not be deported. I don’t want to go back to Iraq and I can’t. I don’t know anyone there anymore. My mother is also in Germany.

I would like to have my own place to live and I want to learn German. But the most important thing is that my boys are doing well. Ideally, I want them to go to university and get good jobs. But most of all that they are safe. That is the most important thing. Other than that, I have nothing more to add.

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