Laila Keeling & Anjali Zyla
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I grew up in Algeria and attended school there through the first year of university, but I had to leave university after the first year to get married. Unfortunately, my husband and I had to leave Algeria after he accidentally killed someone. There was a large fight and a knife somewhere in the middle, and he accidentally stabbed someone who later died. In Arabic culture, when someone kills someone else, the murderer has to die too. There were many more fights later, and we were scared that my husband would be killed. I loved Algeria and didn’t want to leave, but eventually we had to move to Germany to keep him safe. My brother said that Germany was a much safer country than Algeria, so we decided to come here.

We traveled by boat from Algeria to Spain, then by bus through France and Germany. We first arrived in September 2020 and lived in a couple of different camps before eventually coming here last September. I’m honestly really disappointed with Germany. My brother told me I’d have more freedoms and possibilities here, but that’s not true. My application for asylum was denied, so now I have a Duldung status (temporary suspension of deportation) and can’t really do anything. I had to wait a year for permission to take a German course, and only just started taking one last month. The course is good but also a little boring. My husband is taking the same German course now, but he’s been struggling in the refugee homes. I have many friends here, but he’s always fighting with everyone. He’s started taking drugs and is constantly smoking outside. But I’m very motivated to finish this course. I want to learn German so that I can study at university here. Law has always interested me, but I heard it’s really hard here and there are many long exams, so I might choose something else. I’m open to any kind of career in Germany and would love to continue my studies. I don’t want to be forty years old and still taking this German course. However, because I still don’t speak German, the Germans are racist toward me. Whenever I can’t answer a question in German, they get annoyed and insult me. One time, I took a train to Berlin and didn’t know that I needed a special ticket or that I should bring my ID, and the police got mad at me for not knowing that and almost hit me. The Germans should have more understanding for people who don’t have any opportunities to learn German.

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