Interviews with Refugees

Although newcomers have regularly been among us for years, citizens, politicians and policymakers often have little idea of the personal backgrounds of these people. This causes not only loneliness, misunderstanding and antagonism. A consequence is also that integration is unnecessarily hampered and that policies aimed at this are less effective than they could be. To gain more insight into backgrounds, we conducted a large number of in-depth interviews with newcomers. This is done in the context of our project in Teltow-Fläming in Brandenburg in which we investigate the living situation of more than a thousand refugees and try to improve this situation with all stakeholders involved. Thanks to the Kreisverwaltung of Teltow-Fläming to make this project possible. We asked many questions: why did the people come, what was their life like before, what expectations did they have, what do they want to achieve in Germany, what are their experiences so far, what problems do they face, what solutions do they see for this? The names of those involved have been changed, as well as some place names. The interviews have been conducted in German, English, Farsi, Arabic and French and are published with the consent of those involved. At the request of the Kreisverwaltung or the interviewees some statements have been omitted here. These are mainly statements that could have put those involved or others at risk.

Karina: Morocco

I come from Northern Morocco, but I moved to Libya some years ago. In my ...

Layanah, Cameroon

I came to Germany with my brother. In Cameroon, I worked as a hairdresser. Over ...

Dukvakha: Chechnya

At 13, I came to Germany with my mother and two sisters due to circumstances. ...

Malia and Eliana, Chechnya

This interview was conducted with 14-year-old Malia and her mother Eliana, both from Chechnya. Malia ...

Afra, Iraq

I arrived in Germany on July 1, 2019. My husband worked in the military police ...

Gulshan: Afghanistan

I am 25 years old, from Afghanistan. I have been living here for about nine ...

Yasmina: Lebanon

I was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon and moved to a city called ...

Mama Stacy, Stacy and Tom: Cameroon

We conducted this interview with a family, but separated their stories to show their different ...

Alieh, Afghanistan

As much as we believe in the importance of stories from the newcomers to be ...

Fidvi, Pakistan

Eight years I have been in Germany, and three years in the accommodation here. Before ...

Islam, Dagestan

I come from Russia, from Dagestan. I come from a big family; I had 8 ...

Ab, Gambia

I was 17 years old when I left the Gambia. I traveled alone, leaving behind ...

Emad, Afghanistan

I am twenty-five years old, from Afghanistan. I come from the Herat province, but not ...

Akilah, Palestine.

I am 33 years old and have been living in Germany for more than 6 ...

Yaqout, Syria

I was born in Homs, Syria to a small family—it was only me and my ...