Aus dem Allende-Viertel: On Arriving and Staying

I fled to Germany from Syria in 2016 because of the war. Then I lived directly in the dormitory in Alfred-Randt-Straße and stayed there for about one and a half years until we found a flat. During that time, I attended a welcome class to learn German. After a year, I knew German pretty well and started looking for an apprenticeship. But at first we didn't have internet at home and you really need support. It wasn't all that nice, but I kept going anyway and kept looking. And at some point we got an offer for a flat from degewo. We got the flat and I also found a training place as a medical assistant. In the meantime I have successfully completed the training and at the moment I am working at the refugee shelter teaching German to a few people. One family and another woman. Three people in the family use a wheelchair, they really need support. In the flat I live with my family, we are my parents and three brothers. I would like to move out to live with my girlfriend. But it's really, really hard to find a flat now. Of course we would like to find a flat nearby. But the main thing is to find one at all. But I really like it here, very quiet and there is a lot of water and green. And it's better here for my parents, too. I don't think they would live in Neukölln.
I'm still in Neukölln from time to time, but less than before. I've also become quieter. Not since I've had a girlfriend, but since I've had her, this girlfriend. We met at the apprenticeship, she's in her second year and I'm already done. I also feel much more comfortable here than in Neukölln. I don't like it when there are too many people in one place. Here on the shore I usually sit with my girlfriend, having a picnic. Sometimes I go swimming in Müggelsee. Apart from that, I also work here, at the refugee shelter, and I've also worked at "Der Würfel". And I would like to study, I have my entrance qualification for a technical college and I'm still young, 21 years old. Studying is nice because you get to know new people and it's just part of life. I applied to the HTW for health electronics and computer science. Going back is not an option for me. Neither now, nor later. I did my apprenticeship here and I will study here. If I were to start a family, I would do it here. I knew that when I started my apprenticeship. Or earlier than that even, I think. When I started to speak German. Communication is very important. If you can't communicate as a person, then you don't feel like you belong, you feel isolated.

This text was written as part of the exhibition "sprach-fähig" by BENN (Berlin Develops New Neighbourhoods) in the Allende district as part of the International Weeks against Racism. Many neighbours from the neighbourhood took part and shared their stories.

Photo: (Copyright) Leona Fritsche

About the author

Katha koordiniert InteraXion, Willkommensbüro und Wohnraumberatung für Menschen mit Migrations- und Fluchterfahrung in Treptow-Köpenick. Sie begleitet RawafedZusammenfluss von hauptamtlicher Seite. Journalistische Erfahrung konnte sie durch verschiedene Projekte der Jugendpresse und dem Studierendenmagazin UnAufgefordert sammeln. Wenn sie nicht nach neuen Geschichten sucht, tummelt sie sich in Boulderhallen.

Katha coordinates InteraXion, the welcome office for migrants* and refugees in Treptow-Köpenick and accompanies RawafedZusammenfluss through her work. She gained journalistic experience through various youth press projects and the student magazine UnAufgefordert. When she is not looking for new stories, she spends her time in bouldering halls.



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