My name is Midyan, I am 32 years old and come from Iran. Originally I am a Kurd from the West of Iran. In Iran I studied graphic design, I would have liked to do my master but I had to flee. I had to leave my home country for political reasons. I love my homeland, I think all people do that.
For me the whole world is my home, but my home country is always something different. It means my house, my birthplace, the time of my life so far. I ran my own advertising agency. I wanted to expand. My salary wasn’t high, but I worked there with all my heart, because I built everything with love. I left everything behind me, my agency was my dream. I am still very sad about that today.
I was known in my city, here I am a stranger, that is difficult for me. I also left my great love in Iran, we wanted to get married. I wanted to get her here, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. Today she is married to someone else. For political reasons I had to leave my homeland within three days. I grew up with my grandmother, she loves me very much, and even she didn’t know about my flight. On the last day before my escape, I told her I was going on a short trip. She is older and not quite healthy anymore. I often think of her. My great love waited for me in my agency, she cried very much when we said goodbye. Still today I see this picture before me.
I fled to Germany, like many others, in a rubber dinghy from Turkey to Greece. It was dangerous, we were many people, on a very small boat. We crossed within 15 days, 8 countries. I did not believe in ever arriving in Germany healthy. All the more I was surprised when we crossed the border from Austria to Germany. I couldn’t speak German, I didn’t know the culture, it scared me a lot. I was just a dot, in a country where I don’t yet know what I’m facing.
Uncertain, I don’t know what will happen the next morning. The beginning was very difficult, I was weak at my arrival. In my homeland, I have always been strong. I always wanted to climb higher and higher until I fell. That made me very weak. I wanted to become stronger, now I was weak. I am a refugee, a foreigner nobody knows. I never experienced racism, but inside I know that I am a foreigner. I am not like someone who was born here. I have to integrate, it’s not that easy. It costs a lot of energy. I am still young, but in my homeland I have already achieved a lot. Now I’m starting from the bottom, it’s hard for me. I am not saying that it would be too late. I know a man at the age of 70 years, he is in a German course.
Nevertheless, our life is limited and we do not live a thousand years. I am in a language course, last week I had my B2 exam. My wish is to be strong again, to climb again, that is my dream. Maybe not my own agency, but something in that direction. I constantly have new ideas that I would like to implement, the only obstacle is the language. I can’t express myself. I think it will take a few years to speak good German. In my home country I was very eloquent, I worked in marketing. Here, I feel like I’m at the language level of a child.
I would like to learn many languages. I would also like to study again, but I think it is already too late for that. Maybe I can’t live the same dream as in Iran, but maybe something unexpected happens. I never give up. That always comes suddenly in life. I am grateful to be here, I was helped a lot. I would like to live in peace with the people in Germany.
There was an incident on New Year’s Eve 2016 in Cologne. I was already three months in Germany. I drove to the cathedral, on New Year’s Eve. Many foreigners and refugees were there, many who caused problems. In the next weeks the events came in the media. It makes me very sad because not all refugees are the same and not all Germans are the same. This incident gave the Germans a bad impression of the refugees. If someone calls me a refugee, I think it’s okay, I’m a refugee too. It depends on the way he says it.
I always thought, all people are equal in Germany, slowly I notice, they are not all equal. Maybe it is in the law, but not in the behavior of the people. I am not saying that this problem only exists in Germany, it is in the nature of mankind. It is not racism, it simply lies in the nature of man. Life here is very difficult for me, I am under a lot of pressure. I left everything and have to start a new life here. My application for asylum has been rejected and I have to apply for it again. I am unsure, I do not know what will come tomorrow. I have an apartment, I have worked, I attend a German course, but I do not know whether I can stay. In Germany, I feel like in a foreign home.
Storyteller’s name: Midyan
Interviewer’s name: Sarah El Desoke
Country of origin: Iran