I am am 27 years old. I come from Algeria. My country is a beautiful country. Life there is very difficult. To have work in my country, you need good contacts. Without contacts there is no good work. Not every job suits you. And you also have to take work that doesn’t suit you at all in order to survive.I have two sisters and a brother. And I lived with my family in Algeria, not for long, but we lived there together. I did a lot of jobs in Algeria. I have worked as a fisherman, with houses, in restaurants, I have worked as a supplier. I have been forced to take all these jobs because I have no one in the family who has contacts that would have allowed me a better job. I have often tried to work as a soldier and join the military, but they never accepted me because I had these scars on my arms. Everything proceeds through contacts in Algeria. So why do the young people leave Algeria? Because they have no possibility at all to take care of themselves. Many people from my area have left Algeria by sea. There are people who have arrived and others who have not.
When you live in Algeria, you are in constant uncertainty and under constant pressure and therefore you simply live a very stressful life. You start drinking or you hurt yourself, like I did. There are older people in Algeria who don’t earn enough money, and then ten-year-old children have to earn money to help the family. Life in Algeria was bad, very bad. I really started to work when I was ten. I dropped out of school after grade am 6 because I didn’t have anyone to buy me books or clothes. My father is a very nice person, but I still have two sisters and I had to work for the family. I have an older sister, who is am 28, and my brother is am 11, he is already working, at a market. There he sells clothes, things. But not every day. He also goes to school, but he works on the side. I left Algeria because I am not one of those young people who live from one day to the next. The future was important to me. I decided to leave Algeria because I wanted to change my life, it only changed from bad to worse. I was responsible for the family, I had the siblings, had to work. All the pressure was on me. My father is responsible for the family, but I didn’t want to live the way my father lives or my family lives. Why? Because the pressure in my home country was so great, I became addicted to drugs. I was in prison. After two weeks I got out. On the night I got out of prison, I left Algeria. To Italy.
Here in Germany I am not doing so well at the moment. I came to Germany in am 2015, I got two repatriations in am 2016. After that we left Germany. With my girlfriend I went to France, my girlfriend went to England, then I went from France to Holland. In Holland I also tried to get a stay, but that wasn’t possible because I was already registered in Germany. So I went back to Germany, hired a lawyer and he tells me that the only way to stay here is to marry someone. I want to marry my girlfriend anyway, but I don’t want to go back to Algeria anymore. If I go back to Algeria again, I will experience the same: the work, the pressure, the drugs, the alcohol. Or you work in the criminal area. There is no money, no help at all.
My dream is to live in Germany, just like every normal person. I don’t want much money and not little. I want to live quite normally. I want to get married and have children and a good job and that’s it. I don’t want anything more or less at all. Just like every normal person.
Storyteller’s name: Anonymous
Interviewer’s name: Sarah Dudek and Sarah El Desoke
Country of origin: Algeria