The only country that has given me so much

My country is the most beautiful country in the world. In the past, but no more today. I come from Syria. People back then had very beautiful thoughts, but through the spread of death, through war, people’s thoughts changed completely. We welcomed every person who passed by our houses without even knowing who they were. Our doors were open to everyone. But today, when poverty is spreading, people are hiding from themselves. For when they see someone, they no longer say “Come in” to him because they no longer have anything to offer him. In former times we liked the stranger. But today it is no longer so, to be honest. The stranger used to come to us as a guest, but today he comes to us as a murderer. I lived in Lebanon. And every year I travelled to my homeland for a week. Every time before I travelled to Syria, two days before, I couldn’t sleep because I was so happy.

I am in Germany. Here I got to know a lot of nice people. You can only respect the Germans. They are respectful, because what they do, no country in the world does. 2 million refugees have come to Germany. Of course there will be good and not good ones. That is normal. The bad things that some refugees do should not be transferred to all refugees. I have a neighbour. His arm and leg are paralyzed. I once had an appointment at the job centre at 6 o’clock in the morning. And this neighbour came with me, in the morning, and accompanied me. What should I say about him? Although he can’t walk and all that, he went with me to an appointment where we had to drive longer than an hour. That only comes from Germans.

There are things in Germany that are different from ours. When we were in our countries, we honestly thought that the European people was a bad one. But when we came here, we saw the opposite. Here in Germany, as a Syrian person, I was given so many rights that I did not have in my home country. Even if someone here is angry with you, he will only raise his voice and that’s it, but more than that will not happen here. My wish is to stay here in Germany and to bring my wife and children here. Because Germany is the land of peace for my children. I did not come here because of me. I want to give my children security.

I have five children. The oldest is 15, the smallest 5. I talk to many Syrians to find out what I want for myself. They say: Our country has sold us and betrayed us, why should we go back to Syria? I’ve got used to life here, I can’t go back any more. I have been here for three years. I have seen this behaviour here. In Lebanon I had no name, they only called me ‘Syrian’. Like all Syrians. If we Arabs deal with each other in this way, it is much better here. Even when the war is over, everything will be destroyed. Where should I go? Into a destroyed house, into crazy thoughts? It used to be really different. I come from Idlib. I can no longer live with these people. I want to be released from this illness which is called: family reunion. And I finally want to speak this language, I even got a grey beard. But I dyed it.

The language is difficult. I want my family to be here with me, that we live here together. I also want to work full-time after school in the supermarket, in the retail trade. I want what everyone in this world wants. I want my children to go to school, I want to work, my wife also likes to work, all that. That’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was little. I want one more thing from the people who come here, they are my countrymen: I don’t want to see anything from them that harms this country. As a Syrian, I do not want another Syrian to do anything here in the only country that has given me so much. I do not want to read the news, a Syrian has done this or that bad thing in this country. When I see on television that a Syrian has caused a problem, then it is not only the case with me, but with all Syrians, that we get upset, that we ask ourselves: What did you get out of it? I wish that these people would adapt to German behaviour. I also know many Syrians who married German women. I advised them to do so. Even the Syrian women do not want Syrian men anymore. A wedding in Syria is no longer possible, we cannot pay the 10.000 euros. We live from the job centre, how are we supposed to pay?

Storyteller’s name:  Murad Alhwayan
Interviewer’s name: Sarah Dudek and Sarah El Desoke
Country of origin: Syria
Sex: m
Age: 36

Dublin Core: Language: de Subject: refugees, asylum, a million stories, syria, germany