I am writing this to inform you that we arrived safely in Germany. Some people got arrested on the way since we left Syria. It has been a tough journey for all who left the country through Greece and other routes to Germany.
We decided to use every possible route to Germany. Some people secured transportation from well-wishers along the way. The transport was not favorable for the children and women who came along with us (Holmes, Seth and Heide 13). Some women complained of sexual harassment from the locals who found them in makeshift camps. In Greece, for instance, immigration officers would harass us every time we met. Most countries would also ask for immigration documents, which most of us did not have. The war in our country has destroyed our livelihoods in so many ways.
I wish to let you know that life in Germany seems promising to most of us. Many Syrians and other refugees are residing in different neighborhoods. Most refugees fled to Hamburg where there is a common neighborhood of all who flee their countries (Holmes, Seth and Heide 15). Most neighbors are Muslims with few immigrants coming from Africa. Mother, I know that you are worried about our health and safety. But I am assuring you that Germany is a safe place where Islam is equally recognized as other religions. However, there are new challenges that refugees face in Hamburg.
Harassment – from the police and locals – is one of the challenges that immigrants face in Germany. I talked with a fellow refugee who had been in Germany for the last five years. He is a Yemenis who fled violence in his country since 2014. He claimed that police officers arrest immigrants from time to time without legal charges. Immigrants are encouraged to get immigration documents that approve their residential status in Germany (Holmes, Seth and Heide 18). The police arrest refugees who have not registered with the immigration department. Extreme cases have seen some immigrants deported back to their countries. Others have been sent to detention camps and we are not aware of their well-being. Mother, I am willing to face social challenges in Germany rather than face death back at home.
There are numerous opportunities, as there are challenges, here in Germany. I am sure that I will go back to school to continue with my studies. I understand that am getting old but I will have to continue with my education. The government of Germany is also kind to refugees and it offers free education to challenged communities. For example, African immigrants who get to Germany via the Mediterranean Sea are also supported by the German government (Holmes, Seth and Heide 19). This is a great country which recognizes immigrants from all parts of the world including Africa and the Middle East. The only problem refugees are facing is the inability to blend with socio-cultural traditions of native Germans. This is a great challenge to Muslim immigrants who find themselves in constant conflicts with German nationals.
I want you to come with my sisters here to Germany before I start planning on how to go back to school. It will be my wish to have the people I love to go to a safe place. I will begin by registering with the immigration department so that I can get the right documents for traveling. Once I get a passport and visa, I will arrange for your departure to Germany or any other country in Europe. The journey is very tough but I am sure you, and my sisters, will arrive safely as we did. I will communicate with our eldest sister constantly to plan for the journey as soon as I settle here in Germany. Keep me in prayers.
Holmes, Seth M., and Heide Castañeda. “Representing the “European refugee crisis” in Germany and beyond: Deservingness and difference, life and death.” American Ethnologist 43.1 (2016): 12-24.