Story
23 May 2022
By: Fhumulani justice Khumela

Berlin, March 2022 – Sattam and Nadya have dreamt of harmony for a long time. And, in Berlin, they are convinced they have found their sanctuary.

“Everything is very well, we arrived in Germany in peace and the last few months passed very well,” Sattam remarks.

Sattam and Nadya believe they have found a new home in Berlin for their family. “The German society has humanity, values, and principles. Very caring,” he adds.

The Syrian family of six, including Hasan and Hussein (17 year-old twins), Ahmad (11) and Ali (2), are part of a group of 95 people that arrived in Berlin with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in early December 2021 from Lebanon as part of Berlin’s humanitarian admission programme.

IOM Germany received the refugees, who are originally from Syria and had been living under difficult conditions in Lebanon, on arrival at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, and also accompanied them to their accommodation centres.

Nadya and her family have taken well to their new neighborhood and have been able to “explore the city and also try some German food.”

Despite the limitations of the pandemic and language barriers, they feel they are settling in and starting to integrate into the community.

“We found here safety and peace, and there will be schools for the children, and we will also learn the German language and integrate within the German society” an enthusiastic Sattam asserts.

Nadya has high hopes for her children and hopes that they can repay Germany for its warm hospitality. “I have the same wishes, for my children to study and learn and to do something useful in return to this country that welcomed us,” she says.

“We found here safety and peace, and there will be schools for the children, and we will also learn the German language and integrate within the German society” an enthusiastic Sattam asserts.

The family talking to an IOM staff member in January 2022. Photo IOM / Fhumulani Justice Khumela.

The 17 year-old twins Hasan and Hussein have recently started school. They are already making friends and are part of a local football club in their area. But it is school that excites them the most.

“We would like to become pilots. And to work specifically at the German airline Lufthansa. So first we would like to finish school and then study aviation and later work as pilots, both of us so we can support each other in our study and career,” Hussain says.

Eleven year-old Ahmad, too, is looking forward to school. However, his dreams lie elsewhere: “I would like to become a famous football player like Cristiano Ronaldo,” he remarks with a shy smile.

The humanitarian admission programme of the State of Berlin is committed to providing 100 places per year for particularly vulnerable refugees currently living in Lebanon, who are in need of ongoing protection and a durable solution.

IOM supports the State of Berlin with several activities within the framework of the humanitarian admission programme, including predeparture orientation courses preparing refugees for navigating everyday life in Germany.

“These courses gave us a good idea about the German society and the country that we were moving to,” Sattam concludes.

The family is optimistic about the future, and in Berlin to create a world that brings them value.

This story was written by Fhumulani Justice Khumela. For more information, please contact: Sabine Lehmann, Media and Communications Coordinator at IOM Germany, Email: slehmann@iom.int