The issue of refugees integration and migrant crisis is a recurring theme in German political debates. I find this subject very interesting and I wanted to ask for the opinion of someone in direct contact with them instead. Khadijah will talk about her life, her journey and give her opinion on the migrant crisis.
Living abroad, a way of life for Khadijah
Khadijah, a student, has been living in Berlin for 3 years. Here is the video in which she introduces herself.
Ps : I made a mistake for the spelling, the city she was talking was Oldenburg and not Olenburg.
Resuming her studies, a way to follow a specialist career path
Doing a masters, for Khadijah was a matter of common sense, she would like to earn more. In Germany, each degree has a determined salary range, which implies that a holder of a Masters degree holder will have a higher salary than a Bachelors degree holder. However, that’s not the only reason she is resuming her studies. She has been teaching German for three years to migrants, for those who have no knowledge. The goal is that they can have a basic knowledge of German to increase their chances to land a job.
Khadijah wants to keep working in this field, by focusing on migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa. At the end of the Masters, the graduates should speak at least one African language fluently. They have the choice between 4 languages, including Bambara. Bambara is a language that is part of the Mandé languages and spoken in several West African countries, which will be very useful for her. Most of the Sub-Saharan in Berlin come mainly from West Africa, especially Gambia. They speak Mandinka, which is one of the Mande languages. By speaking one of the variants of the Mandinka languages, she hopes to be able to communicate with them more easily. Germany has faced refugees and migrants flood in recent years, which has given rise to much debate. Under what conditions do they live? How can their integration work? I asked Khadijah for her opinion.
Refugees integration: Khadijah’s thoughts on it
Since 2015, Germany has been welcoming a significant number of refugees and migrants; a political approach put forward by Angela Merkel, who ended up dividing Germans on the issue of the reception of refugees and migrants. Most of them live in refugee hostels, in accommodation that is mostly unsuitable, too small to be used for a family. She also noticed many refugees live among themselves. They do not necessarily have the opportunity to practice German in their daily lives. Who are the refugees? Khadijah explains that there is a distinction between two groups: Those who benefit from refugee status and the others who are left on the sidelines. However, she feels that refugee status needs to be reviewed; she tells us more about it.
Facing challenges of refugees integration
The integration of refugees in Germany is a recurring topic in political debates. What does integration mean for Khadijah? For her, this means speaking the language of the country, adapting to a new social environment, working in this country, learning about the local culture. For some time now, hostility towards refugees and migrants has been increasingly pronounced, as the events at Chemnitz have shown. Then, beyond the animosity, the question of integration raises many questions ; How can they adapt to Germany, its culture, its values? Khadijah believes in their integration. The best way, she says, would be for Germans and refugees to live together because currently, spatial segregation precludes them from living together. Refugees are isolated by grouping them in the same houses, by placing them in neighborhoods hostile to refugees, such as Marzahn, for example, a neighborhood known for its racism, which for Khadijah makes no sense.
An integration model that has failed for the second and third generation of immigrants, and from which Germany has not yet learned the lessons. Will the same fate be reserved for refugees? Time will tell.