War. Fear. Terror. And an unstable government.

These are all major reasons to leave a country and look for a better life in a different environment. Worldwide there are more than 65 million refugees which means that’s the number of people who do not have a home.

Imagine two things: First imagine walking through your county of origin without the feeling of safety and deciding to leave everything, fleeing to a foreign country without the promise of proper living circumstances and a totally new culture that you are confronted with.

On the other hand think about the chaos that the leading countries like Germany are confronted with. These countries need to take care of hundreds of thousands of refugees without being prepared for these immense numbers. 

In 2015 Europe had a major refugee crisis, which was caused by a total overflow of refugees. The total number of people who fled to Europe was 1.2 million. The policy that was made since this particular time period caused a lot of trouble in the European Union and especially in Germany. 

The conflict was one of the main reasons of Germany’s current political situation. The AfD, which means “Alternative for Germany” was the third biggest party during the last election for the German Parliament. This result was shocking to a lot of people because the AfD is known as the most legal conservative party in Germany. 

Most of the European countries didn’t want to carry the burden to care for all those people. They don’t only speak a different language but also have a massively different culture than the Europeans. Additionally, a lot of refugees are uneducated and have problems finding a job. Unemployment and lack of education are related. According to the government minister for immigration, refugees and integration, three-quarters of Germany’s refugees will still be unemployed in five years. Out of the 1.2 million refugees who entered Europe, Germany received 890,000. 

It is the European country with the largest number of refugees. That is one of the reasons why the situation was so hard to handle for the government. No European country was prepared for these massive numbers in Germany.

The space for refugees was limited. Some families were put in refugee camps and had to live there. But letting a lot of people live together without much space caused problems especially because some strong cultures clashed. 

There was a refugee camp near Göttingen, which is my hometown and one that was located only a hundred meters  from my school. As you can imagine a lot of refugee children and teenagers also entered Europe, in hope to start a better life. Since my school was near a refugee camp they tried to integrate the refugees’s children. The procedure was the following: The children and teenagers were supposed to enter a class that is in their age, they were supposed to go to the lessons there and to special German classes that were offered to them so they could get integrated quickly once they mastered the language. 

In my grade every class got two refugees or sometimes even three. Sadly, most of them didn’t come to the classes regularly, their education suffered under that condition. Some of them started smoking and didn’t want to go to school. But still they were mostly kind people. 

I had four different refugees in my class and one day my German teacher told us that she spoke to Mustafa and Gülschän. She asked them whether they would like to tell us their fleeing story because we were currently reading a book called “Krieg“ which means war in German. Mustafa agreed. I can’t remember all of the details of his story but I remember the following.

Mustafa, his mum and his sister wanted to flee from Syria because they were afraid that their town would be the next one to get bombed. His father couldn’t join them because he needed to take care of everything before he could flee. 

They went to the next city and needed to go uphill at the border. Mustafa’s mother told him that he should take his sister’s hand and even if someone comes and separates them that he should take care of her and run away. Unfortunately they got separated and Mustafa, a teenager, was alone with his younger sister. They stayed in the city and looked for help, even if they couldn’t really trust anyone. After a while they managed to come back together with their mum, crossed the border and fled to Europe. Their goal was to enter Germany and once they did stay at a friend’S house. But they got sent somewhere else twice until they ended in Friedland, a refugee camp near Göttingen. 

Mustafa was in my class two years ago but still I can remember how everyone in my class was silent—as silent as if we were writing an exam. Some people were close to tears because they imagined how massively his life changed. Mustafa was really nervous once he started telling us his story but still everyone was thankful that he shared his story with us.