Role of churches towards the german refugee crisis
Notably, the refugee teenagers were more flexible with this compared to the older refugees who were more conservative (Huizinga, & Van Hoven, 2018). However, there cannot miss a few obstacles especially societal challenges because whereas the Syrians were looking forward to maintaining their cultures and traditions, integration meant assimilation for the Germans (Fontanari & Ambrosini, 2018) During the refugee integration process in Germany, some churches offered temporary housing for the rejected asylum seekers but only to those who had special reasons such threats of deportation from the country, living in very life-threatening conditions, being tortured and even death threats (Ilgit & Klotz, 2018). As much, there were a good number of churches that were involved in assisting the refugees. It was not simply a matter of presenting oneself to a church and expecting to immediately get assistance, one had to be engaged with church work.
There are two types of faith in Germany; the Catholic and the Protestant; both of which believe in assisting the impoverished by practicing support, providing good counsel and shelter. It is important to show that they are welcome despite the fact that there are language barriers; a smile from time to time goes a long way in letting them know that the volunteers are trustworthy. Most of the refugees that arrive in the country have scarred their feet so badly, are dehydrated, hungry, traumatized and have wounds on their bodies as a result of walking for long distances. There have been cases of people whom nothing could be medically diagnosed, they were just in a lot of fear and pain because they were severely traumatized and were in chest pains and having difficulty in breathing.
There are cases of pregnant women and babies that usually get into the country looking very malnourished because they have not eaten anything in weeks or if they have, they have not been eating well (Siebert, 2017). When the refugees eventually make it to Germany, the one country in Europe that receives refugees properly, they have been subjected to the most inhumane living conditions. This family got to hang out together and even travel to various cities in German explaining to Mostafa and his brother of their histories. They even made meals together and once in a while Mostafa and his brother got a chance to teach them how to cook some of the Arabic recipes which they seemed to really enjoy.
Eventually, though, they had to move from living with that family because of the great distance between their residence and the school they went to since they could not keep up for long. The refugees that have acquired permanent residence in Germany like Ali also participate in volunteer work. Together with his friend, he volunteered in a rehabilitation center in Northern Germany for about two weeks. Although, it is important not to dismiss the fact that positive social interaction with other groups depends on an individual’s perceptions and their personality. Ali appreciated living in a community of different people with races and nationality because of how the Germans respected each other and the fact that the social integration process had been successful especially for him and even goes ahead in the interview to mention that he made a friend whom he even smoked shisha with when they hanged out in her apartment and went to a lot of parties together with, although he has not told his father about her yet.
He says she helps him make new German friends whom he hopes that they’ll invite each other in the near future as much as he feels more comfortable with his Arabic friends. Just like Mostafa explains how he was well integrated into Germany that he has made many new German friends to the point that his Syrian friends complain that he spends a lot of time with his German friends compared to the time spent with them. His cousin also lives there with other Germans. As such, German authorities constantly search investigate if Syrian asylum seekers in the Northeast of Germany have any ties to ISIS and other terrorist groups, whom according to Karim and Ali are the ones responsible for the chaos in their country that prompted them to move to Germany and get permanent residency as refugees since life was unbearable.
Especially, 2015 Paris attack, there were increased anxiety and concerns from the society following claims that the attacker had been a Syrian refugee. In response, Germany also re-established border controls, which included temporary border checks and requested help from the EU to limit the influx of refugees in the country. the growing tide of refugees. Another factor that limited the Syrian refugees’ interaction with the other groups was the fact that they had fear of the unknown, that is, the Germans. The relation between disability and forced displacement is really close considering that disability may be as a result of forced displacement and then, on the other hand, forced displacement usually magnifies risks that the disabled refugees may encounter such as sexual abuse, domestic abuse, exploitation by host families and discrimination from access to work.
Disabled refugees are more likely to be forgotten when humanitarian help is being offered including, access to information, human rights protection, health, and other public services. Mostafa also sheds light on the discrimination based on race using his own personal experience whereby his German friend attempted to abuse him because of how kept referring to him as a refugee, a name he clearly didn’t like at all. The reason being, that he considered a refugee to be anyone who had not yet acquired an asylum yet he was legally settled in the country, even had a residential place where his brother and him stayed together with a German family in Tuebingen that was interested in taking care of him and had no plans of going back to Syria anytime soon.
Many of the participants in the interview agreed that they have faced discrimination based on their ethnical backgrounds as Syrians and that it discrimination necessitates one to have a high self-esteem to cope with the daily exposure to those acts since the Germans will not stop generalizing the Syrian refugees as Muslims and terrorists. However, one can observe that most of them have better speaking skills than writing skills when it comes to the proficiency of the German language. Ali states that he had planned to continue with his education in Germany and he was not disappointed when he realized that the Germans respected them and the manner in which they involved the refugee teenagers in the social integration process in schools he went to.
He also explains that language is a power whose fruits of acquiring it, supersedes communication by far including the easier acquisition of employment. He acknowledges the little period of residency in Germany as an important factor in helping him improve his language skills which he has put into practice through interaction with the Germans he comes across in his everyday life. However, the years of residency does not always guarantee language’s proficiency as their cases of Syrian refugees who came to Germany a long time ago and have never learned how to speak or write in German. None of the interviewees claimed to have learnt the language back at home in Syria since it was not a compulsory subject in their curriculum.
Prior background in German proved to be an important factor since it is clear in the interviewees’ interaction with the Germans and it can be observed how the education in Syria did not prepare them enough for the linguistic needs as they had deficiencies in the German language. However, their poor knowledge on the German language was not a hinderance to the social interaction with the Germans, instead, they took it as a challenge to learn the language. They realized that the direct interactions with the German people would fasten the learning process. They also realized that language is a power whose other benefits surpasses the benefit of just communication. For example, in the interview, Karim, who was accompanied by his elder sister to Germany and later joined by the rest of the family, states that he finds the German culture to be quite different in the sense that Germans do not give a lot of importance to a family unlike in Iraq.
They are so much consumed with their careers and school work and hence lack the time for socialization. Also, he realized that in Germany, it was mandatory to work unlike in Iraq where working was optional but even then, the cost of living in Germany was so high that it necessitated the need to work. His family has been able to fully integrate and has even adopted some of their ways, for example, his sister has been given permission to swim ever since they came to Germany but the case would be different in Iraq because they do not allow girls to swim. Although his father, at first, was hesitant about allowing his sister to swim because of the Iraqi customs, his mother persuaded him otherwise telling him that they did not live in Iraq anymore.
On the other hand, the Christian refugee families were less exposed to discriminatory acts, a depiction of a high level of acculturation. Scholars, in their studies, have also shown that, although there were both Muslim and Christian refugee teenagers in Germany, both of whom faced discrimination, the Christian refugees seemed to deal with it better than the Muslims did since they separated themselves from the rest of the group. The reason as to why the Christian refugees faced discrimination from the Germans is because they were assumed to be Muslims. Notably, the females and the married people were less inclined to the process of acculturation (Hyman, 2017). Role of refugee families in leading their children in Germany for the purpose of social integration.
The attempt to uphold their cultural values affected the process of social integration for some of the interviewees. Strict adherence of the Syrian traditionsas well as parents’ pressure are the major obstacles of the social integration of the Syrian refugees in Germany. Other indirect factors that were a hinderance to the process of social integration of the Syrian refugees include, gender and age where the women and the older ages had less interactions. However, most of the Syrian refugees stuck within their Syrian groups and had some interactions with the Arabs, while others decided not to interact at all unless they had access to necessary and basic services. The participants of this interview showed various experiences of discriminatory acts and the negative stereotypes from other ethnic groups other than the Syrians in Germany.
The longer the years of residency in the country increased German proficiency due to more interactions with the German over time. References Bornstein, M. H. Parenting in acculturation: two contemporary research designs and what they tell us. Current opinion in psychology, 15, 195-200. Preventive mental health interventions for refugee children and adolescents in high-income settings. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 2(2), 121-132. Feischmidt, M. , Pries, L. , & Cantat, C. , Burmeister, A. , Löwe, J. , Deller, J. , & Pundt, L. How do refugees use their social capital for successful labor market integration? An exploratory analysis in Germany. Refugee rights or refugees as threats? Germany’s new Asylum policy. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 1369148118778958. Jeworrek, S. , Leisen, B. J. Ostrand, N. The Syrian Refugee Crisis: A Comparison of Responses by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
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