My start and my future life in Germany
I would say that Germany is the country of dreams, as long as you are motivated and proactive.
Why is Germany the country of dreams?
If you don’t have a vocational training or if you’re unemployed, you can improve your living conditions by receiving financial aid from the so-called Jobcenter or Agentur für Arbeit (employment agency). Yes, some people might say that even though you will get support from the government, you also have to pay high taxes. In my opinion, these laws are very helpful and legitimate. They are similar to laws prescribed by my religion, the Islam.
In Syria, the reality is different, because the president and his family steal all the taxes. Well, I had a slightly different start [editor’s note: in Germany] compared to other people. I came to Germany on a visa because my uncle has been living in Hamburg for 20 years. Under these conditions, your start is easy, because for example, you can register with federal authorities. You already know how life here is and how you have to interact with Germans. Although I had these advantageous conditions, it’s difficult for me to understand the German life, culture, and bureaucracy. It’s probably because the language, which is very complicated, plays an important role.
The first major problem was to find an accommodation, a quiet place, where I could sleep, sit down and study. I had contacted my uncle, but I couldn’t stay at his place. He has a big family – three children and a disabled wife – but only a small flat. But the catastrophe was that the Jobcenter wanted me to live at my uncle’s place, which was a disastrous idea. They told me: Only if I am able to find a small flat, they will pay my rent. It is very hard to find a free flat in Hamburg. That’s why I had to find a place to sleep at least. Thankfully, I found a small room, which I shared with other people. But unfortunately, I had to pay an illegal rent and so I had to pay it by myself. The Jobcenter paid me 400 Euros and I had to split this money every month between rent and food. This was indeed stressful, but thank God I don’t smoke, drink alcohol… I am a thrifty man.
I had been living like that for four months, until I found a flat. But I’m also married. Thus, another problem was that I wanted to bring my wife to Germany as soon as possible as she was still living in Aleppo in war. However, the aliens department didn’t authorise our family reunion. I was told that I need to have a job and then I can bring my wife to join me. But sadly, it takes long to get an authorisation as a physician in Germany… Therefore, my wife came to Germany by her own initiative. She made it to Germany over the ocean, through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria. This was very strenuous for my wife and me of course. I was in great fear for her. Just as she had arrived, I have thankfully found a flat. Thank God.
That’s the short version of my start in Germany. But I want to write about my plans and goals also.
Since my first day in Germany, I have been studying German on my own. I know that the language is the key to the life here. If you want to be successful, you need to speak the language. I learn on my own as I want to continue my training in surgery as soon as possible. If I waited for the Jobcenter, each level would possibly take four months. So it would take about three years, only to learn German. Unfortunately, that’s the bureaucratic phenomenon in Germany you have to get accustomed to every day anew. I have been in Hamburg for one year now and since the first day I have been studying German. And still I have troubles with the language. My goal is to become an orthopaedic surgeon. That consumes much time of my life, but I decided to pay this price.
My philosophy: Don’t worry, everything happens in its own time.
Our athour lives with his wife in an own flat in Hamburg right now. He wishes to remain anonymous.