Muslim refugees returning home after finding Germany intolerable

Published: March 2, 2016
SHARES
Email
Refugees have given up on his dreams of a better life in Europe. PHOTO: REUTERS

Refugees have given up on his dreams of a better life in Europe. PHOTO: REUTERS

Overcrowded refugee centers, exasperating bureaucracy, unfamiliar German food, lack of jobs and a rising sense of antipathy from Germans who fear their country is being overrun by Muslims are forcing some refugees to return home.

After seven months of frustration, Gazwan Abdulhasen Abdulla has given up on his dreams of a better life in Europe. He has scraped together his last $325 for the flight to Iraq and he is not alone.

Homesick and eager to be back with his wife and four small children in Basra, Abdulla gave up his refugee status as he boarded a crowded Iraqi Airways flight from Berlin’s Tegel Airport to Baghdad that would whisk him and 150 other disheartened refugees back home.

Greece says up to 70,000 migrants may be ‘trapped’ next month

After more than 1.1 million refugees from troubled lands such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have trudged into Germany over the last 13 months, a small but mounting number are also heading home.

While refugees say they are happy to trade a cold, heartless and lonely life in one of Europe’s richest countries for the violence, insecurity and poverty back home, they have realised, rather belatedly, smugglers had sold them a pack of lies about big houses and well-paying jobs that they would find in Germany.

Germany tries three migrants for thefts in New Year chaos

“I wanted to live in peace with my family as far away from war as possible,” said Abdulla, a 37-year-old who worked as a truck driver in Iraq. “But what I’ve seen in Europe is not what I dreamed of. It’s not what [the smugglers] told me it would be.

“The food was terrible, so disgusting that not even animals should be fed on it. They made us sleep in these cold, empty buildings and when someone said they were sick, they just ignored us. You could feel it everywhere that Germans looked down at us like we were bums. I miss my family and can’t wait to get home.”

In the last three months, the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin has issued more than 1,500 one-way travel documents for Iraqi refugees giving up on Germany.

“There are a lot of Iraqis going home, but more and more Syrians are also coming in here to buy airplane tickets to fly back home,” said Alaa Hadrous, 24, who came to Germany from Iraq as a child, and now operates the Golf Reisen travel office in Berlin.

“They see the Arabic writing on my storefront window and come in saying they want to go home,” he said. “There are a lot of really sad stories.”

Berlin director says almost could not film refugees dying at sea

Hadrous says he has noticed an increase late last year in the number of refugees coming to him for one-way tickets home.

After just buying a one-way ticket to Lebanon, a Syrian man, Abed who lived in Germany for four weeks said, “I miss my family a lot. I would rather take a chance and risk dying with them in Syria than being in Germany without them.”

The government’s office for migration and refugees reported 37,220 refugees obtained government financial aid to return to their home countries in 2015, including those who had little chance of receiving asylum.

This article originally appeared on latimes

Reader Comments (4)

  • curious2
    Mar 2, 2016 - 9:29PM

    Overcrowded refugee centers, exasperating bureaucracy, unfamiliar German food, lack of jobs and a rising sense of antipathy from Germans
    .
    You open the door to millions of people looking to better their lives and this is the logical consequence. Whatever Goodwill Merkel generated by opening the door is going to be lost when she is forced to slam the door shut. She has lost credibility within Germany and the EU.Recommend

  • Parisian
    Mar 2, 2016 - 10:47PM

    What kind of “refugee” leaves his wife and kid behind in the war zone?
    Clearly, he is an “economic migrant” which is a euphemism for illegal immigrant.Recommend

  • Fawad
    Mar 3, 2016 - 12:39AM

    They should realize that they are refugees, not immigrants on work visa. They have to face hardships and struggle. They are not guest who will be treated nicely to stay in warm hotels and nice meals. But they have to make their own life from scratch, like people migrating from India to Pakistan did decades back and made their life.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Mar 3, 2016 - 6:04PM

    Yes better go back ‘home’ and make a life for themselves rather than staying in a host country and fight the entire life to fit in .Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in World