An easy life is a good life. And a good life means having good friends, being surrounded by family and being happy about all the little things life has to offer. This portrait of happiness is something I once had and something I long to return to. My name is Kamal and I am proud of my roots, of my culture and of my community. My hometown Daraa, the southernmost city of Syria, is for me a
Since I left home nearly three years ago, a lot has changed. I am very busy, but I prefer it that way. I live in Dresden, Germany and I like it here. I am currently in the second semester of my Duales Studium at Berufsakademie Leipzig, so my living situation is a bit complicated at the moment. It’s not a very common program so I find myself explaining the process often – but it’s a brilliant concept and I love it! I am studying Informatics while simultaneously gaining practical experience to help prepare me for post-university life. Every three months I have to move..while it keeps things interesting, it is also difficult finding a new place every time. It usually means spending a few nights on a friends couch – which for the academic and professional experience I am gaining is not a bad price to pay. I feel like I am living a sort of double life. But it’s great, I get to take advantage of both learning about both the theoretical world and the practical, and I am even able to earn enough money to be financially independent! Sometimes it is through the small achievements that we can be most grateful. My personal and social life in Leipzig is merely non existent. Here, I am knees deep in my theoretical studies, surrounded by books and all things
My life is Dresden is more interesting and also more comfortable, after all, this has been home for almost three years now. Here I have some friends, more things to do, and am even involved with my community. I go to work during the
I also donate my time and energy every other Saturday to work with kids from Syria to help support them in their studies. I know I am not saving the world, but I am doing my part to help make a small but positive difference. I know it can be hard sometimes to feel comfortable in a new country, and I imagine it must be even more difficult for Syrian children trying to go to school and study in a language they aren’t familiar with. So I help in the ways I know how and help tutor children in math. I love all things numbers and it’s nice being a part of a Syrian community – in some
I was two semesters shy of completing my Bachelors in Mathematics before I had to leave home. And it is actually because of my studies with Kiron that I switched my degree and am now finishing my degree in Informatics. I discovered Kiron through a social media post from Syrian Researchers and once I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I applied and from that moment on, everything just kind of fell into place. They didn’t have a math module so I switched to Informatics because it was similar and I thought it would be interesting – and it was! Once I got started I realized just how similar the two fields were and just how much I liked learning about Informatics. It was easy to study with Kiron online and everything was accessible. I was able to keep learning while figuring out what to do with myself – Kiron helped me understand my options and take the first steps. I was also using a lot of language courses to work on my German – not an easy language to learn but when you have to do something, you just do it. I believe that once you set your mind to something you can do anything, but that through education, everything is made that much more achievable. A lot has changed over the last years but education has remained a priority just as much as it has been the one constant in my life.
Despite the successes and luck I feel I am having with how my life is falling into place in Germany, it is still not home. It not so much that I want to leave Germany but more so that I just want to go back to Daraa and be where I belong. If the war would end, returning to my beloved motherland would be a dream come true. It is small, yes. But it is humble and full of good people. There are not so many big companies and grand job opportunities, but it is home. I can still smell the fresh farmland air from all those summers of working under the warmth of the sun. Reminiscing makes it harder sometimes, but sometimes it’s impossible not to think about the simplicity life used to offer me. There was a time where playing Trex, a traditional Syrian card, was the norm. In my near three years since being in German I have only played once, maybe twice, and back in Syria Trex was a daily norm. Ask almost any Syrian and they will know
Interview by Alisha Merkle
#Education4Integration campaign, sponsored by H&M Foundation