No Way Back: Why Most Syrian Refugees Want to Stay in Germany

Islamic State has been conquered and the war has ended in large parts of Syria, but most Syrian refugees living in Germany want to stay. Many fear persecution if they go back while others have already established themselves in their new home.

By Katrin Elger and Asia Haidar

Maurizio Gambarini / DPA

Abdul Abbasi (l) aus Göttingen und Allaa Faham (r) aus Hamburg bekommen am 19.12.2016 in Berlin von Staatsministerin Aydan Özoguz (SPD) eine Integrationsmedaille anlässlich des Internationalen Tags der Migranten 2016. Foto: Maurizio Gambarini/dpa +++(c) dpa – Bildfunk+++ | Verwendung weltweit

July 03, 2019 05:09 PM
There’s a question that keeps bothering Abdul Abbasi. “Do you want to go back to Syria?” It’s a question he faces constantly, both when he meets new people and when he encounters old friends. “People don’t mean it the wrong way. Often, it’s genuine interest,” the 25-year-old says. “But I’m tired of it.”


It’s not just constantly having to repeat himself that Abbasi is tired of. The whole issue gets to him. When he starts thinking about it, he’s suddenly no longer the dentistry student at the University of Göttingen. He’s a refugee all over again. “It throws me all the way back to zero,” he says.
It evokes memory of Aleppo and a life that is now long behind him, one that can never be the same again. And Abbasi wonders how long people will continue asking him about his potential return to Syria. One year? Five years? Until he becomes a naturalized German citizen? Forever?’


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