Blogger without borders: Refugee stories, Part 2

Bianca Al-Shamari, Author

The second installment of “Blogger without borders: Refugee stories,” where junior Bianca Al-Shamari shares refugees’ stories that are translated from Arabic. 

Interview #1

Odai Al-Ayed and his family are currently learning German in hopes of finding jobs and attending school. Al-Ayed describes himself and his family as “very fortunate given the circumstances” and is one of the most optimistic people that I spoke with during these interview series.

“My journey took 15 days to get to Austria. The situation in Austria is secure, very good and blessed from God. I want to stay in Austria. I do not want to go anywhere else since the life here is good and really, really nice, unlike how it is in my country. In my country, we were hurt by war, killings, and homelessness. Here, we are really relaxed. If God wills, life is becoming better. … If God wills, life will be better in the next 6 months. Here, there are good people. I don’t have family left in Iraq, I took them all with me. If God wills, we will only see good things from these people. God bless them.”

Interview #2, Interview #3

While many refugees were open to share their experiences, many still live in fear of their past in their home countries. For this reason, the two following interviewees have agreed to answer questions and share backstories in anonymity. Both have asked for their names to be changed to Hassan.

Interview #2

Hassan lost his family in Iraq during a series of suicide bombings. He fled to Austria in early October and is currently building a new life. His goal is “to speak German by the same day next year” since his initial arrival.

“I do not have a family and I am living alone; therefore my situation is private.”

Interview #3

“I cannot speak because my situation does not allow me to talk about my story.”