Christian’s Vally-Homs — Ma’loula-Damascus — Cottbus — Beirut — Berlin

Time in Berlin — I arrived last January from Lebanon. I had to get out of my home country Syria as there was no way to find a future there. Life had become dangerous. We reached a point where we heard the bullets every time we walked on a street. The greatest achievement of each day was simply to make it through alive. People were destroying their country with their own bare hands. When a war becomes a religious one, it’s not going to stop.

Profession / Passion — Architecture, landscapes and city planning. There are too many designers who just keep doing as their professors once told them. That’s why the world is full of squares. You need to see the whole field, find ways to pass the challenges and add your own touch. I’m also passionate about football — the art of tactics!

The Good — I feel blessed every day. I love the way of living here. Europe is unique, you can smell the culture and the knowledge. In my first 6 months here I visited some of the most inspirational architectural monuments of Europe in Berlin, Prague, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Rome — it was my dream come true. Life is very different back home — we are raised so that you can’t just say no to your family. We have no options. It’s a doctor, an engineer or nothing. Since childhood I always insisted seeing the world. I was constantly reading, googling, questioning and watching the universe. Google by google I felt more and more like trapped inside a bubble in my own culture. But it was only a place, never my state of mind.

The Bad — Ausländers who came to Germany and don’t care about the German culture. Lot of people just come and want to change the country instead of learning the local culture and integrating into it. It seems the only solution to achieving integration is waiting for the next generations.

Tip — Always think outside of your own box. Don’t be a robot and look things from just one cultural perspective. Keep asking why — from yourself and all the others. To find your future as an immigrant in a new country, remember to respect the way of living in your new country. Don’t change your colour but learn to understand the other culture and it’s rules. In this era in which we are laying the foundations of the new rules it’s very important to find a common language. For Europeans hoping to help the immigrants — give connections, not just clothing!