Place: The struggle of ‘outsiders’ from Tunisia and Afganistan to find themselves new perspectives
by Pekka Kämäräinen
The heated debates on the treatment of refugees and illegal immigrants are based on many prejudices, quick assumptions and sweeping generalisations. Mostly the newcomers are considered as squatters (who want to benefit of European social welfare ) or illegal workforce (who pave the way for wage dumping and irregularities in the labour market). Therefore, there is a lot of negativity in the recent debates.
For this reason it is essential to have a closer look at cases in which the refugee stories have led to a new start in Europe. Below, the news report and the video of the German TV channel ZDF give a picture of the struggle of refugees to overcome the fate of “being outsider” and to manage a new start in Europe.
- The ZDF news report (in Germen) “Für die Taliban bin ich ein Verräter” (For Taliban I am a traitor) tells the refugee story of the Afghan car repair technician Parviz Esmail from Kabul via Iran, Turkey and Greece to Germany (Bad Kreuznach). Parviz managed to have the support from German NGOs at the right time and got his apprentice training placement (due to which he could stay). This story gives a picture of a person who had to leave his country because of threats and who sees his only possibility to Integrate into german society.
- The ZDF video (in German with interviews in French) “Der lange Weg von Lampedusa nach Paris” (The long way from Lampedusa to Paris) tells the story of Abdel and how he managed to get through from lLmpedusa via the mainland over the French border and finally to Paris. The video gives a picture of a person who wants to work hard to be able to return to Tunisia as soon as possible (to make a new start in his home country).
These are two random examples – there are thousands of more stories to be told. What do we learn of these stories? What do they tell of the refugees? What do they tell of our European societies?
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