30 Dec 2021
I left Iraq in May 2016 with my two sons – who were in high school – and my wife. Back then I was working as an auto mechanic but dreamed of finding a new job, improving my situation and having a brighter future.

I wanted to evolve, but mostly, I wanted my children to have a better life. I thought that in Germany, the government would provide a house for us, schooling for my children and a job for me. I was willing to learn German and do whatever it took.  

We left Iraq and reached Germany after a long journey that took us through Turkey, Bulgaria and other countries. I did not feel the trip was dangerous, but it was long and tiresome. I was worried about what life would be like, and about whether we would find what we were looking for there.  

Now that I've been to Germany and gone through the experience, my advice to those considering leaving their country is to stay, as nothing is better than being close to family in your own country. I wish someone had told me this before I left!  

The main reason I came back to Iraq is that I could not find work in Germany – and I was not able to study, either. I was dependent on government assistance, and my life was not turning out to be what I imagined. My children, however, were happy and going to school, so we decided they would stay behind with my wife, and I would go back to Iraq.

I did not face problems coming back to Iraq. When I returned, I was so happy to be home; the feeling of being in my country, at home, with my friends and, in particular, close to my mother was unbeatable. I went back to my previous job and hung out with old friends.

What I remember and appreciate most about Germany is the way of life, how well they look after the environment, how easy life is and how people respect each other. It is a great country, and I am glad my children will benefit from all that Germany has to offer. I miss them and talk to them every day, but I am happy that they are safe and will have a better future in Germany.

As for me, I am happier in Iraq! For now, I am not planning to go anywhere, but if I did, I would do so with all the necessary legal papers, so I hope that Germany will one day consider facilitating legal immigration for Iraqis.

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SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities