09 Jan 2022
By: Sarah Ali
Nazo Fares, 53 years old, tells the story of her emigration to Germany through IOM’s Family Assistance Programme:

“We decided to emigrate after much suffering at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). When they occupied our areas in Ninewa Governorate, we had to live in a camp and stayed there for several years. We finally decided to go to Germany. We were hoping to find the safety we had been longing for during those terrible years under ISIL. We dreamt of a better life and good health care for my sick son. 

I travelled to Germany in 2020 through IOM’s Family Assistance Programme with two of my children who had previously obtained residence there. Our trip was easy, as all our papers were legal and in order. Most importantly, it was a safe trip; it took us a while to get our request accepted but the feeling of safety was worth the wait. We did not have to put our lives at risk, and I was happy to be reunited with my other children in Germany. Because we emigrated legally, we received housing and work when we arrived, and the children were immediately enrolled in school. 

I would have preferred to stay in Germany but had to go back to Iraq because one of my sons there has a physical disability, and I had to look after him. I was hoping that he could come and join us in Germany, but his asylum request was rejected.  

I know some people would like to go to Europe irregularly, but doing so puts their lives at risk. Also, those who arrive irregularly have much more difficulty establishing themselves there, and they run the risk of being rejected,” Nazo says. 

Nazo Fares now works in a small grocery shop in Jam Mashko camp in Dohuk Governorate. She says that she obtained financial aid from IOM to open this shop, which allows her to support her husband and sick son.  

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