Clarification

I am overwhelmed by the reactions to my impressions of the situation with the incoming refugees. I see this not only as encouragement to continue, but also as an expression of sincere interest in the people who are arriving here and their stories. In this post I would like to clarify a few points.

Actually, I only use Facebook to keep track of the news and I have really never been much of a networker. However, in the past few hours I have received so many friend requests that I am not sure how to handle them. So I have activated the follow function – because I think that many people have sent me a friend request only to stay informed of new updates.

I am here as a volunteer and the people can tell that I speak Arabic. They come to me, ask questions or need help. If the situation allows, I ask them where they are from. The answer is usually very brief and is either „Syria“ or „Iraq“; I then ask which city they are from and how long they have been traveling. When they answer I can generally tell whether they are willing to tell more. When I then say „You must be exhausted“, most of them start talking about themselves. What I am trying to say is: I do not pick out my conversation partners and, therefore, the selection of conversations does not follow a specific agenda.

In my posts I only report what people tell me. Of course I have my own political and religious opinions, but if I were to express them I would clearly distinguish them from the rest of the text. I’m neither a journalist nor a statistician and I don’t claim to speak for all incoming refugees. I am only writing down the short conversations I have had with a limited number of refugees. And even if IS, Assad or other political, religious or even warring parties are mentioned in the conversations, please refrain from making comments defending one party or another and, especially, from sharing propaganda for any of them.

Of course there are refugees who abuse the situation and behave improperly. But that is for other people to report on. As I said, I am only passing on what the refugees have told me. And I think that is the only thing the comments should be concerned with. I can and will ignore anything else.

Translated by DeAnn Cougler

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