Feedback about the Program

Our students and participants share their personal experiences with OLIve.
They also share their thoughts about society and world affairs.

Liaqat Ali Baqeri

"I come from a country destroyed by war: Afghanistan. In 2010, when I was 12, my parents had to flee to Pakistan due to severe threats. During my stay in Pakistan, I had the opportunity to continue my education and learn English. However, after a long journey in December 2017, I reached Austria and now I live with my family. So, the first few months were quite tough for me, as I was in a whole new country with a new language to learn. Nevertheless, I managed to start a German course and, thanks to the teacher, through her I learned about the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve). I wasn’t sure, though, if I would have the chance to take part in this program due to a minor problem in my date of birth. The OLIve cycle in which I took part, made me understand that the program works like a bridge for refugees, allowing them to experience and to know the Austrian education system, paving the way to continue studies at the level of higher education. Moreover, it is so interesting to see that every single person has a thirst for knowledge and learning and, through education, they also intend to get better integrated in a new society. OLIve is also a unique opportunity to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds. In fact, the OLIve program gives a true insight of how multicultural Austria is. We see the different colours of Austria in the form of various volunteers, coming from different countries and they are so enthusiastic in helping the other refugees. Besides that, OLIve has been a good chance in terms of improving my language skills. Initially, I feared having to leave the English language aside. In a city like Vienna, where German is the official language, I was really overjoyed to see that I would be able to interact in English and as well due to the English courses offered which are aimed at preparing you for the University´s environment. Every single time, there was something new, like learning the task of essay writing. It was simply amazing. On the other hand, OLIve’s German course helped me a lot and, as a result, I got my German B1 certificate after 11 months of my stay in Austria. Learning German was my top priority, as it is the best way to get integrated and to make Austrian friends. On the other hand, German language was also essential for me to get myself admitted in the high school. Therefore, as a whole, OLIve has proved to be quite productive for me and I learned a lot more than I had expected. The lectures were very well organised. Though, there were numerous lectures every week but I personally liked the one on Journalism the most. I learned more about how difficult it is to be a journalist. However, I became hopeful in the presence of those professional journalists who give coverage and become the voice of those unheard voices who have suffered mass killings, injustice, persecution and discrimination in their homelands and have fled to west in a hope to secure a bright future for themselves. It would not be incorrect to say that, for these journalists, it is humanity which matters. Finally, it would be unjust not to thank the volunteers who worked tirelessly and made sure that every person made the most out of this experience. I would encourage the organisers to continue with such cycles more often, because refugees need more positive incentives, in order to remain optimistic for a bright future, and it is such experiences, which give them energy to move on. It is also worth mentioning that in countries such as Austria, it is equally important to offer German courses as well-organised as the English ones."

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Heba Ghourrah

"Loneliness, anxiety and confusion. This is how I began my life in Vienna, like any other person who moves to a new country and has no idea or perception of their future path. But there must always be a key guide that opens the way for us to adaptation and integration to the new culture. Therefore, trying to coexist and spending time uselessly without any goal in mind are not beneficial choices. Language courses are one of those helpful tools for us to move forward, but what if we were offered an integrated and innovative program that encourages creativity and intensive knowledge acquisition, just like OLIve program? Well, this is an opportunity that doesn’t come too often, so it is necessary to take advantage of it. I am Heba, a graduate from secondary school - scientific track - since May 2017. I participated in OLIve program in the fourth and fifth cycles, after a friend of mine advised me to take part. From the first day I entered the faculty for Journalism and Communication Science, where OLIve program was held. The atmosphere seemed enthusiastic and filled with optimism and inspirational youth energy. What caught my attention the most was the cultural diversity of the program´s team, as well as the participating students. In my opinion, it is important at the beginning of learning to accept people regardless of their origins and to have a good relationship with them. Otherwise, people will lose their desire to complete the journey if they feel uncomfortable in the surrounding environment. Hence, it was the starting point for an enriching learning experience. I took part in the English course after I had a written and oral level test. Also, I attended several lectures on academic social topics. Some of them were in German, which also helped me to focus on my German skills by understanding the topic in a deeper and more advanced way. Moreover, the program included a variety of workshops either on the preparation of a curriculum vitae, research, or journalistic writing. I must say that my participation in the last cycle of the program was more effective due to the progress I have perceived in myself. I was able to obtain significant additional skills, in terms of increasing my level of the English language as well as my scientific knowledge. Especially beneficial were the sessions of scientific work that provided me with a broader comprehension on science. The tutors helped me by providing a detailed explanation of how to prepare and submit a research as professionally as possible. Indeed, I managed to successfully give a presentation on the last day based on the valuable information I had gained. Over the six months that I attended the program regularly, I have not only increased my scientific knowledge but also developed aspects of my personality, such as my self-confidence and the capability of comfortably talking to others. Through the program, my horizons were expanded and I was able to determine my decision on my university studies since the specialties at this faculty fit my wishes. I am pleased with my experience with OLIve. Certainly, I invested my time well and met nice friends, as well as a qualified teaching staff that encourages us to think independently and become interested in learning by fostering a positive, supportive, yet challenging environment. Ultimately, we must keep in mind that knowledge does not end once we get a certificate, but that our aspirations should be much more superior. I am looking forward to participating in the next OLIve cycle in order to make the most of it and achieve higher success. "

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Abdullah Abdulrahim

"My name is Abdullah, Syrian national, and I am 27 years old. I have a refugee status from Austria but I currently live in Berlin. In the fall of 2016, I found out about OLive Program after an extensive online research for educational opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees in Austria. By that time, I had arrived to Vienna and had started my asylum procedure. The process of asylum applications usually takes a while, sometimes up to three years. During this time, asylum seekers are new in the host country, do not know much about its system and are living in uncertainty. In short, they are lost. I thought that I did not want to be lost and that I wanted to invest my time in an effective way and learn something during the waiting phase. So I started to look online for workshops, trainings, educational programs that I could take part in. I believe OLive Program was the only one that I could find. I applied to the program within one week and in three-week time the OLive round started. OLive Program was a perfect fit for my needs. As an engineer graduated from the University of Aleppo, OLive program served as an intermediate body that helped to reconnect me with the academic life in my newly adopted country. Further, the program curriculum was practical and served my new needs, such as the linguistic ones, as it included language classes and various types of workshops such as academic writing, advocacy skills training and other preparatory courses with the aim to prepare students to pursue graduate-level education at universities in Austria and beyond. The program also served us as a platform through which students from different cultures, backgrounds and academic experience - some of whom I am still in touch with - come together and get to know one another with the help of OLive team, which facilitated the space and guided us through the process. If I were to describe the program in one word, I would choose ‘inclusive.’ Having taken part in the OLive Program, I was more confident to start my ‘big’ application for various universities in Austria and beyond. The gained academic experience, and most importantly, the participation and language certificates, and references, supported me greatly in my applications. By the time I finished OLive, I had changed my mind about my academic career and wanted to study something that has to do with Politics. Eventually, I was admitted to Bard College Berlin as part of the Program for International Education and Social Change and was awarded a full scholarship to study Politics, Economic and Social Thought. I believe this is only my first step and I will not stop here. My future plans is to pursue a Master degree in either Human Rights or International Relations. Due to the war experience in my country and the journey I had to take, I am now more determined than ever to find peaceful and sustainable solutions to humanitarian crises across the globe, and as a member of the refugee community myself, to challenge misconceptions, prejudices and discriminatory attitudes towards refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Europe and beyond. I would definitely be more than happy to support this initiative in any way I can as it was the only opportunity that got me where I am now. Big thanks to the whole team. "

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Ana Be

"My name is Ana Be. I live in Vienna since 2016. I made my Master's degree two years before my immigration. I had the opportunity to participate in the "Olive-programme" as well as the "olive up-programme". This course was a big help improving my language-skills in both German and Englisch. Furthermore I was able to make contact with Professors and learned more about the educational system in Austria. Everyone was quite freindly and they gave us advise for continuing with higher level education. Thanks to the programme and with the help of Professor Sarikakis I was able to do a short internship at the University of Vienna. This was an important step into my new life here. I'm grateful to everyone who helped me with this fresh start."

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Bashira Taleb

"I studied Biomedical Technology at Damaskus University and worked as a lecturer for the practical section of Biomedical Technology for 15 years. I liked the course a lot and it helped me much. I have learned a lot from words and grammar to working in groups analysing videos and writing letters. I became much more confident. I liked a lot how patient the teaching-personnel was and how many examples they gave us to work with in everyday life. I keep learning German at the momentso I can check for a good job."

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Fakhria Alawi

"I am Afghan from Iran. I first did my school leaving examination and started to study interpreting in Englisch and Persian. I only could finish one semester. I found some flyers on a table at the UKI where I had my first German-course. When I saw them I asked about what it was. A staff-member of the UKI registered me and ever since I'm on board. This was already my 3rd cycle in Olive. I did encourge a lot of people to join the project, some of them did register or will register for the new Olive project. I think Olive is a good thing as you can improve your skills in Englisch. I have learned a ot for my vocabulary and grammar. I'm aiming for niveau B2/C1 in German as well as in Englisch for the future. Afterwards I would like to study medicine."

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Christina Bahna

"I am 23 years old and studied arabic literature in Syria. I could not finish my studies. Now I'm doing training as an travel-agency-astistant and registered at the University of Vienna. My studies at the department of English and American Studies will start in February. A friend initially called my attention to the offer of the Olive programme. The course did a lot for me. I learned a lot of new words, my grammer got better, as did my pronunciation. I as will learned techniques for writing and presenting essays. Now I want to finish my studies and start working as an interpreter."

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From nothing to everything

By Nagham Ghazzoul Dunedin, New Zealand

Guest contribution:
The Secondary to Tertiary Transitions Project (Transitions Project) is a three-year participatory action research project involving refugee-background secondary school students in New Zealand’s two southernmost cities: Dunedin and Invercargill. The project involves working with the students as they navigate and negotiate the secondary-tertiary education border. The Transitions Project is hosted by the University of Otago College of Education which is in Dunedin.

Warsan Shire said, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark”.

I am Nagham, a Syrian girl who started her journey in this world on the first of May in 2002. I live as a normal girl with my family that has my mum, my dad, my sister and me. We lived in a 3-bedroom house living happily in this life. My life stopped for a while when the war started on 15th of March in 2011. Everything had changed. I lost my house, my friends, my uncle who got killed in the university, and so many more. I felt that I became nothing. Losing my uncle and being in a dangerous country made us think of leaving Syria as soon as possible. We knew that the death of my uncle might lead to the death of my dad and my second uncle, as we all hate the president of Syria. We went to Lebanon to apply to the UNHCR to help us become refugees in any country. After we applied, we went back to Syria to pick up our things and say goodbye to our family. We left Syria on the 25th of March in 2015 after spending 4 years in war circumstances.
We spent around 1 year and 3 months in Lebanon. It was the miserablest year in my life. Being a Syrian in Lebanon means that most people around you think that you steal their country from them. Most people around us hated us. My uncle with his wife and 3 children, my grandmother and my family lived in a house which had 2 bedrooms. In January 2016, we got a call from the UNHCR telling us that we will be travelling to New Zealand. We thought that New Zealand is a country in Europe but after searching on the Internet we found that New Zealand is located at the end of the world. We agreed to travel to New Zealand as we didn’t have another choice.
We came to New Zealand on the 1st of July in 2016. We didn’t know that much English. We stayed for 6 weeks in Auckland in a refugee centre called Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. In those weeks, we learnt some English, we got information about our house and our new life. On the 19th of August 2016, we moved to our new house in Dunedin. I studied year 8 in Brockville School and then moved to Otago Girls High School to study year 9 and this year is my last year in the high school which is year 13.
When I was young, I always dreamed of being a doctor. When I found that I could go and study medicine at the University of Otago which is located in Dunedin, I was so happy, and I started to set my path to achieve my goals. In 2020, I found out about a programme called the Secondary to Tertiary Transitions Project and joined it. It is a programme to help us refugees to know more about how to go to tertiary education such as universities and polytechnics. So far, I learnt from these projects how to apply for the university, and how to set my goals and work toward them. I made a map showing my goals in the future in this programme and how my life is going to be in 10 years. I got lots of support from the people in this programme which made me believe in myself. We had so many meetings with people who have different careers to give us advice and tips. I would like to thank the people who made this programme as they are so kind and helpful, and they give lots of their time to help us.
I would like to give some advice for the new students in New Zealand from my experience studying in New Zealand so far. You are the only one who is going to work towards your dream, and you should ask for help when you need it. Try and learn new things. Practise your English more.

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The situation of migrant and refugee women

By Sehar Waseem

I am a refugee in Austria, and despite a long a hard journey, I can see many the positive developments for the migrant and refugee women here. However, before I talk about that, I would also like to share just some of the issues that refugee women face, as I am one of them. There are millions of people, refugees who have experienced the same conflicts and struggles that I have, who have the potential to defy the odds and achieve great things. I believe that no refugee chooses to be a refugee. We do not choose the change our lives, to rip our hearts and souls out, leaving all that we knew and love behind for the unknown. It is quite difficult to start all over again. As a refugee, we are constantly questioned about our situation, our problems, we are always being suspected of deceit or treachery. The necessity to repeatedly justify oneself, to relive all the traumatic events again and again brings all the misery back, all this makes it hard to overcome all the trauma and suffering.
Refugees seek to escape from the war or persecution. However, the hardships do not come to an end, when we reach European shores. We face judgements, reprehension, more violence. Some of this is caused by the political rhetoric and public perception. Female refugees have to face these much more often than male refugees. In recent years, discussion about migration and the preservation of Austrian values has arisen. In 2017 (similarly to France and Belgium six years earlier) the full-face veil (burka and niqab) was forbidden. This was portrayed as both a national and European issue (similarly to gender-based violence perpetrated by Muslim men). The fact that a refugee status is attached to the husband in the family, while wives are not treated separately in these cases, is another issue that also needs to be addressed. Violence against refugee and migrant women and girls poses a problem too. The police officers at refugee centres are not always of the same sex as the interviewees. This is highly problematic. During the 2015 influx at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, rapes and abuses were reported by women in the big reception camps as a result of mixed gender toilet facilities. It is also not regulated whether shelters (run at the regional level) may accept asylum-seeking women. According to the legislation, multiple discrimination can only be referred to in the field of employment and occupation, but not in education and social protection. A further problem exists with the definition of multiple discrimination: it is formulated in a general way, causing difficulties with enforcement.
However, there have been a positive developments. Austria has a proven record on successful cooperation with the state actors and women’ NGOs, leading to important progress towards the cause. One women’ human rights defender summarized the Austrian situation as being possibly a lot better as compared to other parts of Europe, but she also noted a “rise in conservative politics and attacks on women’s rights (reproductive rights, shelters...) – if only on a discursive level at [the] moment.” Based on the lack of sufficient progress in certain areas of women’s rights — and also recalling a similar initiative from 1997, the “Women’s referendum” — NGOs initiated a petition in 2017 called “Women’s Advocacy”. After the national elections, this petition addressed the then-upcoming government and the National Council (parliament). The petition formulated nine demands covering several policy fields/issues related to women’s rights (such as a quota for women, violence prevention, and reproductive rights). NGOs that provide services in the field of violence against women, hindering sustainability and requiring more effort to ensure financial security. A decrease in funding in the last years for NGOs that work for marginalized groups of women (e.g. homeless women, or migrant women) has also been reported.
The refugees situation has not started with the Syrian crisis. The federal integration office of migrants, the Österreichischer Integrations funds (ÖIF, formerly the UN Refugee Fund) was set up in 1960 by the UNHCR and the Ministry of Interior as a result of Hungarian refugees fleeing after the revolution of 1956. There was a great influx of refugees during the Yugoslav Civil Wars. Since 2002 the services of the former have included language and integration courses and mobile counselling in all states for recognized refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. In 2016 18.4 % of women in Austria (812 600) had been born in another country. Most of them were EU nationals (Romanians, Germans and Hungarians e overrepresented), 48.7 % of them were third-country nationals (from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey and Serbia), while only 7.5 % of them were asylum seekers. The social composition of third-country national women differs from Austrians mainly in terms of age (they are younger), fertility rate (1.39ar for Austrian and 1.94 for immigrants, with Afghan and Syrian women having the highest level of fertility at 4.03-3.63) and educational background (lowest for women from Turkey).77 For girls and women arriving from some countries, FGM (female genital mutilation) poses a danger.
Many people currently flee from war and persecution and seek refuge in Austria and other countries. During their flight, many people are particularly vulnerable, especially women, children, elderly people, ill people, people with a disability, people with diverse sexual orientations, people who belong to a minority. Pregnant women and unaccompanied children under the age of 18 are especially vulnerable in such situations and in need of protection.
When it comes to the local response to the acts of violence or negligence, almost 25 years ago the Municipal Department 57 - Vienna Women's Affairs was created. They are the ones who offer numerous counselling and support services for women affected by violence and regarding women’s health issues.
Every person has the right to live a life without persecution, without violence. Judging from the statistics, along with the UN regulations being enforced and the services offered the city of Vienna, it is clear that that Austria has played a very constructive role for the settlement and, in particular empowerment of the women. It is encouraging to see the developments that go in the right direction.

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Viel…stimmig, Democracy and Europe

By Said Hayati

The experience of two world wars in Europe and their terrible consequences encouraged people almost all over Europe to think more about peace, democracy, and integration. The presence of new immigrants, brought the question of how some of Austrians should adapt the asylum seekers to a new situation and keep their life style in a democratic atmosphere based on human rights, pluralism and equality.
The huge number of asylum seekers who arrived to Austria in 2015 and 2016, especially in Neusiedl am See, provoked some persons there to think about the issue of immigrants. The answer was to create a magazine for them. The magazine got the name Viel…stimmig, polyphonic because of its mission. That mission is to support some of asylum seekers and help them in the integration process. Viel...stimmig, a magazine which gives the voice to asylum seekers, encourages them to share their own feelings, experiences and memories with their audience in Austria can serve as an example of the successful integration.

The plan of Viel...stimmig founders

The staffs of this magazine never sit to expect the writings of asylum seekers. They have dedicated their life to share a different view of immigrants to people in Burgenland. Viel...stimmig leaders planned to change negative perception of immigrants by Austrians by setting two goals:
“Was können wir den Ängsten und den Vorurteilen gegenüber Schutzsuchenden entgegensetzen?“ How we can remove worries and prejudices against protection seekers? and „Wie schaffen wir einen Ort, an dem sich Schutzsuchende und ÖsterreicherInnen auf Augenhöhe begegnen können?“ How can we create a place to share the views of protection seekers and Austrians?
The founders of the … set the goals to remove the anxiety and prejudices on both sides, among Austrians and immigrants. Viel...stimmig is a place to resolve some ambiguities and worries about asylum seekers. To my mind, directing workshops with very well-educated lecturers is the main way to do so. Through workshops and plays, lecturers lead the asylum seekers to become more tolerant to the different ideas, especially the ideas that attendants do not agree with, but also to find an appropriate way between different perspectives.

The writings of Asylum seekers

An overview of the content of three volumes of Viel...stimmig reveals many examples of respect of “others” with actual facts. They are factual instances of pluralism as well. For instance, the text of Adela Kaderpur “Süße Erfahrung”, where she shares her own experiences of respecting “others” by asylum seekers and Austrians, are examples of helping each other in spite of differences in ethnicity, place of birth origin, and language. The writings of Dr. Zohreh Kamyab like “Badminton” 5 and “Mein schönstes Geburtstagsgeschenk” are full of examples of respect to “others” and real facts of a peaceful co-existence.
Otherwise, the text of Jamila Kaderpur “Ramadan” and her conclusion is an instance of respecting the faith of each other, which to its writer and she shared her own experience with the audience. Two messages “respect and patience” of writing of Assadullah Ayoubi “five strange lands and five languages” are displays of democracy in a real life of one of asylum seekers. Sport as a successful instrument for integration has been explained by Haider Alanbare. This is another example that Viel...stimmig shared a useful example of integration which appears in a democratic and open society.

Private experiences

Needless to say, sometimes we find the heads of this project face with some unpredictable results because of their program. The staffs of this magazine helped the writers to show some of their hidden talents indirectly and supported their personal goals as well. For example, before writing short stories out of Neusiedl am See, one writer had no idea he had a potential for storytelling at all. A book of short stories, plus a film script and a theater piece are some manifestation of their unpredicted plan.
Before being in touch with the editors of the magazine I did not know if I can write short stories in German language at all. I did not do it even in my mother tongue. This magazine and its leaders gave me an opportunity to write some texts from an immigrant camp full of people and their integration processes which are also some experiences of peaceful co-existence in Austria. We find similar experiences of other participants of the workshops as well.

Evaluations and feedbacks

Evaluations, assessments, and feedbacks are significant for every staff member of this magazine. They are o sensitive to gather the reactions directly and indirectly to achieve their target. They direct their actions by analyzing feedbacks and steer the content of their workshops to be more effective.
To remove prejudices about asylum seekers and to work towards the society with pluralism as a main factor. That process is the goal of the founders of Viel...stimmig.
The staff of this magazine cleverly guide asylum seekers in workshops that were set up. This is a successful project to facilitate social contacts and writings about ‘themself’ and ‘others’ not only in Neusiedl am See, but also in other parts of Burgenland. Deservedly, they received the Prize for Integration (maybe the name of the programme and the year) 11 and their programs was widely covered by the Austrian mass media.

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Immigration and the labor market

By B. T.

Migrant labor is an important component of the global economy. This importance is manifested in the expansion of the workforce base and filling the gaps in skills shortages in the host countries. It is also embodied in the value of goods and services produced by foreign workers in the countries that receive them, since when these people produce and consume goods and services, they also pay taxes and save money, etc. They leave a noticeable economic impact on the economy of the country that receives them.
Statistics of the International Labor Organization indicate that more than 164 million migrant workers around the world have come to different countries to work in them until 2018. It is a pity that migrants face different types of discrimination and feel threatened in some host countries. As the justification for fears of migrants it is often said that migrant workers would occupy the most jobs instead of the citizens, as well as exhaust all the resources of the institutions and work centres of the host country. There is no doubt that these issues in host countries are related to the issues of demographics, unemployment, as well as to the political, social and cultural restructuring of the host countries.
It is well known that the most prominent cause of mass migration in the first place is wars. This Unfortunately brings about issues, such as poverty, poor economic situation of the country, lack or breaches of fundamental rights and freedoms, or security prosecutions. Since 2011, the Arab countries have been experiencing emigration movements to several countries offering protection, mainly the European Union, Turkey and Canada. Arab citizens were forced to look for a host country and then try to build a new life in which difficulties may vary from person to person and from country to country.

Integration factors by the country of destination:

The integration into European countries cannot only depend on foreigners, the state must also provide them with support in the process of integration. Among the most important factors that facilitate the integration process are the following:

Firstly, legalizing the work of foreigners in the labor market by issuing a residence permit or work permit.

Secondly: facilitating the process of language education and providing realistic opportunities for this.

Thirdly: mediating the media's contribution in transferring the true image of refugee conditions and avoiding negative generalization and stereotypes.

Lastly: facilitating the naturalization process for a good foreign citizen. These conditions are not easy to meet, especially since immigrants are requesting them from a country that has received them. However, it is important to realise that if these conditions are met, the migrants will be able to function within the society, until the point where they are considered a part of the community. In the scenario, where these needs are ignored, the situation might reach the point where the citizens and the immigrants clash. The administration of the host country should spare no efforts to prevent this, because the unrest that follows would be difficult to deal with.

Integration factors for migrants:

I would like to specify that the immigrant is a person, who comes to a different country with the intention of obtaining a permanent residence in order to escape a war or a political prosecution, and their intention is not to travel to a country for the purpose of tourism or studying. They should not be required to melt with the culture of the country under the pretext of integration. However, it is important that they present a good image of the homeland from which migrants came.
I think that there are several things that the immigrant should do in the host country, like to respect the laws of the country, treat others with courtesy and respect, and avoid any security breaches or collisions with others.
Secondly, immigrants must try and have a realistic plan if they really intend to settle in this country, and here lies the role of the importance of language, surrounding the culture of the society in which immigrants now live.
Thirdly, immigrants should secure workplaces which they can help them resist the alienation in the society. They should not rely only on state aid, they also have to bond with people, for example, form closer acquaintance with colleagues, and show their ability to adapt and integrate with society.

The problems of integration by immigrants with the new society:

One of the most discussed topics in the integration process is the nature of the immigrant's interaction with the new society. There are two types of immigrants. The first type are the Immigrants who are usually strict in major points, they maintain their customs and traditions regardless of the customs of the new society, even if these traditions are provocative for them. The second type are modernists, who are not embarrassed in fully identifying with the customs of their country and their society, but also calls for inclusion within the community, considering this to be a real condition that enables immigrants to achieve the goal of naturalization and stability in their future.
The truth is that the migrants, who grew up in a different country, who faced adversity, still carries its traces in their memories. They grew up in a society which features are still present in most situations. I think that immigrants cannot suddenly start identifying themselves with any other society. However, they must leave the past behind if they plan to adapt to their new country. So immigrants should focus on the main points that I mentioned such as mastering the language and forming the connections in their communities. As for the some habits that they are not accustomed to which contradicts their beliefs or habits no one can compel them to accept those as their own in the civilised world that guarantee and respect the freedom of individuals.

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Über Informationsgesellschaft und Demokratie

Von Hüsna Celebi

Die Kommunikationstechnologie hat in den letzten Jahren rasante Fortschritte gemacht. Insbesondere die Tatsache, dass die Internetnutzung in das Leben fast jedes/r Einzelnen eingedrungen ist, hat es uns ermöglicht, schnell zu einer Informationsgesellschaft zu werden. Es scheint unvermeidlich, dass diese Situation auch zur Demokratie beiträgt. Denn das Internet verbessert nicht nur die Beziehungen zwischen Menschen, die in derselben Gesellschaft leben, sondern auch zwischen Gesellschaften mit den Kommunikationsverbindungen, die es ermöglicht. Leider können wir nicht immer einsehen, dass die positiven Aspekte des Internets in unser Leben eintreten. Andererseits ist es in einer Position, die in Bezug auf Freiheiten und die Reaktion auf übermittelte Ereignisse oder Informationen niemals ignoriert wird. Mit anderen Worten, die Grundlagen einer Informationsgesellschaft sind unaufhaltsam und sehr schnell gelegt. Dies eine Revolution der Kommunikationstechnologie zu nennen, wäre gewiss legitim.
Wie bei jeder Innovation oder sozialen Reform ist es unvermeidlich, dass dieser rasche Wandel nicht nur sehr vorteilhaft ist, sondern natürlich auch negative Auswirkungen hat. Infolgedessen kann ein unkontrollierter Bereich unvermeidliche Schäden verursachen. Jedes Konzept oder jede Tatsache wird besser verstanden, wenn keine Verpflichtung besteht. Mit anderen Worten, menschliche Freiheit per Definiton ist, dass der Mensch nicht alles tun kann was er will, jedoch auch nicht zu etwas gezwungen werden kann, was er nicht will.
Aber müssen wir diese wichtige Frage stellen? Ist der Beitrag der Informationsgesellschaft zur Demokratie etwas, das durch das Internet in der virtuellen Welt geleistet wird? Ist Demokratie so einfach?
Obwohl es kein Deskriptor der Informationsgesellschaft ist, ist eines ihrer spezifischen Merkmale die Innovation in Kommunikationssystemen und deren Eindringen in viele Bereiche unseres Lebens. In diesem Zusammenhang kann gesagt werden, dass das Internet und seine weit verbreitete Nutzung eine große Rolle bei der Entwicklung der Informationsgesellschaft spielt.
Die demokratischen Erwartungen an die Informationsgesellschaft scheinen mit der Globalisierung einen beträchtlichen Abstand erreicht zu haben. Es ist jedoch klar, dass die Globalisierung in vielen Bereichen der Welt zu positiven Entwicklungen führen wird. Unter diesen positiven Entwicklungen kommen die Hoffnungen zum Ausdruck, dass die Globalisierung die Verbreitung der Demokratie in der Welt weiter verstärken wird. Weil das Internet und das Netzwerk dank der diversen kommunikationsmöglichkeiten die Welt praktisch grenzenlos gemacht haben. Also die nationale Grenzen sind virtuell leicht überschreitbar. So wurde sichergestellt, dass die Mitglieder der Gesellschaft auch eine Welt erreichen, in der sie frei sein können. Mit anderen Worten, es gibt die Hoffnung, dass es so eintreten wird. Ist jedoch jedes Land der Welt wirklich frei genug für die Internetnutzung? Untersuchungen zu diesem Thema zeigen, dass das freieste Land die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika sind, während China in den nicht freien Ländern an erster Stelle steht. Leider befindet sich auch mein eigenes Land, die Türkei, inzwischen in den Reihen dieser Länder. Das heißt, die Menschen, die in der Türkei leben, dürfen das Internet und damit die sozialen Medien nur eingeschänkt nutzen. 
Durch die Integration und den Prozess der Informationsgesellschaft sind viele neue Konzepte und Begriffe wie ‘Transparenz’, ‘verantwortungsvolle Staatsführung’ und ‘partizipative Demokratie’ in unsere Literatur aufgenommen worden. Die Formulierung dieser und ähnlicher Konzepte und Begriffe im Diskurs der Informationsgesellschaft bedeutet jedoch nicht, dass Regierungen oder Gesellschaften demokratisch sind. Mit der weit verbreiteten Nutzung des Fernsehens in den 1950er Jahren, sind Fesnter zur Welt geöffnet worden, die Einzug in unsere Häuser erhalten haben. Dank dessen hatten die Kulturen, Farben und Stimmen der Welt die Möglichkeit, sich kennenzulernen, aber der Kampf im Sinne der Demokratie ging seinen eigenen Weg. Trotz aller Ideale und Praktiken der Internet- und Informationsgesellschaft ist die Ungleichheit oder Kluft in der Demokratie heute immens.
Andererseits scheint es unvermeidlich, dass die "partizipative Demokratie" oder das Verständnis von Transparenz in der Informationsgesellschaft eine größere Bedeutung erlangen und mit den Entwicklungen in den Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien einen wichtigen Platz in unserem Leben einnehmen werden . Aber wird die schwindelerregende Geschwindigkeit dieser neuen Begriffe ausreichen, um ihren Inhalt zu bewahren, oder werden sie nur als Worthülse in unserem Leben bleiben? Wir wundern uns wirklich auf die Antworten auf diese und ähnliche Fragen, und müssen Sie daher rechtzeitig hinterfragen. Fragen sind ein Phänomen, das in demokratischen Umgebungen auftritt und nur durch individuelle Anstrengungen am Leben erhalten werden kann.
In unserer Zeit wird Demokratie als die idealste Regierungsform akzeptiert, die die Menschheit erreichen kann. Es ist klar, dass für die Verwirklichung einer idealisierten Demokratie die wirtschaftliche Infrastruktur bereit sein muss und die politischen Machthaber reif genug sein müssen, um dies zuzulassen und aufrichtig an die Demokratie glauben. Wenn die politische Macht, die Regierungen und der Staat nicht an die Demokratie glauben, dann kann auch die Informationsgesellschaft, das Internet, Mobiltelefone oder Plasmabildschirme nichts dagegen anrichten. Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien können nur in demokratischen Umgebungen zur Demokratie beitragen.
Ich habe oben teilweise festgestellt, dass die weit verbreitete Nutzung des Internets und der Computer in den heutigen Gesellschaften viele positive oder negative Aspekte aufweist. Der vielleicht wichtigste seiner negativen Aspekte ist die Überwachung durch die Gemeinschaft. Es breitet sich so schnell aus, dass es zu Sicherheitsverletzungen und zur Verbreitung personenbezogener Daten im öffentlichen Bereich kommt. Weil Computer zu einem Überwachungsgerät geworden sind. Ein inhärentes Merkmal heutiger Gesellschaften, die in einer globalen Welt als Informationsgesellschaft bezeichnet werden, ist, dass sie observierte Gesellschaften sind. Es ist unmöglich, nicht ängstlich zu sein, wenn es um Gesellschaften geht die beobachtet werden. Denn der Schutz oder die Vertraulichkeit personenbezogener Daten ist ein Thema, das jedem Einzelnen am Herzen liegt. Zumindest sollte es gesetzlich festgelegt sein. In dieser Hinsicht hat die Europäische Union eine rechtliche Vereinbarung getroffen.
Haben Kommunikationstechnologien also keine positive Seite bei der Entwicklung der Demokratie? Natürlich gibt es auch diese Etnwicklungen. Das Internet ist der attraktivste und effektivste Aspekt der Informationsgesellschaft, da es die Möglichkeit bietet, verschiedene Ideen Gehör zu verschaffen. Wenn wir uns die bisherige Geschichte des Internets ansehen, gibt es Beispiele die für eine gute Nutzung des Internets in einigen wichtigen Schritten im Namen von Demokratie, Bürgerrechten und Menschenrechten sprechen. Das vielleicht wichtigste Beispiel hierfür sind die Ereignisse in Seattle. Wie wir uns erinnern werden, fand am 1. Dezember 1999 ein Treffen der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) in Seattle, USA, statt. Das Treffen wurde mit Massendemonstrationen begleitet, die auf der ganzen Welt gehalten wurden und an denen Tausende von Menschen teilnahmen. Es gab eine intensive Intervention der Polizei, wo es auch zu schweren Zusammenstößen kam. Hunderte von Menschen wurden festgenommen. Diejenigen, die an den Protesten in Seattle teilnahmen, kamen nicht aus dem amerikanischen Kontinent. Es hat Teilnehmer aus der ganzen Welt gegeben. Die Demonstranten führten viele Vorbereitungen durch, wie die Organisation der Teilnahme, die Kommunikation untereinander und die breite Nutzung des Internets.
Infolgedessen möchte ich festhalten, dass mit der Entwicklung der Kommunikationstechnologie eine gesunde und vorteilhafte Kommunikation in der Informationsgesellschaft und die Möglichkeit, schnelle Informationen zu erhalten, nur in demokratischen Gesellschaften ihre Funktionalität entfaltet. Wenn eine Gesellschaft nicht demokratisch regiert wird, kann sie niemals ihren Anteil an der Globalisierung haben. Die Globalisierung treibt die Gesellschaften zu einer Art obligatorischer Demokratie. Nur gesunde und freie Gemeinschaftstrukturen, die in einem demokratischen Umfeld aufwachsen, können gesunde Informationsgesellschaften aufbauen.

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Demokratie und Europa

Von Wansa Nasralla

Einleitung :

Demokratie bedeutet, dass die Herrschaft vom Volk ausgeht und dass die Menschen Meinungs- und Meinungsfreiheit haben.
Die Aufgabe der Politik ist es, Systeme aufrechtzuerhalten, die es allen Bürgern ermöglicht, ein erfülltes Leben zu führen.

Was bedeutet Demokratie

In einer Demokratie genießt jeder Meinungsfreiheit, daher wenn die Regierung schlechte Arbeit leistet oder die Menschen damit unzufrieden sind, kann sich der Bürger oder die Bürgerin bei den nächsten Wahlen ihren Unmut äußern indem Er oder Sie die Partei wechselt, wenn Sie damit nicht zufrieden ist.
Wenn wir in einer Demokratie leben wollen, müssen wir bereitwillig sein, politische Verantwortung bei Wahlen zu übernehmen, die unsere Zufriedenheit oder Unzufriedenheit mit PolitikerInnen widerspiegelt.
Alle österreichischen StaatsbürgerInnen dürfen ab dem 16ten Lebenjahr zur Wahl gehen. Alle Wahlberechtigten sind automatisch in einem speziellen Register erfasst. Diese Liste liegt im jeweiligen Gemeindeamt oder Magistrat auf.

Verschiedene Formen von Demokratie:

Die erste Demokratieform, besteht darin, dass man Repräsentanten bzw. Respräsentantinnen des Volkes wählt, die im Sinne des Volkes agieren, ihre Meinungen und Wünsche im Parlament vertreten. Die Vertreter sind in der Regel in Parteien organisiert.
Die zweite Demokratieform, welche beispielsweise in der Schweiz parktiziert wird, ist die direkte Demokratie. Das bedeutet, dass die Bürger und Bürgerinnen mittels eines Referendums direkt an der politischen Entscheidungsfindung teilnehmen können. Aus diesem Grund entscheiden die Menschen alle drei Monate über eine Reihe von Themen.
Im Jahr 1978 lehnten die Österreicherinnen und Österreicher die Inbetriebnahme des Atomkraftwerkes Zwentendorf ab. 1994 stimmten sie für den Beitritt Österreichs zur Europäischen Union. Auch auf Landes- und Gemeindeebene sind derartige Abstimmungen möglich. So durfte 1920 das Volk in Kärnten über den Verbleib des Bundeslandes bei der Republik Deutsch-Österreich abstimmen. Jedes Jahr wird am 10. Oktober an diese Abstimmung erinnert.

Die dritte Form

Die dritte Form der Demokratie besteht darin, dass die Menschen sich bei Projekten und Kräften beraten lassen und die Politiker für eine partizipative Entscheidung stimmen.

Österreich eine Demokratie

Demokratie in Österreich sielt sich in vielen Lebensbereichen ab.
Laut österreichischer Bundesverfassung ist festgelegt, dass Österreich als eine demokratische Republik gilt. Daher geht Ihr Recht vom Volk aus.
Demokratische Wahlen fanden in Österreich erstmals im Jahre 1848 statt. Jedoch wurde erst im Jahre 1907 ein allgemeines und gleiches Wahlrecht für Männer eingeführt. Frauen allerdings durften erst 12 Jahre später, im Jahr 1919 an den ersten Wahlen der Republik Österreich teilnehmen.
Die Bundesverfassung gibt allen wahlberechtigten Staatsbürgerinnen und Staatsbürgern das Recht, am politischen Geschehen im Staat mitzuwirken. Wählen dürfen österreichische StaatsbürgerInnen ab 16 Jahren. Bei Gemeinderatswahlen und bei Wahlen zum EU- Parlament dürfen auch die in Österreich lebenden BürgeInnen anderer EU-Staaten ihre Stimme abgeben.

Das Wahlrecht

Alle Österreicherinnen und Österreicher erhalten das Wahlrecht im Alter von 16 Jahren und wählen ihre politischen VertreterInnen ins Parlament. Die Beteiligung an den Wahlen ist aufgrund der Entscheidungsfindung wichtig und um folgenden Grundsätzen entsprechen zu können

1. Jeder Bürger bzw. jede Bürgerin, der oder die ein bestimmtes Alter erreicht hat, ist wahlberechtigt.
2. Jede Stimme hat ihre Bedeutung.
3. Die Partei oder der Kandidat bzw. die Kandidatin wird direkt gewählt.
4. Jeder sollte seine eigene Stimme eigenhändig abgeben, was bedeutet, dass man Niemanden damit beauftragen kann.
5. Der Name des Wählers oder der Partei steht nicht auf dem Stimmzettel.
6. Die Abstimmung muss frei und ohne Zwang erfolgen.

Die Wahl der Abgeordneten zum Nationalrat heißt Nationalratswahl. Sie findet spätestens fünf Jahre nach der letzten Nationalratswahl statt. Diese Wahl entscheidet darüber, wie viele Abgeordnete die einzelnen Parteien haben. Davon hängt es in der Regel auch ab, wie die Macht in der neuen Regierung verteilt ist. QUELLE?
Hat keine Partei die absolute Mehrheit an Abgeordneten im Parlament, dann gibt es in der Regel eine Koalition aus zwei oder mehreren Parteien. Diese Parteien bilden dann die Regierung (Koalitionsregierung). Die anderen Parteien, die nicht an der Bundesregierung beteiligt sind, werden Opposition genannt. Sie kontrollieren die Bundesregierung. Eine Absolute Mehrheit im Parlament bedeutet, dass mehr als die Hälfte aller Abgeordneten einer Partei angehören. Der Nationalrat hat 183 Abgeordnete.
Eine Regierung benötigt die Unterstützung von mehr als der Hälfte aller Abgeordneten. Denn eine Mehrheit der Abgeordneten im Nationalrat kann jederzeit die Absetzung der Bundesregierung erzwingen.

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Seeking Education while Seeking Asylum

By Djemil Tahir

Can education rescue from metal breakdown caused by hardships accompanied by the process of asylum seeking?

After receiving my first degree abroad in Southeast Asia, I faced issues travelling to my country of citizenship given the nature of my active criticism of the extreme authoritarian government in power.

The entire length of the process can take up to five years in Austria. Asylum seekers have no access to labor market until they are approved as refugees. This makes the options in hand for this group to be active in the society limited.

When I realized this limitation and witnessed the tragedy of young people losing their mental sanity given the conditions of living and the uncertainties surrounding them coupled with not having an active role in the society, I gained confidence that education is the gateway.

Educational entities in Austria extend a generous hand for refugees and asylum seekers to pursue education. Not an exception is the University of Vienna which offers OLIve program.

OLIve is well publicized in Austria. When I was searching for an academic space online for asylum seekers and refugees, OLIve appeared among the first results and thus was intriguing to further read about the program. Reaching out to the team for assistance and advice was feasible and seamless.

From the perspective of an asylum seeker and an ex-participant of the program, I can affirm that the value of such programs lies in the emotional and social input. The space created signifies the warmth and support which are crucial for a successful later integration.

Integration is complex term, and we often hear politicians call for it on almost every stage, governments invest in it and nations demand it. However, achieving satisfaction in that aspect has not been met. I often dive in my thoughts to find answers for such questions. From where I see this matter, a catalyst for good integration is the presence of mutual respect and equal opportunity. People of migrant backgrounds can be discriminated in jobs and access to certain positions. However, the educational sector has been leading the way and setting up an example of paving the road for good and successful integration because equal opportunity is offered, and mutual respect is what connects the students regardless of the residence status with the educational entities and that is my experience with OLIve, Vienna.

Djemil Tahir, on June 19, 2021

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Visual Storytelling. Communicating through Visual Arts as a powerful advocacy tool

Human Destinies in the Context of Crisis

The main purpose of the photography/video workshop is to help participants communicate through visual arts and to develop creative skills. At this workshop the students are given a tool that allows them to tell the world, in a universal language, about their desires, their dreams, their lives. Visual arts can be used as a powerful advocacy tool to communicate stories of personal and communal expression, in addition to the numerous benefits of using art as a therapeutic medium. Art also provides a platform to raise awareness. Students express themselves during the workshop freely, without any judgment of their work.

AREEJ SHOPASH, SYRIA – The Death Road which saved my children
ZIA AFZALI, AFGHANISTAN – Meine Reise von Afghanistan bis nach Wien
WALAT ABDULLAH, SYRIA - First Moments in Europe, Oberpullendorf, Austria.


I am Areej Shoubash. I was born in Damascus Syria in 1985. I grew up in an educated family. My parents used to work as teachers. I have three brothers and one sister. I finished my studies in English Literature at Damascus University and graduated in 2007. Afterwards I found a job as an English Teacher for five years. 2011 the war started in Syria but at that time the situation was still ok in Damascus. 2012 I married the man to whom I felt in love at work. But at that time everything had changed… The war was very difficult so we had to leave our house because of the horrible freighting situation.
We moved during three years into five different flats seeking a safe place. 2015 I gave birth to my twins Mohammed and Adam. Unfortunately, they were both born sick with heart-issues and Adam with hepatic problems. The doctors said that it is not possible to do the operation because they were very young.
At that time a lot of Syrians fled to Europa looking for a safe life. So, I decided to go anywhere so that I can save my children.
We sold everything we had: the car, the jewelry, we lent money from several friends. Our adventure started while traveling from the South to the North of Syria to cross the borders. That was very hard with two little babies. We had to climb the mountains and stay calm and quite in the dark at the borders between Syria and Turkey where the Turkish police fired shots at people who were trying to cross the borders.
I don’t know how I did it at that time. We reached safely. Then we had to go to Antakya and then to Azmir where the people could cross the sea to Greece by boat.
After three attempts we did it and we reached the island Samos. After that we travelled by ship to Athens. In Athens we took buses and cars to Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, and finally to Austria. The children were very tired and sick. The odds were very high that we lose them at any moment. As soon as we reached Austria, the ambulance took us directly to the hospital. Everything was difficult and strange to me. But I had to be strong because of my children.
The children got operated and received the medicine they needed. Theý got better and better. Then we stayed for one year in a camp until we received the Asylum. Afterwards we moved to our new home. We were happy now that we are safe and healthy. During my maternity I learned German online at home. 2019 I got the B2 Certificate and tried to find a job as an English teacher, but all my tries were in vain. So, I decided to learn something new. Now I am learning “Betriebsinformatik”. It is very difficult, but I am doing my best. I wish my husband would also find a job here, he used to work as an ICDL trainer but because he is not very good in German, he is still unemployed.
My biggest wish is to see my sister who remained with her family in Syria. And at the same time my biggest fear is that I cannot see her anymore due to the whole situation in Syria…

The Death road which saved my children

SYRIA, 2015 - Adam and Mohammed, my twins born in Syria a few minutes before the bombs started to fall nearby. The twins used to have heart problems and there was no hope in Syria to make an operation due to their fragile age.
The moment they got born I felt guilty because I brought them to life during this horrible war in Syria. I got depression and immediately lost the breast milk for feeding my babies.

TURKEY, 2015 - We then decided to travel on the so-called Death Road to Europe because of the bad circumstances. This was the second step. We were too tired because we traveled to Turkey illegally with smugglers between the mountains in the woods at night, walking for 6 hours to Intaqia, then with the bus 16 hours to Izmir.

GREECE, 2015 - We were traveling in a gummy boat for 5 hours on the sea. Young men jumped from the boat so it turned up and down. The water was so high that we had to hold the children up. The twins are sleeping on the rescue vests on the ground. (Greece, Island Samos)

GREECE, 2015 - The twins are sleeping on the rescue vests on the ground. (Greece, Island Samos)

AUSTRIA, 2015 - We survived to Greece, then finally arrived in Austria, where the twins made the so needed heart operation. Now they are in a good situation and we are happy because we are safe.

AUSTRIA, 2016 - 1 st birthday of the twins in Austria. Thankful that we have such a great community around us.

AUSTRIA, 2021 - My babies are now 6 years old. We are safe, healthy and happy

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Ertugrul was born in Istanbul. He graduated from Ankara University, Department of Journalism. He worked as a journalist in Turkey's leading television channels and newspapers for 20 years. He became a refugee to Austria to escape the "witch hunt" that started on 15 July 2016. He is currently a freelance journalist on Radio Orange FM 94.0. Besides that, he works as a 3D kitchen-planner. Ertugrul is married and has 3 children.
His biggest WISH: To be a professional journalist again. WHAT he loves: Counting 3-2-1 before the live stream! A WISH for the WORLD: A world without dictators!


"If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." This quote belongs to the American film director Woody Allen. I also had big plans. I was a successful journalist in my country. I was even invited to the president's plane.

(Ertugrul Erbas in a plane with the Turkish president, Abdullah Gül)

My plans were standard: a better career, a better house, a better car, bla...bla..bla... However, when I left my country on a ferry on July 21, 2016, I was wearing only a T-shirt, my shorts, a pair of sneakers and a shoulder bag in which I put my passport, phone, charger and wallet.

(Ertugrul Erbas on the flee)

God was laughing about my plans…
A strange irony:
My first exit-point was an island in Greece. Country of Professor Sarikakis!
According to official teaching, the Greeks were our enemies. But the facts would show that it was just propaganda.
I did not stay long in Greece. But this is what I heard from many of my friends: "We only saw friendship from those we thought are our enemies!"
I was lucky. I had a passport… I had a valid EU visa in my passport…
Like thousands of others, I did not have to pass through the dangerous waters of Evros. Like hundreds of others, I did not cry after those who died on the journey. Austria… A new life! I was feeling ready. I started making plans again: Master in Vienna University, finding job in a newspaper or TV... I could do that. But, when AMS sent me to a welding course… when I listened to a speech about "How to we say hello?" for 30 minutes in a place called the integration course… it didn't take me long to understand:
I was just a refugee!
God was laughing about my plans…
Actually, I am a person who likes to learn. The welding course was enjoyable. Integration courses were interesting. But it is not a lie, I always wanted to shout:
“Hey! I am a journalist who saw 4 continents and 40 countries. (the number is completely correct) Isn't there anything else you can send me?”
This was not arrogance, actually. I just wanted to be beneficial to this country that embraced me. I did not want to throw away years of my experience. I just watched the images of the Olive Certificate Ceremony once again while looking through my photo archive for this article. How happy I am when I get a "Bunny" chocolate from Professor Sarikakis!

(Photography taken by Patricia Smolean 2017, Certificate Ceremony OLIve)

Maybe I missed being admired. Maybe it was nice to forget that I was a refugee. It was a chance for me to be in that free environment of the University of Vienna. I wholeheartedly congratulate Professor Sarikakis and her team for creating such an excellent and professional environment. I think the Austrian government should ask Professor Sarikakis: “How should the method of integration be?

Finally, I say:
F..k the plans! All I have to do is: Doing my best today. I'm telling my two daughters also: “Don't make big plans. Just do your best today. And also be kind and helpful.”
I know. God laughs at about my plans. But I am sure that: The days that I will laugh again are not far.

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Ich bin Zia AFZALI und am 28.11.1990 in Ghazni, Afghanistan geboren. Ich gehöre zu der Minderheitsvolksgruppe Hazara. Ich habe die Schule in meinem Heimatsdorf Jaghuri Ghazni besucht und auf der Polytechnischen Universität in Kabul Elektrotechnik fertig studiert. Nach meiner Ausbildung arbeitete ich als Technik-Manager. Ich habe meinen Job nur zwei Jahre ausüben können, weil ich aufgrund der Schwierigkeiten mit meiner Religion leider aufhören musste. Ich habe ein paar Geschwister, die in Afghanistan geblieben sind und meine Eltern sind schon verstorben. 2015 habe ich geheiratet und hatte noch ein gutes Leben mit meiner Frau. Wegen dem Krieg und der religiösen Verfolgung musste ich mein Land verlassen – ich bin geflüchtet. Meine Frau lebt noch in der alten Heimat, aber ich habe durch Rotes Kreuz- Familie-Zusammenführung einen Antrag für die Einreise gestellt. Ich habe hier in Österreich am 01.10.2015 einen Asylantrag gestellt und am 2017 leider vom BFA einen negativen Bescheid bekommen. Ich bekam Depressionen, aber trotz dessen habe ich meine Hoffnungen nicht verloren und habe weitergekämpft. Nach drei weiteren Versuchen habe ich am 17.03.2021 das Gerichtverfahren gehabt und habe an dem gleichen Tag von Bundesverwaltungsgericht einen internationalen Schutz (positiven Asylbescheid) bekommen. Ich kann sagen, dass ich das erste Mal in meinem Leben die Gerechtigkeit beim Gericht erlebt habe. Seit 2015 bin ich hier in Österreich. Vom Anfang an habe ich mit viel Interesse einige Deutschkurse besucht bis ich das B2 Niveau erreicht habe. September 2017 habe ich eine Ausbildung (KOLLEG/AUFBAULEHRGANG für Elektrotechnik-Nachhaltiges Energiemanagement) in HTL-WIEN-10 gefunden und habe 2021 diese Schule mit einer Reif-Diplomprüfungszeugnis absolviert. Jetzt arbeite ich in einer Firma als Elektro-Gebäudetechniker. 2018 habe ich das OLIve-Programm besucht und durch diesen Kurs konnte ich mir viel neues Wissen aneignen und auch sehr nette und gute Freunde finden. Mein größter Wunsch ist es, dass ich einmal in meinem Leben diese Welt ohne Kriege und Elend erleben kann aber auch, dass kein Mensch aufgrund seiner Religion, Glaubensrichtung oder sogar Geschlecht diskriminiert wird.

Meine Reise aus Afghanistan bis nach Wien

Meine Reise aus Afghanistan bis nach Europa war so schwer wie ich niemals gedacht habe, dass es sein kann. Zuerst aus Afghanistan nach Pakistan, dann nach Iran und dann nach der Türkei. An der Grenze zu Pakistan und Iran hat die Polizei auf uns geschossen. Es war wirklich gefährlich. Die Reise bis Türkei war zu Fuß und/oder versteckt unter dem Auto. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit auf dieser Reise zu sterben, war sehr hoch… Ich bin so glücklich, dass ich noch am Leben bin!

(Meine Stadt in Afghanistan, Ghazni)

(Grenze zwischen dem Iran und der Turkey)

(In Istanbul, wegen der schwierigen Reise habe ich sehr viel an Gewicht verloren)

(Mit dem Boot auf das Mittelmeer)

(Nach der Reise mit dem Schlepperboot endlich in Mytilene Griechenland)

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My name is Walat ABDULLAH, I am a Kurd from Syria, I am married and have two children (six and four years old). I am granted asylum; I am not currently working. I attend enrolled computer courses. I arrived in Austria in 5. May the year 2015. The Journey lasted about 22 days. My journey was very tiring, I started the journey from Syria to Turkey, stayed for a few nights there, then went by truck to Bulgaria and from Bulgaria, walking to Serbia, then Hungary, then Austria. I studied geology at Damascus University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree, after which I worked for several years in the oil industry in Syria and was able to gain experience and knowledge here in various companies, as Austria has now become the center of my life. I entered my career here. I already contacted several oil companies here in Vienna, Graz and other cities, unfortunately I did not receive a job opportunity, one of the options was to continue my education at the master's level at the University of Leoben, but I could not study because there is no work, especially when a person studies does not receive assistance Social. Now, I am enrolling in computer courses, and I hope to work as a programmer. My biggest wish for this world is the disappearance of wars. In Syria, the war began for more than ten years, displacing millions, hundreds of thousands in detention camps. Thousands were killed in cold blood, just to stay in power. I also hope that education will be sufficient and free for everyone, in these days, unfortunately, there is a virus called Corona that disrupts the social life of everyone. I hope that everyone will be vaccinated so that this virus will disappear as soon as possible.

First Moments in Europe, Oberpullendorf, Austria..

I have come to Austria May 2015 and till March 2016, Oberpullendorf was the first city in Austria and Europe I have seen. Oberpullendorf is a district of the State of Burgenland in Austria. Why Oberpullendorf: It is a very beautiful city and the people there were so good. There I have moved from instability to the stage of stability, from unsafe to safe. There I was able to forget the terrible moments that I passed through. There I felt my Mother's tenderness... There I have lived like one person belongs to this city. There I have shared with the people their moments of happiness or sadness). There I have made many friends. If I remember Oberpullendorf, then I just remember the best Moments... This my story....

This picture, very dear to me, is at Saint Stephen's house, and that's where I started to form community relationships. Within a short period of time, I had many friendships that visited me permanently and also visited them in their homes on birthdays and New Year’s Eve parties. Here I started learning German, on the far left, my teacher, Maria, is a retired teacher who voluntarily works to teach German at this center. I am in contact with her so far. On my right is an Austrian friend who unfortunately died because of a car accident. His death left a deep impression on me.

This image is for me one of the most important that I have because it shows the importance of volunteering and my commitment to my new community. I worked in Oberpullendorf as a translator for the Summertime Bond because I speak English very well. We've worked a lot and I'm proud of that. At that time, my asylum procedure was still pending. So, I volunteered as a translator at Samariterbund. This organization assisted at the Austrian-Hungarian border in September 2015, as well as in the Samariterbund emergency room in WIESEN Stadt for translation and transfer of humanitarian materials.

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