Interview with Ankido from Syria

In Assyria everything was “hayat“

These words out of the mouth of an Assyrian refugee are very sad to hear. Ankido, a colleague and friend of mine, came to Germany four years ago. Without speaking a word of German and knowing just the writing of our language from an infrequently visited English class, he had to build himself a life in Germany. Because of our topic “migration” I asked him a couple of questions:

Jule: Ankido, how was your life in Assyria?

Ankido: In Assyria, everything was hayat (life like paradise). We were a family with good living-standards and I had the chance to enjoy a good education. My grades were good and I liked to study. My friends and I played football in the streets every day.

Jule: You said you liked to study. Isn’t that the case anymore?

Ankido: Well, it isn’t. Since I’ve seen the war in my city, I don’t really care about my education at all. It doesn’t matter to me which grades I get.

Jule: Was it hard for you to leave your country?

Ankido: At the end I just wanted to go away. We are Christians in Assyria. To protect our village my friends and I were kind of the last defence. I never had to use the gun I carried with me, but the feeling of this weapon in your hand and the certainty that an attack could happen all the time is a reason to leave your beloved country.

Jule: That is very tough to hear but about with the present? Do you like Germany? Could you imagine to move back to Assyria when the political situation is better or would you rather stay in Germany?

Ankido: I had the chance to stay in Germany before. When I was eleven years old, I visited my uncle, who lived in Germany and my mum asked me if I wanted to stay here. It was a sure thing for me that I want to live in Assyria with my friends. But now, the situation has changed. Nearly all of my friends are fleeing from Assyria and are spread into all the corners of the world (even his brother lives in Goteborg). It wouldn’t be the same moving back to Assyria by now and I really can’t imagine a life there. Germany also brings some good arguments with it. I stopped smoking so much (just three cigarettes while we talked) and I have found good friends and a good job. But I can say that I would totally prefer a life in Assyria before the war.