Making Home Away

So I sat them down and told them: the five of us are here, me, you and your father, wherever the five of us are, that place should be your heaven.
Discover their stories


Current 'Home' Berlin, Germany

Nabil, a 26 year-old Syrian man in Berlin, lists his priorities in his new location:

"My future plan is to integrate in this country, to learn the language. After getting – studying the language the jobcentre will look after our issues. Maybe find a job for us, if you don't find a job yourself they will find a job for you. To live – dignity with it, to start a new life. But the first step is to learn the language and start building your own future. You have to finish the language first then try to support your own self."

Sheets hung up to provide some semblance of privacy between beds in emergency accommodation offered to refugees in Berlin – image by Nina Perkowski, copyright CTM.

Language learning is viewed by many refugees as a crucial process for gaining access to economic, political and social opportunities in their new homes.  For more information on the debates surrounding language teaching and learning in the refugee context - for instance, helping teachers to understand the importance of the home language, and work effectively with refugee children whose education has been extensively disrupted, the British Council provide a range of resources here.


This extract is from an interview conducted during the summer of 2016 as part of the Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat project,  which was led by Vicki Squire: Fuller stories from which these excerpts are taken can be explored here:


Current 'Home'
Berlin, Germany