The Question of Origins

Amar Alhaw

Damascus, Syria


Once I was at the river Main with friends.
We were in a good mood, because we were together.
As we sat there, we spontaneously
got to know some Germans.
Each spoke about where he came from,
and of course I was asked too
(when they looked at me it was clear
that I am not German).
I told them that I come from Syria.

Then they started to ask a lot of questions
about the situation in Syria,
and the groups involved in the war
(they had talked in their school lessons
about the Syrian war).
At that moment, however,
I did not want to talk about
such a sensitive subject.
I only wanted to have a good time
with my friends.

But the young people asked more questions
and showed their interest.
I tried to tell them indirectly
that I did not want at that moment
to talk about the war, because I did not want
to spoil my mood.

At the same time I did not want
them to see me
as an impolite person.


Amar Alhaw (20)

arrived in Germany from Greece in 2015 at the age of 16. At first his mother and two sisters were not allowed to go with him. He suffered greatly from this. After half a year they were unexpectedly permitted to join him in Frankfurt. After a year, Amar spoke accent-free Germany, as if he had been born here. The half year alone in Frankfurt had laid the foundations for his independence. In summer 2019 he is taking his school-leaving certificate.