Inside the Lives of Asylum Seekers in Germany

The Only Option

AYHAM, 19, is from Syria.

He says he was lucky — his boat journey from Turkey to Greece went smoothly. Ayham says so far he likes living in Germany, though he misses his family. He has been in Germany since October 2015.

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Ayham is from Aleppo, Syria. He spent about four months working in Turkey before making the solo journey to Germany. In Turkey, he worked doing what he refers to as “black jobs” in the informal economy. Unable to save much money, go to school or start a new life in Turkey, he took a boat to Greece and then made his way to Germany.

Ayham’s family came to Germany about three weeks after he arrived. His parents and three younger sisters are now in the city of Dortmund, about 75 miles from where he has been placed in Osnabrueck.

Ayham hasn’t been to school in six years, and he is thinking about what he can study in order to get a job. He’s waiting for an interview to obtain his official papers, which will allow him to stay for three years in Germany as a Syrian refugee.