Teilhabe und Begegnung

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Yesterday fireworks echoed around the city like thunderclaps, balloons floated through the sky until it was hard to distinguish them from the stars, and the people of Berlin materialized in happy rushes to celebrate Tag der Deutschen Einheit, or German Unity Day. This day of festivity, gathering, and making music commemorates the reunification of Germany in 1990, and it was my first time to be a part of it. A wall had divided Germany in two, a wall dividing people of the same language, culture, and history into two places. They had so much in common, and yet could not share their lives with one another because of an insurmountable barrier of cement, barbed wire, and ammunition.

Recently, I was on a boat tour of Berlin with a number of Afghani families. I had gone on the outing in hope of speaking with the Syrian women who occasionally attended these weekly gatherings, but instead found myself surrounded by a group of friendly, curious people with whom I could not communicate.

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Foto Lots innen DEUFoto Lots innen ARA

magazine 806073 1920This story is part of a brochure in the making by Noor Badshah Yousafzai who himself came to Germany as a refugee. He is a journalist and contributed articles to media outlets such as e.g. the BBC Pashtu and is also an editor for The Pashtun Express. As soon as the brochure is printed, we'll publish it here on our blog. Until then, we want to share the stories with you individually, one by one. The brochure is funded by "Partnerschaften für Demokratie Treptow-Köpenick" through the programme Demokratie Leben!

Noor Twitter Handle @NBYousafzai

Translation English to German: Dr. Jamila Baluch (Lektorat und Übersetzung)

Photo: private


German version of the article see below.


Omar was eight years old when he started asking prohibited questions. He didn’t shy away from religious questions: “I would ask astonishing questions as per people minds but for me they were merely scientific. How did this universe come into being? Who created it? Unluckily, in my society these questions were considered blasphemous”, Omar states.

As time went on and Omar began reading many books the number of questions he would pose increased. “Even my closest friends left me and no one was willing to play with me because of my critical thinking about culture, religion and social issues. I started to self-doubt myself. Why was I asking such questions? After years I got the answer. It was my creativity. I wish to reach logical end to most of the things happing around me. I am a habitual reader and because of my excessive study, I made mother angry many times.”

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