„We are brothers and sisters!“

Despite the growing social unrest towards Syrian refugees in Turkey one should not forget that a lot of people are still supportive and helpful. On Thursday a demonstration took place in Gaziantep in favour of Syrians shouting „Turks and Syrians are brothers and sisters!“ After tensed days this was helpful for my team and me, and I hope also for Syrians here…


So many people who need help here in Antep!

Working in the field/on the ground with Syrian refugees here in Antep is sometimes not easy at all!

The number of people who deseperately need help in every form is tremendous!! Even though there are so many local, national, international, supranational organizations, NGOs, agencies working here it is still not at all enough to meet the needs of people in need in Syria itself and in Turkey (the same probably applies to all the other host countries) – there is not enough food, medical/social/psychological help, shelter, clean water, clothes etc.People are desperate and the rising social tensions in the Turkish public due to missing middle- and longterm solutions intensify the overall situation! So many people I work with and know here are working really hard and commit themselves to the humanitarian aid/Syrian Refugee Response to the fullest, but it seems to never be enough! What I thought and said back home in Germany 2 months ago is still more than valid – there is more to be done! There is more needed! Much more… All actors, local, national, international – the international community – have to work together to handle this humanitarian tragedy! …. and not to be pessimistic…we are not yet really talking about the refugees and IDPs of the current humanitarian crisis in Iraq! Since I have the chance to work on the ground face to face with Syrian refugees, I can more than underline my call for not just talking about numbers, but seeing humans/people/individuals/fates/stories behind each and every number!

Social unrest spread to Istanbul

The tensions between the Turkish population and the Syrian refugee population now spread from Southeast Turkey, where most of the refugees stay, to
Istanbul! It is about time that the Turkish government supported by the international community comes up with mid- and longterm solutions! With the ongoing civil war in Syria, IS fights, and the crisis in Iraq it does not look likely that the refugee influxes will come to an end soon. Even though many Turkish host communities are very welcoming and helpful towards their neighbours in need, tension and social unrest have grown over the last weeks. One of the solutions of the government bringing Syrian families to tent cities to seperate them
from the Turkish people cannot be the solution, but also gives proof the challenging situation here.


Hochschulstipendien für syrische Flüchtlinge – Appell

Diesen Appell kann ich nur  zu 100% unterstützen!!




„Das UN-Flüchtlingshilfswerk (UNHCR), die Regierungen der Aufnahmeländer sowie verschiedene Hilfsorganisationen unternehmen in dieser schwierigen Situation enorme Anstrengungen, um die Grundbildung der Flüchtlingskinder zu organisieren. Doch Hochschulbildung können sie nicht anbieten: Für Zehntausende Studierende aus Syrien bedeutet die Flucht eine erzwungene Unterbrechung ihres Studiums auf unbestimmte Zeit – eine Situation, die sich ohne Hilfe von außen nicht ändern wird. Die Aufnahmeländer sind mit dieser Situation überfordert und brauchen Unterstützung. Europa hat bislang lediglich 3% der Flüchtlinge aufgenommen.

In dieser Situation forderte das UNHCR die Staatengemeinschaft unlängst „dringend dazu auf, weitere Vorschläge für Lösungen einzubringen, die den Betroffenen rasch und effizient Schutz durch Resettlement oder andere humanitäre Aufnahmeprogramme sichern“. Die nationalen Regierungen sollten eigene Programme für Flüchtlinge aus Syrien anbieten. Dabei nennt das UNHCR explizit die Möglichkeit der Stipendienvergabe.

In diesem Sinne appellieren wir hiermit eindringlich an das Auswärtige Amt, ein Stipendienprogramm einzurichten, das Studierenden aus Syrien, die in die oben genannten Staaten fliehen mussten, das Studium in Deutschland ermöglicht. Dieser Appell richtet sich auch an den DAAD, die wissenschaftlichen und politischen Stiftungen sowie die Hochschulen in Deutschland, die hinsichtlich der Finanzierung und Umsetzung entscheidende Unterstützung bei der Aufnahme der Studierenden leisten könnten.

Einige amerikanische Universitäten und akademische Institutionen sind hier bereits mit gutem Beispiel vorangegangen und haben ein Stipendienprogramm ins Leben gerufen, das syrischen Studierenden auf der Flucht ein Studium und einen materiell und rechtlich gesicherten Aufenthaltsstatus in den USA ermöglicht. Durch ein solches Stipendienprogramm auch in Deutschland würde aktiver Flüchtlingsschutz und praktische humanitäre Hilfe für Studierende in einer existentiellen Notlage geleistet: Junge Menschen, die sonst womöglich die lebensgefährliche Reise über das Mittelmeer riskieren würden, um nach Europa zu gelangen, erhielten so die Möglichkeit, ihr Studium in einer sicheren Umgebung fortzuführen. Auf diese Weise würde Deutschland zudem schon jetzt nachhaltige Hilfe bei der Ausbildung von Fachkräften für den mittelfristigen Wiederaufbau Syriens leisten.“

Unrest in Gaziantep

Since the murder of a Turkish landlord through a Syrian in Gaziantep Tuesday night social unrest has erupted. Crowds have been gathering the last nights attacking Syrians, their houses, and cars. As a consequence around 400 Syrian families were sent to tents yesterday.
These are very sad developments following the rising numbers of refugees in the city and ongoing tensions between them and the Turkish population.


It’s not plain numbers, it’s humans!

2,914,878 registered Syrian refugees

28,780 refugees awaiting registration

808,576 registered in Turkey

294, 304 of them are children


These numbers are constantly growing. Not to speak about the new refugee waves from Iraq due to the growing inflence of IS. While working in the Syrian Refugee Response it seems easy to detach yourself from the ongoing humanitarian tragedy and cruel realities through looking at and talking about numbers. Numbers are important – no question about it! BUT…behind every number there stands a human – a child, a woman, a man, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a friend, a lover… And each and every of them has their own story, there own sorrows, histories, experiences, losses, worries, and wishes. Each and every of them lives in different circumstances and needs help and support in various ways. It seems so normal while reading the news to learn about numbers, numbers of killed people, injured people, homeless people, orphans, victims of torture. And the numbers are high nowadays! But do we really care? Can we really care? What is a number? What is a high number? 1? 1,000? 100,000? 1,000,000? And what do these numbers have to do with my personal life?

This is no accusation! This is rather a call to not forget that we are infact not talking about numbers, but about humans!

My work takes place on the ground. In ASAM’s centre I talk every day with refugees – I listen to their cases, I see their faces, I learn about their situation, I try to help. Sometimes this is hard! Often everything feels unfair and pointless! But everyday it makes sense to be here and support the people who were forced to flee their country!

Numbers do not cry, numbers do not worry, numbers do not suffer from hunger, numbers are not desperate, numbers were not bombed, numbers do not want to go to school and cannot, numbers do not smile at you – humans do!



Refugee camp

…. one of the consequences of the situation in Syria is a steadily growing number of refugees. On the picture you see a camp close to Midyat. To date the camps in Turkey are full, so people seek refuge in cities and villages. ASAM is one of the organizations which particularly helps and supports these urban refugees and I am glad to work with them!