Bahara Taheri takes a look at what it means to feel foreign in Germany. In this interview she speaks with Elham Mohamed, a 23-year-old student, whose parents are from Afghanistan. Elham, however, was born and raised in Germany.
Does Germany make you feel like a foreigner?
I was born and brought up here. That is why I feel like a German with migrant background. I have never felt foreign, on the contrary, I feel like Germany is my home.
I barely know my parents homeland. I have never been to Afghanistan and know it only from stories my parents told me. Lately, however, I felt I could soon feel foreign.
Media has started associating Islam with terrorism, frightening the public with shocking headlines. I feel that this creates some sort of distance between Muslims and non-Muslims, which might cause me to feel foreign. I hope though, it won’t be the case.
Can anyone do anything about it? In your opinion, what needs to be done so that no one here feels like a foreigner?
In my opinion, people should talk to each other. You can’t believe in everything what media says. The reality is always different that is why everything needs to be carefully clarified. We should start a dialogue so that we can answer questions and concerns anyone might have. Fear and doubts should be replaced with love and unity.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about that actually happening?
I am optimistic. I hope that everything will be fine again. I believe that love is stronger than hate.
Interview by Bahara Taheri.