Community integration is a goal we are all working towards in Berlin. The fact that our city is home to individuals from many different backgrounds is something we should cherish and never take for granted, especially given the current trends in politics. We have already written about the actions you can take against the xenophobic far right – be it taking part in demonstrations or supporting particular initiatives. Today, we want to look at things from a more positive angle and focus on the amazing ventures which have truly enriched the city and which were started by people who came to Berlin as refugees. One organization that provides an environment which genuinely fosters such projects is Give Something Back to Berlin – we spoke to them and created this list featuring five success stories.
Fahd Omar is active within the medium that Berlin is most famous for: techno. The GSBTB Open Music School has enabled him to make first steps in music production and as a DJ. Intertwining music with his experiences of war, Fahd has started to make a name for himself DJing at several events in Berlin. At the same time, he’s also working on getting his high school diploma. He has already been featured on DW Stories and interviewed for the podcast Lost and Sound in Berlin.
photo: Ali Mokbel
The newly opened restaurant Malakeh in Schöneberg is the result of years of hard work as well as genuine passion and culinary talents of Malakeh and Mohammad. The two initiated their careers as chefs in Germany in the kitchen at Refugio, the community center where Give Something Back to Berlin has its headquarters. After successfully running their own catering, they are finally able to offer authentic and delicious Syrian food in their very own restaurant.
photo: Salman Abdo
Saddam Gill, a native of Pakistan, came to Berlin nearly 3 years ago. He comes from a family of farmers, yet felt a calling for a quite different profession, namely in computer science. After moving to Berlin, he used to go to the Open Sprachcafe by GSBTB and Refugio to improve his English skills. He overcame the initial difficulties and managed to adjust to living in a big metropolis – not only did he land a job as a system administrator, but also became an active member of the community by joining one of Berlin’s most established cricket clubs and becoming a captain there.
photo: Silke George
The GSBTB Open Kitchen has been a breeding ground for many culinary talents. One of them is Haroun Ali from Sudan who has been highly successful in this field, with his delicious creations hugely contributing to Berlin’s culinary scene, notably at events like Bite Club and the United Street Food at the Berlin’s famous Markthalle Neun, hosted by Souk Berlin. You can read more about Haroun Ali’s history in this article by Exberliner.