It was more than just a job

It was more than just a job

In 2021, I worked as a student assistant for the MIMY project. I had the role of a peer researcher. The project aims to identify the main problems of young migrants and refugees that hinder the integration process. So it targets several categories: German society, the German state, and the refugees themselves. Personally, I have learned something important through my work on this project, namely how to conduct interviews professionally. This is very important to me. Through the individual interviews with migrants, I have learned a lot about what “inte-gration” actually means. One of the main problems is the lack of connection between refugees and state integration services. As a result, refugees have difficulty under-standing the culture of the country and mastering the language. This is one of the reasons why refugees cannot fully integrate into life in Germany.

I am surprised and find it sad that many refugees no longer have any hope that inte-gration policies will change. They are disappointed that their situation is not improv-ing. Even when I introduced the idea of the interviews to them, their next response was whether it would do them any good at all. Strangely enough, the young refugees are also often unclear about the reason for the problems. Sometimes they blame the integration policy, sometimes German society, and sometimes themselves.

Six years ago it was different. On the part of German society and the refugees, there was drive and a desire to make the integration process successful. Therefore, I find this project very useful for all migrants. But also for me personally, as I myself came to Germany as a refugee from Syria. I had integration problems myself and I am still struggling.

During my interviews with young refugees, I noticed that they were willing to talk to me even about sensitive and personal issues and tell me about difficulties. Maybe it helped that I also had these experiences and that I speak Arabic. This helped me to conduct good interviews. Another thing I learned is to work from home. This is because of the Corona pan-demic, of course. I didn't know that before. It was kind of funny or weird. Although we were hardly in the ILS office because of the Corona pandemic, I got to know the work team quite well and was happy to work with them. Finally, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to work on the MIMY project. I very much hope that this project will succeed in shedding light on the main problems of young refugees so that the relevant organizations can benefit from the results of this study and contribute to improving integration in Germany.

Photo of Sherin Ibesh
The authorSherin Ibesh

This blog post was written by a Young Peer Researcher, who was recruited as a stu-dent assistant in 2021. The Peer Researchers with their own migration histories made a valuable contribution to the work carried out at ILS within the MIMY project research in Germany.