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Syria’s brightest minds have been forced to leave the war-torn country for Europe to try to make a new a life for themselves. Doctors, engineers, and artists are among those who flee to Germany. In January and Febraury alone, the EU member state received 10,175 asylum requests from Syrians, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. However, in Germany these young talented people have to deal with long bureaucratic processes, marginalization and the hurdles of learning a difficult language.
These photos profile young, skilled Syrians who are trying to create new lives for themselves in Berlin.
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Naabeel, 30, from Aleppo, computer engineer, graduated after a five-years course at the Mamoun Private University for Science and Technology in Aleppo and worked in Egypt in a textile company. He sits on the bench waiting for his turn to register as refugee in Berlin.
Moustaf and Nabeel in the emergency facility for refugees in Krupp Street, Moabit, Berlin's north western suburb. They met for the first time in Berlin and now they share the same room in the facility.
Moustaf entertains a Syrian child on the football pitch, which was converted into an emergency facility tent.
Nabeel helps another refugee from Syria translate a message from the Berlin immigration authorities relating to a doctor's appointment for his wife, who suffers from a kidney disfunction. Nabeel volunteers in the refugee camp to help members of the Syrian community.
Nabeel enjoys Mateh tea with other members of the Syrian community, which comprise the majority in the refugee facility.
Moustaf inside the refugee camp refreshes himself with a glass of water. There are no activities to carry on doing during the day in the refugee facility.
Omar,25, from Aleppo, had his own music studio where he self-produced Arabic hip hop music.
He earned a baccalaureate in English-Arabic translation and, before opening the studio, he worked for a small advertisement company with two other graphic designers. German authorities have granted him a two year residency permit that allows him to work or rent an apartment.
"I haven’t looked for a job", he said. "For me the priority is to study German or to find a scholarship at university. I am learning German here and it is my third week."
Omar is the courtyard of the refugee facility in Marienfelde, Berlin. During the Cold War, this facility was used to accommodate refugees coming from East Germany.
"Here for six months I have been doing nothing," he said. "Come on, it is Germany, if I finish to sort out my documents within six months that means that I am very lucky. There is lot of bureaucracy."
Omar rolls a cigarette in the courtyard of the refugee camp.
Omar talks with a young Syrian in the refugee camp.
Omar with the wife Louise, 24, from France, in the kitchen of their small apartment inside the refugee camp. "I feel my priority now it is to find flat for me and my wife," he said. "It is really hard: either you find something at the end of the world in Berlin and you need one and half hour to reach the city, or there is no chance. Who is paying for our rent is not us, [it] is the job center, so would you prefer a person with a job or someone the jobcenter is paying for and you don’t know then when the job center stops providing support? We have really strict and hard conditions we have to go through."
Razan, 32, dentist from Hama, studied three years at the university of Baghdad and three years at the college of dentistry in Damascus. She worked in Damascus in a state health centre for two years. She wants to work as a dentist in Berlin, but before doing so she needs to equalize her degree to the German education standard.
Razan is with other Syrian refugees and schoolmates waiting to start a German lesson. She attends a course to learn the German language four days a week from 2pm to 5pm.
Razan sits on the stairs at the school entrance in Kreuzberg, Berlin's southern suburb, reading the grammar book that she uses to learn the German language.
Razan talks with a schoolmate in the classroom while the German lesson is about to start. The classmates are also refugees.
After attending German class, Razan meets a friend near the school in Kreuzberg. She talks with animosity about the demonstration organized in Berlin to remember the fourth anniversary of the uprising in Syria.
Razan awaits for the bus to go home near Goerlitzer Park.
Razan returns to home. She sits on the sofa in the kitchen and speaks with the mother via Skype. Her family lives in Cairo, Egypt and she has applied for an Egyptian visa to be able to visit them.
Razan cries while talking to her mother via Skype. She has been away from her family for the past year.
Razan recovers from the tears while speaking with the mother in Egypt.
Razan talks on the phone with a Syrian friend in the presence of her flatmate.
Moustaf Aljundi, 26, from Homs . Educated in England, Cambridge, a degree in human resources management and professional basketball player, Moustaf returned to Syria to work for a company in the human resources department and played with the Syrian national basket team. He sits on a bench waiting for his turn to register as a refugee in front of LAGeSo (Landesamt fuer Gesundheit und Soziale) the operative arm of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of the State of Berlin.
Footage shows the French embassy in Sanaa after its closure due to the security meltdown which that has gripped the nation.
Footage also shows the 45th street in Sanaa where Frenchwomen Isabelle Prime was abducted on the morning of February 24.
Footage includes interviews with two Yemenis who were working on the same road where the the French women and her translator.
A store owner on the 45th street says the French women was abducted only moments after he opened his store early in the morning.
Mershid Merhibi (construction worker)
"We were working in this location and we then heard some of the workers who were over here having breakfast talking about a French women who was abducted in this street. This actions is not acceptable and is prohibited in Islam, because all foreigners in Islam have full rights and freedoms. This is what our prophet taught us."
Majid al-Khyadh (Store owner on 45th street)
“As we were opening in the morning we heard that a French women had been abducted in this area and we also heard many people talking about this issue. We tell those who kidnapped this French women that these actions are against our principles and against the values of the Yemeni people. These actions are indeed acts of terrorism. We do not know who is responsible for the abduction; however, our message to the abductors is stop insulting and tarnishing the image of the Yemeni people. “We call on the government, and all security officials and institutions to bring an end to these abductions and violations.”
Fawzi Al Dabbousi, better known as "The Translator", left home at 10 years old. Instead of going to school he began working as a waiter in a British army base in Port Said. Seven years later, in October 1950, he joined the Egyptian resistance against the British, using information and access he had from years of working alongside the British Army, to help bring them down.
على حافة البحر وعند شواطئه تلتقي بأبنائه الذين منحهم قبساً من صموده، وبعضاً من تجدده وبقائه، والذين وهبتهم الشمس الرغبة في التنفس حتى رمق الهواء الأخير . أول ما رأيته لقّبته بـ”أيوب” بسبب رغبته العميقة في الحياة رغم الثمانين عاماً التي يحملها على وجهه وكتفيه.
فوزي الدبوسي ( مواليد عام 1934) أو فوزي ياسين الدبوسي. يعتز أيمّا اعتزاز باسم والده ويصر على اضافة اسمه إليه، رغم أنه فرّ صغيراً من بيت أسرته في الاسماعيلية عام 1944. ترك منزل أسرته في سن العاشرة ناجياً بنفسه من قسوة زوجة أبيه. عمل منذ نعومة طفولته وحتى السابعة عشرة من عمره "كنادل" داخل أحد المعسكرات الانجليزية، أو بلغة المصريين حينها "الكامب الانجليزي”.
بعد إلغاء معاهدة عام 1936 بين مصر وبريطانيا، شارك مع الفدائيين بعمليات ضد “الاحتلال الانجليزي”.
ومن خلال عمله الطويل في البحر تعلم ١١ لغة وأتقنها فأصبح مترجماً بحرياً أو “بمبوطي” كما يسمونه في مصر.
Zorgan works for the Protocal as an English translator.