Syrians in Dietzenbach: You don’t have to give up

  • Stefan Simon

    fromStefan Simon


Mohammed Shami, who fled Syria six years ago, is building a new life for himself in Dietzenbach. Today he trains children and young people in the karate club.

When Mohammed Shami was sitting with other refugees on a boat in the middle of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, one thought struck him: “I am a good swimmer, but if children or women had fallen out of the boat, I would not have saved them can, ”he remembers. That was in 2015, the then 21-year-old Syrian is on his way to Germany. Four years later he became a swimming instructor in Heusenstamm and trained as a lifeguard. “That day at sea shaped me a lot.”

Before Shami emigrated to Germany, he lived in Jordan for two years and in Turkey for a year and a half. He comes from the city of Hama. Shami was 18 years old when he fled to Jordan after taking his final high school diploma. “I should have joined the army and went to war. But I didn’t want that, ”he says. His parents and three siblings are also leaving Syria. You live in Turkey, your father in Saudi Arabia. Shami comes from a middle-class family. His father worked as a team leader for a construction company. His sister Rama is a clerk in Istanbul City Hall, his brother Rami is a carpenter, and his little sister Sara works as a teacher at a secondary school.

In Germany, Shami initially lives in a shared accommodation in Neu-Isenburg. There he meets Christoph Retting in the karate team at TSG Neu-Isenburg, who gives him helpful tips for his new life in Germany. “He helped me a lot,” says Shami, who has been doing karate since he was eleven. He received the Black Belt from the German Karate Association in 2018.

In the Dojo Dietzenbach he is trained as a trainer and trains children and young people. Shami learns German quickly, speaks Turkish, English and Arabic and works as a volunteer interpreter. After six months in Germany, he receives a residence permit.

Shami moves to Dietzenbach, writes 200 applications for an apprenticeship position – all without outside help. He is training as a warehouse logistics specialist. Then he works as a self-employed courier driver for a company in Mörfelden-Walldorf. However, he has to give up his independence after more than a year.

But Shami doesn’t let that get her down. “When one door closes, a thousand other doors open,” he says. He is currently working as a salesman at Fundgrube Dietzenbach and has been involved with the German-Arab cultural center Daruna in Frankfurt for one and a half years. There he works in the film project.

Shami is aiming for the next step towards self-employment, but his wedding is imminent first. This must first be certified on paper by a notary. A prerequisite for his fiancée Aya, who lives in Syria, to be able to come to see him in Dietzenbach.