Learning paves the way to integration

Chancellor Angela Merkel awards the National Integration Prize 2020 to the Syrian refugee Bjeen Alhassan for her commitment.

Angela Merkel verleiht den Integrationspreis.
Angela Merkel dpa

Bjeen Alhassan’s Facebook platform is called “Learning with Bijin”. There you can learn everything that helps with integration in Germany. “Through this group I want to help women, give them hope and give them courage”, says Alhassan, who fled to Germany in 2014 from the civil war in Syria and did her master’s degree here in 2019. For her commitment, the Hamburg resident has now been awarded the National Integration Prize 2020 by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Knowing the language is the main prerequisite for being well received.

Bjeen Alhassan, winner of the Integration Prize 2020

In the Facebook group, which now has around 300 members, Alhassan helps women in German, English, Arabic and Kurdish in all areas of everyday life in Germany – from learning the language to enrolling for a course of study, with an application or in dealing with authorities. “Knowing the language is the main prerequisite for being well received in this country and that’s why I would like to pass on my knowledge”, says Alhassan.

The main workers for integration are women.

Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor

“There is no success without women”, Chancellor Merkel said at the award ceremony, quoting the writer Kurt Tucholsky. If women with an immigrant background felt at home in Germany, if they shared its fundamental values, said Merkel, then it would also be easier for their children to develop well: “The main workers for integration are women”.

Alhassan was jointly nominated by the Federation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and the Federation of German Industry (BDI). The National Integration Prize honours a special integration achievement and is intended to inspire people to become engaged. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros and was awarded for the fourth time. (dpa)

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