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“Home is where I feel at ease”

What is home, where is home? We have asked three people who weren’t born in Germany.

Ali Faramarzi came to Germany from Iran
Ali Faramarzi came to Germany from Iran © Jonas Ratermann

In Frankfurt with friends

“For me, home is the place where I feel at ease, where my friends are, where I like returning to most after I’ve been away for a few days.  And that’s Frankfurt. I like to sit on the banks of the River Main and watch the river. I only have a few memories of Iran, my parents’ home, things like blossoming trees. I think more often of Würselen, a small town in the far west of Germany. That’s where I spent my youth. When I’m on my way to Brussels, I like to stop off there.”

In the family circle

“For me, home is where my family lives, where I’m respected as a human being, and where I have perspectives and a future. That’s Germany. I spent my childhood and youth in a home for refugees, at school and in youth centres in Frankfurt. My second home is India, where my family originally comes from. My links with India are rooted in language, food, religion and culture. We visit India regularly. I’m just beginning to build myself a home in Hamburg.”

The present and the past

“When I travel to Damascus, I look forward to seeing my family and friends. That’s where I grew up, and I know every street and alleyway. That’s when feelings of home wash over me. When I return to Leipzig, where I studied, where I work, where I’ve found friends, and where I’ve experienced beautiful and bitter moments, I feel relief and familiarity, like after a long journey. Home is the past linked with many memories. And home is the present in a circle of people who have similar thoughts, worries and desires to oneself. Home is a need and source of support.”

Reports: Martin Orth


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