Chaza Salloum from Syria

“Nobody tries to become a refugee.”

Chaza Salloum came to Germany in August 2014 with the humanitarian admission program. Originally from Maharde, she grew up in Aleppo and later lived in many different places. Since 1989, she was worked in the humanitarian field for and with refugees, and she knows how hard this work can be. “But seeing one’s fellow countrymen as refugees is something completely different!” she explains. “Nobody tries to become a refugee.”

Chaza Salloum studied French Literature and Design in Syria and Lebanon. After she spent a few years teaching, she discovered her passion for humanitarian work. Since then, she has worked with various non-governmental organizations in several countries and in many capacities, among others in a project with Iraqi refugees in Syria. From 2013 on, she worked with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, but the situation was difficult.

“I felt useless, because I couldn’t help my fellow Syrians,”

says Chaza Salloum.

She took the offer to come to Germany with the admission program with mixed emotions, because it meant leaving her family and friends behind in a terrible crisis; however, her hope to use her experience to help Syrian refugees in Germany integrate prevailed. “We were received really kindly by the German people and especially by Caritas,” remembers Chaza Salloum. After her short stays in Friedland and Giengen, she went to Berlin and completed training to become a refugee ambassador in the European resettlement network SHARE. In Berlin she found a new home, has friends, and is tirelessly and voluntarily committed to helping the new arrivals from her homeland. Even so, she can’t sleep. “I miss our house, the grave of my parents, and, most of all, I miss my peace of mind.” Her beloved Syria has been destroyed for the past five years in the name of democracy, she explains: people, economy, history, education – and the future of the country.

“I am very thankful to Germany for the friendliness and generosity that is shown to the refugees,”

says the SHARE Ambassador. She still dreams that someday the people in Syria will be able to live in peace and with security. Until then, she would like to stay involved in the humanitarian field in Germany, “in order to give a little back to the country.”