Chaymae studies education and Islamic religion in Erlangen (photo: private)
"Sometimes I experience solidarity from people opposed to the AfD. But just the fact that I feel forced into thinking about emigrating makes me both angry and sad," admits Chaymae

Angry and sad

Sometimes I imagine leaving Germany. Usually I dream of moving to an English-speaking country, maybe to England. I have the impression from social media that there is less racism there, more tolerance. Things are really going downhill in Germany at the moment.I find it very sad that I even have to consider the idea of leaving Germany. It's my home after all and the country I feel most at home in.

In my parents' home country, Morocco, I feel more like a stranger. Sometimes I also experience solidarity from people opposed to the AfD. That's fantastic, but just the fact that I feel forced into thinking about emigrating makes me both angry and sad at the same time. (Chaymae Khelladi, 22, studies education and Islamic religion in Erlangen)

 

I'd miss pretzels and Obazda

The way the whole discussion has shifted to the right makes me ask myself why I should live in a country that treats me like an immature and potentially disturbed child. There has to be a country where all that counts is my qualifications and where other aspects of my life are left alone.

Nour is a kindergarten teacher in Munich (photo: private)
"The way the whole discussion has shifted to the right makes me ask myself why I should live in a country that treats me like an immature and potentially disturbed child," comments Nour

The success the AfD has had in elections is official confirmation that a growing number of people don't want me here.

There are several countries I could go to: Canada, Turkey or one of the Gulf States. All of them make it easy for new arrivals and would value my qualifications. I have already worked abroad. You do miss home, friends and family, and I would also miss pretzels and Obazda (Bavarian cheese spread). But I would rather be a foreigner abroad than be one in my own country. (Nour, 25, is a kindergarten teacher in Munich)

 

Homeland is like family

The fact that right-wing thinking is becoming normal is certainly worrying, but I don't want to emigrate, nor am I going to, especially now, because for me homeland is like family. In family life you experience nice things and not so nice things. And if something goes wrong, you have to roll up your sleeves and deal with it.

Mehdi studies law and runs a business in Berlin (photo: private)
"Homeland is like family. In family life you experience nice things and not so nice things. And if something goes wrong, you have to roll up your sleeves and deal with it," says Mehdi

Quite a few things are going wrong in our country at the moment and I intend to stay put and help deal with them. I wouldn't deny, however, that the public discourse of the past decade has overstepped the bounds and has had me at least considering the idea of leaving.I am astonished to see how unadulterated racism, relativised and glossed over for prime time consumption, is broadcast into our homes, published in book form, or used as a vote-catcher. The social climate is changing noticeably. Is this the kind of country I want to live in?

The revelation of the NSU scandal was the most upsetting. State institutions are failing across the board; there is a serious fracturing of confidence. And now we have the AfD represented in a couple of state parliaments – a party that was a fringe phenomenon is gradually establishing itself within the German political system. (Mehdi Chahrour, 28, studies law and runs a business in Berlin)

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