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Contributing my experiences from Germany to Iraq

Ein Mann blickt in die Kamera.
Happy to be home again: Taif

Contributing my experiences from Germany to Iraq

My name is Taif. I’m 35 years old and married with two sons. I wanted to find a safe life for my family and to develop our career prospects in Germany. But we weren’t granted a residence permit. Back in Iraq, however, we’ve found what we were looking for. Some start-up assistance enabled me to open a car repair workshop.

I used to earn a living from casual work on construction sites before we emigrated to Germany. I worked as a welder during the laying of pipes and electrical ducts. But the security situation in Iraq deteriorated in 2015, and we left for Germany.

Ein Mann steht in einer Werkstatt und arbeitet mit einem Schweißgerät.
Taif at work in his workshop

Advice from GMAC

We weren’t unfortunately able to realise my dream of finding a good job, earning money and enjoying a nice life there. I worked in a factory for a while after proving my metalwork abilities during a three-month course. But the bureaucracy and the language barriers were tiring. We decided to come back to Iraq once our residence permit was refused, so we approached the German authorities.

They helped us to organise our return, and told us about organisations in Iraq that offer support to returnees. Back in Iraq, I had hardly any money and didn’t know where to start with reorganising our lives. Eighteen months after our return, I contacted the Iraqi-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GMAC), as had been recommended to us in Germany.

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Support with starting a business

GMAC advised me about different opportunities based on the team’s assessment and my own skills. The centre also referred me to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). I received all the advice and support I needed to open my workshop.

My life has changed since then. We’re doing much better, both personally and in terms of our careers. I’m happy to be home again – back in my own country with my family. This is where my dream is becoming a reality and I’m enjoying some success. We are contributing the practical and linguistic experiences we gained in Germany to our homeland. My wife is also able to realise her career aspirations. She restarted and has since completed her law studies in Iraq, and she is now working as a solicitor.

As of: 03/2021

The opportunities for advice and assistance described here are offered as part of “Returning to New Opportunities”.

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My family’s life has changed since then. We’re doing much better, both personally and in terms of our careers.

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