My name is Bilal. After the financial crisis, I left Iraq and went to Germany in 2015. I wanted to find a better life there. I arrived in Germany after 12 days of travelling without proper meals or accommodation. My hope was to discover a solution to my problems.
But I struggled more and more each day. I was separated from my family. From my friends. From my homeland and culture. Starting afresh in Germany was also difficult in other ways. Everything was different. I therefore decided to return after two years.
I did however learn one important thing in Germany: a special way of making sandwiches. I used this to open a small restaurant in Sulaymaniyah. The German Employment, Migration and Reintegration Centre (GMAC) supported me: I was able to expand my business and add lots of new dishes to the menu. My restaurant soon became better known. Now I am pleased to have many satisfied customers. The secret of my success is to work with lots of love and confidence.
My experiences in Germany taught me several things. Nevertheless, this is what I would tell the younger generation: think twice about leaving your country. There are difficulties in every country. But in your homeland and in your own culture you know how to deal with your problems. At least I now see my homeland in a much more positive light than before!