Abou Elchabab, Mohamad


Stepping into a solid ground

It is strange to think, that for many Asylum seekers, standing on a rocking boat, in an angry ocean, travelling towards the unknown, is the easiest part of the Journey to follow.

A journey that begins with people giving away their entire life savings, abandoning their homes, childhood friends and family, fleeing the ruins of the bombed shelters, grasping onto dear life for them and their children and screaming for nothing more than to be given another chance at life. A chance that was taken away from them for nothing more than being born in the wrong place and the wrong time.

For the many; the actual ordeal begins when they reach their new adopting country. An ordeal that was created unintentionally by the cultural, linguistic and systematic differences that were put in place in two very different worlds.

And regardless of how different we may be, and which corner of the world we were born in, we can all agree that we as humans are always in search of a better life, socially, professionally and financially. But if this is the case then why do so many Asylum seekers, who risked everything to come here seeking a better life, appear to have moved backwards in terms of their ambitions and have grown content in accepting the minimums in their new life? Minimum wages, minimum social interactions, minimum ambitions for education and career development? Who is to blame here, the refugees who are still suffering the sea sickness from their journey? Or the locals who have actually welcomed the asylum seekers with open arms and have given the support and understanding that exceeded the expectations of most Asylum seekers?

Having discussed the topic with many Asylum seekers, deliberating the challenges they face upon arrival, and If we look at the cause and effect of things, the number one enemy, of a genuine dream and ambitious mind is, a deflated confidence and confused mind, cause by the very lengthy process it takes to integrate into a new life in a new country. And the lack of individual professional guidance and counselling they receive in the first years of their arrival, making the process even longer, and the chances of fulfilling their potential scarcer.

As a Middle Easterner myself, who moved to this country 9 years ago and speaking from first hand experience, I can concur that, what took me five or six years to learn and understand about how to approach learning the language, how to integrate into my new society and how the work and education System can be of use to me, would have taken me six months if, I had the right coaching and counselling in my first year of arrival.

In my case, when I came in 2009 to Germany, I had luck on my side, I had the luxury of previously having lived in Europe as a student for 7 years at the age of 18. But for many new comers, this will be their first experience, with the added weight on their shoulder of needing to grasp the language as quickly as possible and the pressure of accepting any job thrown their way for them to be able to provide for their starving families back home. This is where ambitions and dreams crumble into a pile of accepting the minimums in life and where those dreams of education and productive careers turn into a distant memory that was left on the ships that brought them here.

In my Job as a Coach working with Asylum Seekers, on a daily basis I see the pain hidden behind the pretending polite smiles. I feel the longing for a better and prosperous life in their eyes. I can almost touch the potential and capabilities that those individuals possess. And it is our duty to take it into our hands to help the individuals so that we can help the many of the new community in our society.

With the right Coaching approach, guidance and understanding, so far wonderful results have been achieved, stories of individuals realising what their passion in life is, working with individuals on improving their language skills and unlocking their true potential, preparing them to enter the educational and work markets. In some cases where the individuals are ready, we worked together on getting them the job they always wanted but never dared to ask for; simply by showing them that they are good enough, and capable of being an integral part of this society. So much has been achieved, and frankly so much more can be done, if only we could spread the message that there is a way.

It is an unfathomable tragedy, to think that so many young talented, educated and intelligent Asylum Seekers, who risk everything to get an opportunity to start over in this country, will slip through the cracks of society, not realising their true potential and the opportunities that were given to them, not for their lack of trying but for the lack of educated guidance offered to them.

There are defining moments in every nation’s history, where a challenge can turn into an enormous opportunity, an opportunity to tap into a vast source filled with young, talented and eager to learn human resource that can benefit not only those seeking a new life, but also the country that welcomed them and gave them the chance for a new start for many, many years to come.

As a person who can relate to the many challenges Asylum seekers face, and through my experience working as a Career and life and health coach for refugees, in a final note, the message that I truly hope would come across is that, we at Perspekto Coaching do understand what you are going through and we will help you get more out of life, if only you knew that such service exists.