“The most dangerous part of the journey was the sea. It [takes] only one hour to cross from Turkey to Greece but it felt so long, like a never-ending journey, because we were on this inflatable boat in such high waves; it was terrifying,” he recounted.
Despite the sacrifices he made to reach German soil, three months of life in a camp there made him realize that he did not fit in.
“People have a very different lifestyle there that does not go with our own culture. And I missed my family back in Iraq who were in critical conditions,” Abdulqadir said. “I had already gone through one hearing for my asylum application but did not wait for a second hearing, and decided to voluntarily come home.”
He did, however, get the chance to see a doctor about his toe while in Germany. “They took out the toe nail completely; it is gone forever and I will never have a nail on my toe again, but the pain is gone forever which is very good,” he explained.
He was shot in the legs and his left foot by terrorists in 2008. Rafal Abdulateef/IOM Iraq, June 2019
In February 2016, Abdulqadir bought a ticket and boarded a plane to Erbil; from there he travelled to Baghdad by land. Upon arrival, a friend referred him to IOM for support and he was immediately enrolled in the beekeeping vocational training. In 2018, IOM supported Abdulqadir with a small grant to open his beekeeping business.