Hawre's Story of Return Written by Sarah Ali/IOM Iraq, 2019

Hawre Karim used to work in computer services in Erbil, but he wanted a better life, one with a more secure future, so he decided to emigrate to Europe. In December 2015, he sold his computer services business, put all his money and resources together and left.

“My journey started by traveling to Turkey, where I stayed for less than a month. I then paid a smuggler to get me across to Greece by boat, in a very dangerous journey. From Greece I went to Bulgaria and then crossed to Austria, all in one week, often walking in the cold with heavy backpacks on my shoulders. We continued walking to finally reach Germany.”

“After spending US$6,500 and a journey of about one month, on 1 January 2016 I arrived to Germany, a place where I thought I wanted to live for the rest of my life. I stayed in a camp, and I was getting ready to start a new life, having to learn everything from scratch. I applied for asylum, I joined learning language courses and after few months I got my certificate. I applied for a job through the job centre and I was on the waiting list for asylum.”

“After about five months and two hearings, I learned that my application had been rejected”

“Of course I could have recruited a lawyer to appeal the case but that required even more money and by that time I missed my family and my mum was calling me everyday asking me go back home. I was 27 years old at that time and I wanted to think about my life. At my age everyone has a family, a job, a life.”

“I decided to go back despite the good treatment that I had received in Germany, so I applied for voluntary return. Just before I left authorities still wanted to make sure that this was a voluntary decision, and they asked whether there was anything they could help me with. They were very kind to me."

“I returned because I went to Germany to find work opportunities and a better life, but I did not.”

IOM assisted Hawre with his travel arrangements back to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and helped him to restart his computer services shop in Erbil.

“When I came back I had nothing left, as I had sold everything to emigrate. Now I have this IT shop where I have a share, thanks to IOM’s support. I am rebuilding my life and a future for myself.”

Since 2012, 24,942 Iraqis who returned from Germany and other European Union countries have benefited from IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration services support that includes one or more of the following services: reception and in-kind assistance, case management, economic orientation and coaching sessions, vocational training, job placement as well as business support for creation and expansion of small and medium enterprises.

IOM’s assistance to Hawre was funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the German Cooperation for International Development (GIZ) and the German Center for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration in Iraq (GMAC).

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.