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Syrian Refugee Who Fled to Germany 5 Years Ago Now Running for Parliament

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Alaows, who has only recently applied for German citizenship, hopes that by being a representative of so many people who are in the same shoes that he was in only recently, he can help alleviate many of the issues hurting those who have sought refuge in Germany. 

Tareq Alaows, who fled Syria seven years ago to Germany, is now running to be the first Syrian refugee in Parliament – hoping to represent Oberhausen in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia with the Green Party.

Alaows, who originally studied law in Aleppo and Damascus, first took part in the numerous peaceful demonstrations when the Syrian civil war broke out, and even helped provide humanitarian aid for the Red Crescent as the war intensified. Eventually, however, he was forced to flee Syria and made the arduous journey across the Mediterranean Sea and Europe in 2015.

It took him two months across the infamous Balkan route, ending up in the city of Bochum. Within months after arriving in Germany, however, Alaows began getting involved in social work and set up an initiative that advocated for improved housing for migrants – in addition, he also became fluent in German after half a year in order to help offer legal counseling to other refugees in need. In 2018 as well, Alaows also co-founded the Seebrücke or Sea-Bridge Alliance, which campaigns for the rescue of refugees at sea.

Now, Alaows hopes to become the first Syrian refugee in the German parliament for the elections on September 26th – elections in where Chancellor Angela Merkel is not running for reelection after first opening Germany’s borders to refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan among others nearly six years ago.

Alaows hopes that his parliamentary election can help improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of refugees in Germany, whose only wish is to be fully settled in their new country:

I really want to help improve the living conditions of refugees in Germany. It’s not OK that they are lingering on the outer borders of the European Union in precarious conditions, drown in the Mediterranean and have to live in huge camps in Germany, all while European interior ministers are getting together to find ways how to keep them out or deport them.”

There are currently around 818,460 Syrians living in Germany, with most of them not yet applied for German citizenship. Alaows, who has only recently applied himself for German citizenship, hopes that by being a representative of so many people who are in the same shoes that he was in only recently, he can help alleviate many of the issues hurting those who have sought refuge in Germany.

Hoping to “be the voice of all refugees”, Alaows stated: “As the first Syrian refugee in Bundestag, I want to give a political voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been forced to flee and who live with us.”

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