Daily Management Review

The Residence Permit: Syrians Praise "Compassionate Mother Merkel"


Burning refugee shelters, the siege of the refugee camps in Heidenau, the wave of xenophobic comments in the Facebook: we have been watching a pretty spooky image of Germany from the summer of 2013.

Yet, many Syrians have quite different impression in Germany. At least those who have not yet arrived in Germany. They enthusiastically praise Chancellor Merkel for that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) suspended the Dublin agreement on the Syrians. Thus, Germany would not deport Syrian refugees in the EU country in which they originally came - for example, in Italy or Greece.

However, until now, the rules of the Dublin agreement is rarely used against the Syrians. Until the end of July 2015, the decision to send refugees to another European country was made only in 131 cases. In the first half of this year, 44 thousand Syrians have filed applications for asylum in Germany.

Immediately after the Federal Office announced its decision to Twitter, the Syrians began to express gratitude.

However, the agency - a faceless institution, so the Syrian activists are scattered in gratitude in the appeals to Merkel.

Whilst right-wing radicals demonstrators booed and insulted the chancellor by shouting "traitor" during her visit to Heidenau, Merkel was praised by the Syrians on Facebook and Twitter as "compassionate mother". Chancellor, who a couple of weeks ago, was criticized for clumsy handling of the girl - the Palestinian refugee named Reem - now is suddenly hailed as the German Mother Teresa.

Syrian artist Moustafa Jacoub published a collage, which has found a lot of feedback. This is an image of Merkel with inscription under it - "we love you" - in Arabic and German. This is not only thank to Angela Merkel, but also an ironic allusion to the posters of Assad in Syria. There are posters with a similar inscription - Minhibbak - hung in the streets. Therefore, those who supported the dictator, sarcastically called Minhibbakjis.

Merkel’s portrait is equipped with Arabic hashtag # Merkel_Ethiopian. This is a reference to King Negus of Ethiopia. The Christian gave refuge in his empire to Muslim families who had to flee from Mecca in the time of Prophet Muhammad.

Residing in France, the Syrian artist Lukman Derky even dedicated a poem to Merkel: "Your love - my map, map of the smugglers no longer interest me". This paraphrased a line from a famous poem about love, from the pen of the dead poet Nizar Qabbani. Lines from the original - "Your body - my map, map of the world no longer interests me".

The big surprise for the Syrians has caused the video made in Oer Erkenschwick by Syrian refugees when they were in the bus to enter the city in North Rhine-Westphalia. There they were greeted not with stones and burning torches - people smiled and waved to them, in their hands - sunflowers and a poster on which ‘Welcome’ is written in Arabic. In recent days, the video attracted thousands of views with the comment: "I have tears in my eyes. The Germans are more merciful than our Arab brothers".

Probably many realize: the video shows only one side of this summer in Germany.

Original by Christoph Sydow, Der Spiegel