Syrian refugees are having trouble integrating. Last Minute EUROPE, France, CURRENT headlines and events


Syrians who fled the civil war in Syria and took refuge in France have problems integrating into society. In a country where language proficiency is considered the first condition for integration, learning French for Syrian refugees is not enough to remove barriers.

Algerian-French journalist Khaled Sid Mohand, detained while working as a journalist in Damascus and imprisoned for 24 days in 2011 when the civil war broke out in Syria, spoke to Anadolu (AA) about the situation of Syrian refugees in France and the discrimination they face immigrants.

Mohand said France turned down the vast majority of Syrians who applied for refugee status: “Although the country is capable of accepting thousands and millions of refugees, it accepts about 30,000 Syrians. million?” gave his estimate.

“Once the refugees speak French, they can find work, but the question is, what kind of work?”

Mohand said that France accepts refugees by selecting them according to certain characteristics. They can die or go to Germany.” used the phrase.

Noting that knowledge of French is one of the main conditions for integration into society, Mohand said: “Knowledge of French is a very important condition for integration into society. The French authorities offer all sorts of free programs to teach languages ​​to refugees, but it is still not easy for them. Younger adaptability. Sometimes more, but it is very difficult for refugees older than 30-40 to learn a new language.” said.

Stressing that learning French alone is not enough to integrate into society, Mohand said that refugees have serious problems finding work, even if they have a certain level of education.

Khaled Sid Mohand continued:

“Refugees can get jobs as soon as they start speaking French, but the question is, what kind of job is that? When you leave your country and move to another country, you often lose the status you used to have. If you are a doctor, you will become a nurse in the country you are going to. Unless you go back to college and maybe repeat all these processes. You can’t be a doctor.”

“Syrian refugees were told “no places”, Ukrainians were met with a red carpet”

While stating that Syrian refugees are settled in rural areas away from urban centers due to lack of space, Mohand drew attention to the fact that arrivals from Ukraine are not treated the same due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Mohand said: “In France, Ukrainians were greeted on the red carpet, they were like stars, not refugees. While refugees from Syria were being fired saying “we don’t have enough rooms” in institutions, the doors were wide open for Ukrainians. There was a place for them. When we asked about other refugees, they said, “No, no, we don’t need them.” And they said it openly. This is a clear statement of racism.” he said.

Stressing that the resettlement of Syrian refugees in rural areas is one of the biggest obstacles to their integration into public life, Mohand said:

“You can survive in your own community in the Anglo-Saxon countries. There are places in New York like little Odessa, little Beirut, little Italy. Some immigrants do not speak English. “They can go on with their lives, but that’s not the case in France. The French government doesn’t let you form a community like they do in Belgium, the UK or Germany.”

Mohand stated that refugees not only have the opportunity to mingle in public life in rural areas, but also have economic difficulties.” he said.

Noting that the marginalized treatment of Syrian refugees in France exacerbates their trauma, Mohand said: “Most of the Syrian refugees I meet are completely traumatized. don’t stop your pain. When the Syrians came to Europe, they crossed too many borders, they were humiliated, they lost money, friends, family.” used the phrase.

“Syrian refugees are secondary victims of Islamophobia, the main target is Moroccan and Algerian immigrants”

Highlighting that growing far-right rhetoric in Europe has made Muslims a target, Mohand said: “Syrian refugees know that France is not a Muslim-friendly country and therefore they are very scared. they don’t want to raise their daughters who want to wear the hijab in a society that will prevent them from doing so.” made his comment.

Stating that there is a problem of structural racism and anti-Muslimism in France, Mohand said: “In recent years, France has acquired a very bad reputation for Islamophobia, which is not only notorious but a reality. This is a very terrible truth. Syrian refugees become Muslims as soon as they begin to understand what the French say in the news and what they write in the newspapers. He feels that they are a target because they are a target, because everyone in the country is talking about Islam and Muslims. time.” said.

Recalling that France received immigrants from many African countries, especially from Morocco and Algeria, Mohand concluded his words as follows:

“It can be said that Syrian refugees are secondary victims of racism and Islamophobia in France, because the main target is not Syrians, but North Africans, Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians and West Africans. The French are less afraid of the Syrians, but of course the racists and Islamophobic atmosphere in France are Syrians. This also applies to refugees. People who were born here and have the same rights as the French feel discrimination in France more sensitively. These people speak French sometimes even better than French. Syrian refugees have been here for the past few years, the discrimination is definitely not the same.”

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