Evangeliumsgemeinschaft Mittlerer Osten e.V.

What to do with migrants from the Near East?

Germany is divided: How should we deal with refugees from the Near East - admit them or refuse them entry? Simone A. Alexander has written an informative book entitled "What to do wth migrants from the Near East? Understanding their culture. Building bridges. Distancing oneself in a healthy way." (ISBN 978-3-7372-6442-8 (Paperback), ISBN 978-3-7273-6443-5 (Hardcover), Tredition Verlag 2015). It could not be more topical. She shows how Germans can approach the historic challenge if immigration by Arab refugees without being either naive or driven by fear.

For nine years the author lived and worked in a Middle Eastern country. In the extensive first part she describes the key cultural issues: the Arab extended family and its dynamics; why honour is so important; what defines the mentality of men and women in countries like Syria or Egypt; how Islam frames the society there. She explains how these topics are important for Germans who want to build up relationship with Arab immigrants. Anybody who is interested in refugees, professionally or privately, will be grateful for the practical advice in the work among immigrants, which the author has developed from her description of the immigrants' world.

In the shorter part the author explains the refugees' state of health and mind when they arrive in Germany and what perspective they have. She takes a critical look at the current asylum legislation in Germany, describes the asylum issue in European history and Jordan today and offers alternatives to the present-day practice.

The practical tips and Arabic vocabulatory at the end of the book are most valuable in encounters with Syrians, Egyptians, Iraqis or other Arabic-speaking refugees in Germany.