Everybody seems to be questioning others’ integration these days, while we all do it on a daily basis. It’s an ever-lasting process. And I believe it’s a natural instinct and a key factor to survive life joyfully. I am Muslim and Jordanian with a Syrian heritage, who studied and worked for a while in Germany, visited almost all capital cities of Europe, rejoiced a honeymoon in Japan and resides currently in the Emirates. Each time I meet new idea, be it when move from a place to another or reading a new book, my eyes open wider, compelling new acquired thoughts to merge with old ones, and so on, until all ever-existed and still-existing ideologies get embraced in my little tiny brain. Still, not all aspects of each thought should be maintained, for there is another process occurs parallel to this, which is selective filtration. Why does this exist? I think Malcom X put it perfectly: “It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep”.
Integration in Bonn and Bochum, where I lived in Germany, was not hard, I daresay. It is easier to open up when you meet other like-minded souls, to which you can easily connect. Ones that care about the inside, more than the outside as in where you come from, what you wear, what you drink, etc. Not feeling marginalized and alienated definitely helps finding harmony and stability within oneself and only then one is ready to be introduced to new mentalities. Speaking the language of the locals, also, plays a great role in understanding both sides’ fears and hopes beyond words. Integration is in my opinion a joyful enriching experience. You know, however, what spoils it dramatically? Others’ intrusion and their judgments on how good one’s integration is. This utterly screws it up and delivers one to his or her fears and loss of stability, blocking any chance for a forward-progress. I have had such moments of rejection, racism and discrimination, and they were awful. Sometimes I fought back and stood up for my rights, other times I was too tired of repeating myself over and over again. But then, a new day came and here I was, ready to love Germany again.
The point is integration is a mutual process, which requires both sides’ tolerance and patience.
Life is a journey that is full of passion and adventure. Why waste it on fears and speculations!! Enjoy the potential of multiculturalism in Germany, instead! 🙂