My name is Masood and I come from the northern part of Afghanistan – a safe part. I came to Germany for the first time in 2010 to do an internship at Deutsche Welle in Bonn and I did not come prepared at all, I remember those six months my best friend was the Rhein river (ed. – laughing). The idea was always to go back to Afghanistan, and instead I am still here. I love it now for various reasons. I am very fond of Bonn, finally people here do not judge me because of my thoughts and ideas. I do not have to do the things people want me to do. In Afghanistan there are too many limitations and rules.

Germany is an open country and it is changing every year. The picture of Germany as a rigid, very conservative country is not the right picture. Germans are really cool people. If I were German I would like to change the picture they had given to the rest of the world about their country.

Do you carry an Afghan identity?

Of course I do. Many Germans are actually surprised to see a “normal” Afghan person in Bonn. People have a certain picture of my home country and to some extend, it is true, I grew up in a war. Many Germans are very curious, they ask all kind of questions about me and my country. I take it as a positive thing!

What is it that you don’t like in Germany?

Bureaucracy. There is just too much paper work here.

Do you see yourself in Germany in five years?

I don’t know. There are things I love in both places. I still have family and friends in Afghanistan and here I have the life I’ve always wanted. It is a question I need to find an answer to.