In Morocco I studied German and I wanted to experience it in the field, to see it with my own eyes. I first came to Germany in 1996 for a student exchange in Marburg. I found everything fascinating. Everything was different from what I had learned.

After I moved to Germany I was always asked this question: “When are you going back home?” Now it has gotten easier. Maybe at the beginning you are somehow more sensitive about things like that.

Are foreigners often discriminated?

University is a superbly multikulti environment, but the problems for foreigners begin when they start looking for a private apartment. People are afraid of persons who are different. Also many people in Germany tend to speak about people and countries they don’t even know anything about. Some of my Moroccan friends had far greater problems simply because of their skin colour. I experienced some difficulties when we went out in the night. The bouncers in the night club won’t let foreigners in. Of course, later on I understood their concerns when somebody drank too much and made a mess in the club. Therefore, I think it is wrong to present yourself as a victim all the time. Even from the side of the media there’s little effort of clarification between foreigners and locals.

Are you integrated into the German society?

I feel myself at home here, I feel comfortable, I like the nature and surroundings and I have many friends. I don’t feel myself lonely over here.

My son didn’t understand in the beginning why I am speaking Moroccan Arabic to him. I had to explain that it is also a part of him, that he is also a Moroccan and he didn’t understand that at first. But now ever since he found out that Morocco still has a king, he is very proud. (laughing – ed.) It has to do with fairy-tales about kingdoms, but it made him proud nevertheless.