Aseel tidies her bedroom. After months of separation and a year spent in refugee housing, her family has been united in their new home on the southern outskirts of Berlin. They painstakingly renovated the apartment – Aseel picked out wallpaper decorations and bought the furniture on eBay: “I’m learning online, as well, because I want to learn how to speak German more quickly.”
Life in Berlin felt lonely at first, when the only connection to her girlfriends left back home was through WhatsApp. But things are changing as family and friends from Syria have been able to join them in Berlin. “Now my best friend has come from Syria, through Turkey, Greece… She’s been here for two weeks now, so nice. Now I’m happy. My very best girl friend!"