photography / documentary: generation exile / berlin refugee youths: KHei_BER_Aseel_13

“Of course it’s very difficult, with another language.” Aseel is 17, going on 18, and after an initial year of learning German in a Willkommensklasse for refugee youths, she is now enrolled in a regular 9th grade. Being much older than her classmates is not the only challenge the Palestinian girl faces: “I love math, but when the teacher asks a question, even when I know the answer, I can’t really say it. Sometimes, when I say a sentence not quite right, people laugh at me.”  Back in Syria, where she grew in Yarmouk refugee camp, Aseel had been enrolled in 11th grade. Without the war she’d be starting her university studies by now. “But the teacher is really nice! Now one year of ninth grade, and then a diploma, and then vocational training: medical assistant!”

“Of course it’s very difficult, with another language.” Aseel is 17, going on 18, and after an initial year of learning German in a Willkommensklasse for refugee youths, she is now enrolled in a regular 9th grade. Being much older than her classmates is not the only challenge the Palestinian girl faces: “I love math, but when the teacher asks a question, even when I know the answer, I can’t really say it. Sometimes, when I say a sentence not quite right, people laugh at me.” Back in Syria, where she grew in Yarmouk refugee camp, Aseel had been enrolled in 11th grade. Without the war she’d be starting her university studies by now. “But the teacher is really nice! Now one year of ninth grade, and then a diploma, and then vocational training: medical assistant!”