Photo: Maurice Kohl

New start in Germany Photo: Maurice Kohl

Fayez Allababidy and Djoulde Barry fled from their home countries and found a training place at Talanx.

Published in December 2017 Author: Markus Scheele

If Fayez Allababidy had remained in Syria, he might well have paid with his life. Now 26 years old, he would have been old enough to have been called up for military service. And as a soldier, he would have had to go to war against the Syrian opposition forces and so-called Islamic State, a war in which hundreds of thousands had already lost their lives. According to reports by refugee agency UNHCR, more than five million Syrians have left the country since the civil war started in 2011.

Fayez Allababidy is no soldier. He studied physics in Damascus and his studies earned him a Bachelor of Science. Two years ago, he decided to quit Syria and go to Europe. Fayez Allababidy packed together essentials, strapped up his rucksack and embarked on the hazardous journey to Europe. On the west coast of Turkey, he set out for Greece in a boat. Wind and choppy seas present a regular hazard of boats capsizing. He finally arrived in Germany after having taken the route through the Balkans. First of all, he ended up in a home for asylum seekers. “Then I took language courses from 2015 to 2017,” said Fayez Allababidy. “Now I am living in a small apartment in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne.”

Fayez Allababidy

“I am the kind of person who likes anything that is logical and involves mathematics and programming.”

Fayez Allababidy

Talanx Systems AG

A few weeks ago, Fayez Allababidy started a twin-track training course to become a business information specialist at Talanx Systeme AG. He is one of 13 apprentices in the new cohort for the year specialising in this field. The trainees follow a rotating programme where they learn the theoretical principles of business administration and IT at the local university of applied sciences, and they are integrated in IT projects during the practical phases of in-service training at Talanx. “I think that the twin-track system is great because the practical vocational side is combined with theoretical learning,” commented Fayez Allababidy. “Although I have started to learn about something completely new, I am the kind of person who likes anything that is logical and involves mathematics and programming.” The trainee salary means that he no longer requires any government support and he is extremely proud of this achievement. “I want to work here and stand on my own two feet, live among the German people and lead an independent life.”

He shares this desire with Djoulde Barry. The 23-year-old fled from Guinea. The country in West Africa is ranked as one of the poorest in the world. For well over a year, Djoulde Barry has been training as a cook at Talanx Service AG in Cologne. “While I was taking my German language course, our teacher asked if any of us could see themselves working as a cook,” he recalled. She had been looking into the availability of some apprenticeship places for her pupils and this is what gave him the idea. “I believe that it is important to do a proper training here in Germany and cooking is a creative vocation. That’s something I like. I really enjoy working at Talanx. I like my workplace and my colleagues as well.”

Djoulde Barry

“Cooking is a creative vocation. That’s something I like.”

Djoulde Barry

Talanx Service AG

Djoulde Barry now has two different ways of learning about German: the language and in the kitchen. “My mother always cooked for me at home,” he said. “Here, I am now learning to cook for others. My favourite German dish is beef goulash.” And as far as the language is concerned: “I know that I need to improve my command further. At the beginning, it was not at all easy. Now I am able to talk about things with a few friends outside the company and with other apprentices.”

Business information specialist Fayez Allababidy has also felt at home in Germany for some time now. For example, he is singing Mozart’s “Requiem” as a tenor with a local concert choir in his home town of Bergisch Gladbach. And as a brand new Rhinelander, he has already achieved the highest stage of integration: “I am now in the carnival association, that makes you part of the scene in the Rhineland.”

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