A group of refugees in Germany have launched an Arabic-language newspaper that will help other refugees become acclimated to their new host country. Called Abwab, which means “Doors” in Arabic, the publication will feature practical legal information about immigration and local news, as well as news from their homelands.
The newspaper was founded by editor-in-chief Ramy Alasheq, a Syrian-Palestinian journalist and poet who comes from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, and has a volunteer staff that hails from all corners of the globe.
“We are refugees, we are journalists and writers,” Alasheq told Al Jazeera. “We know what it means to be refugees, to be newcomers.”
Abwab’s inaugural issue includes a front-page story on German Prime Minister Angela Merkel under the headline “Merkel: The goal is to solve the Syrian conflict without Assad.” It also includes new stories from Syria, Iraq, and other countries. Not only does it aim to help refugees with their transition to life in Germany, but it also aims to help them maintain ties to their home countries.
“Refugees somehow do feel like they have made it, but their friends and family are still there and they also feel guilty,” said Federica Gaida, director of New German Media, Abwab’s publisher. “We want to keep the connection with Syria alive. I want there to be a bridge between activists here and there.”