I met Baraa and his mother, brother, sister-in-law and three nephews in late summer of 2015, in a first reception centre in Messina. The family was mourning the death of Baraa’s father, whose health had deteriorated after the crossing of the Mediterranean sea, where he also fell from the boat.
They were escaping Libya, after living there for two years in poorly conditions. Baraa had just started studying law at the university of Damasco in 2012 when the father decided it was better to leave the country before it got worst. But Libya was in a turmoil as well, therefore they directed their journey to Germany, Sicily being the first step.
After the funeral the rest of the family moved north, and following German procedures they were able to settle down in Nuremberg at the beginning of 2015. There I visited them, being warmthly welcomed. Baraa and the kids were starting to integrate, going to school and language courses, playing in a local football team. Baraa was in a A level young team back in Syria.
The mosque of Nuremberg revealed to be an important reference point for all Muslim refugees arriving in the city, having set up a proper legal support system, in agreement with institutions. A wide network of refugees has born in the Bavarian city, inside which also adults, who find it more difficult to enter the local social dimension, can find their place and feel more home.