Aljazeera reports that a group of volunteer refugees have launched Germany’s first Arabic newspaper. Abwab (arabic for doors), is being distributed free of charge at refugee centres across the country and is aimed at helping new arrivals acclimatise to their new home and keep in touch with events happening in their country of origin.
Editor in Chief Ramy Alasheq (a refugee from Damascus himself), currently has enough financial support to run the paper for six months. Available only in print, Abwab uses Skype and Dropbox to bring together its geographically distributed contributors and designer who all work virtually.
Wenzel Michalski, Germany’s director of Human Rights Watch told Aljazeera that the new publication is a valuable addition to the network of support available to refugees.
“If refugees who come here are not guided by somebody, they are absolutely not informed at all,” he told Al Jazeera, speaking from Berlin.”We are witnessing the rise of a new civil society … This is especially positive for refugees; they feel welcome and integrated. They are longing for any warm welcome.”
The story also provides much needed positive news of the efforts of refugees to settle and integrate into their adopted communities in the wake of the New Year’s Eve events in Cologne.