Hussein Al Ammawi from Syria
“Munich has become my new home”
Hussein, you fled the war in Syria? How did it go in Germany?
Hussein Al Ammawi: I came here from Syria in 2015. First, I landed in Weiden in the Upper Palatinate. There, I found a job in the scope of the project "1 Euro per hour", which means that I worked in a building yard and was paid one Euro per hour – more of a symbolical reward for voluntary work.
How come you moved to Munich then?
I was encouraged to do so because everyone thought that it would be easier for me to find a job in Munich. After a few months, I found a job at Munich Airport and moved here.
Then, how did it go in Munich?
The housing situation in Munich is problematic. With the help of my dedicated boss, I found a very nice family in Weiden, who allowed me to stay with them for a couple of weeks until I found my own apartment, thank God. In the end, I stayed at their place for a whole year. They have somewhat become my family now.
And you have been studying Civil Engineering at TUM for two years now.
I already studied Civil Engineering in Syria, and I also learned German. At the language school where I completed my B2 course, I was informed about the TUM's guest auditor program. I took part in the program and I liked it very much. After I passed my C1 German exam at the TUM Language Center, I enrolled for the Bachelor's program at TUM. In the scope of the guest auditor program, I learned about the Deutschlandstipendium and applied for it immediately.
How does the Deutschlandstipendium help you with your studies?
Obviously, the scholarship is quite helpful in terms of financing – but I could also benefit a lot from the personal support by staff of the Deutschlandstipendium, from the very beginning.
You're already a family man.
That's right. My wife and I became parents on the first day of my studies, and we were given notice to leave the apartment due to lack of space. We were also forced to move out of the next apartment soon. Mrs. Rieder and Mrs. Birkeneder at the office of the Deutschlandstipendium were very helpful in finding a new apartment quickly. Now, we live in a cooperative flat and I can finally concentrate on my studies again.
Do you already have plans for your future after your studies?
While I was still in Syria, I had planned to venture into the construction of buildings. Since I have been studying here, I have become more interested in the construction of underground railways and tunnels. I definitely want to stay and work here in Munich. Some of my distant relatives live in Düsseldorf and Cologne. It would certainly be nice to live a bit closer to them, but Munich has become my new home and I don't want to leave anymore.
(Interview: Sabrina Czechofsky)
Hussein al Ammawi (26) is from al-Hasaka in northern Syria. In 2015, he fled from the war to Germany – alone – and was later able to reunite with his wife. The rest of his family is still living in Syria, and he is in regular contact with them. In 2018, he was granted support in the scope of the TUM's Deutschlandstipendium. Student applications for the Deutschlandstipendium are still possible until July 5, 2020. High school graduates can apply from July 13 to August 9, 2020. More information: www.tum.de/deutschlandstipendium