Iraqis are returning home after complaining of the slow asylum process after the overwhelming influx of 1.1 million refugees flooded Germany’s borders. Most of refugees are still living in shelters around the country.
One Iraqi refugee, Leith Khdeir Abbas, recalls unclean living conditions as well as bland food. As he boarded a plane with 50 other Iraqis leaving for their war-torn home, he spoke of the disenchantment that faced them in this sanctuary. “I fled to Germany to build my future. But I realized I can’t build it on fake promises.”
It cost $4000 to leave his home, in fees paid to smugglers to get on a boat over the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece. Once in Greece, they began the trek to Germany with many other asylum seekers. It took weeks to arrive after crossing Austria and the Balkans.
Iraqis are the fifth largest group who sought asylum in Germany, totaling 30,000. 200 of these asylum seekers left in December, numbers rising towards the end of the year. Dreams of a better future in Europe are quickly quashed as the usually efficient bureaucracy was slowed with waves of migrants.
The reason for the return of Iraqis to their home country could be related to the generally improving conditions in Iraq. Government forces continue to make advances against Islamic State, and many of the major cities have not yet seen heavy conflict. Many Iraqis remain, hoping for asylum from a country awash with new migrants unable or unwilling to return to their war-torn homes.