A Syrian refugee living in Germany did an AMA recently, and the result was fascinating. He's a young man who ran a successful Internet cafe and left because of threatened conscription. He's gotten asylum and has been in Germany 9 months, learning German.
I've pasted a few of the exchanges I found the most interesting. Reformatted them hastily, since I find reddit's format a bit hard to follow.
First, my favorite exchange of all:
thegingerduck: How did you learn English? Did you learn while in Syria?
StraightOuttaSyria: Movies, TV-shows, books, music, youtube, internet in general.
thegingerduck: Are you doing the same for german?
StraightOuttaSyria: Yup, the radio and tv are always on, discovered some great German bands and singers, can't read books now but will asap.
OgGorrilaKing: It's Rammstein isn't it? You've been listening to Rammstein.
StraightOuttaSyria: I've been listening to them even before coming to Germany :D
Arntown: Yeah, and for advanced learning try Herbert Grönemeyer. If you can understand him, you're better than 50% of the Germans :D
Asked what the biggest culture shocks were:
- Public drinking
- Relationships ( female - male )
- General acceptance for LGBT
- Sex-Ed in school? Good luck with that
- Shared Showers
What does he think of Western airstrikes against ISIS? "It's awesome, like really it's the best thing that happened since the start of the revolution and civil war in Syria."
What it's like to live in ISIS-run areas:
They have very strict rules you need to follow, but generally they try to keep the population under their control "comfortable", because they wouldn't be able to fight an inside war and expand their "Caliphate" too, actually, the regions under ISIS control are the regions with the most access to water and electricity in Syria.
so yeah, so many rules, very strict rules, but if you follow you'll live ok.
Another question has to do with the image of Europe:
There are rumors about refugees being fed obvious lies about the welfare system in Germany: Things like getting top notch housing, a car and a well paid job upon arrival. What do you think of it?
Answer: SO MUCH LIES. they all think of Europe as a paradise on Earth, these lies are fed very much through the smugglers who try to convince you to go to Europe, as I suggested in another comment, I think the Europe should build a website putting every decision and news related to the refugees in it so they can get an authentic source of news and know who it is in Europe.
Good Syrian dishes:
In the years to come I expect we will see Syrian restaurants and take-aways appear in the EU. What are good / unique dishes we can look forward to? Any good vegetarian dishes?
Answer: Look for "Fatte" "فتة", it's great
On how the EU should manage the crisis:
What are your thoughts About how the EU should manage the refugee crisis? Glad you made it welcome to germany.
StraightOuttaSyria: Obviously I'm happy many people can get a chance for a better life. But the way it happens now is wrong, mass numbers will hurt the people before the host countries, and eventually will lead to more troubles. There are many way they can help the people and get everything under control, as I've said couple of times, get them legal status in Turkey, then sort the people who need to get to Europe, and pick them from the camps. These are some of the simplest ways.
And on ISIS infiltrators:
Do you believe that ISIS terrorists are disguising themselves as refugees to get into Europe and the US?
StraightOuttaSyria: It's a quite big possibility, but hopefully the authorities run a good background check before granting anyone asylum.
redditor401: No offence to you, but judging by the way you got in, I don't think that's really happening, lol.