The Integration Puzzle What a Million Refugees Mean for Everyday Life
Part 2: Integration 101
Slim Boutaieb, 47, teaches immigrants in Munich the basic principles of German culture.
What is the first thing immigrants to Germany need to know, Mr. Boutaieb?
Slim Boutaieb helps his fellow Arab Muslims in Munich understand Germany. Born in Tunisia, he moved to the Bavarian capital in 1992. He, too, had to first get his bearings in a foreign country. Now, Boutaieb wants to pass along the lessons he's learned. His contribution to integration is 924 kilobytes in size and 16 pages long. It's a PowerPoint presentation in German and Arabic, an "Integration 101" of sorts, which he takes with him when he visits refugee shelters.
Slide No. 7 is about openness. New arrivals have to get to know the people around them and give their culture a chance. "I tell them they can forget the rules and norms that applied back home. Germany is different," Boutaieb says.
Slide No. 9: Language. "Language is the biggest barrier if you want to come into contact with the Germans," says Boutaieb. He encourages people to go and talk to Germans even if their language skills aren't yet polished.
Slide No. 11: Germany's democratic culture. One must respect the freedom of others, he tells the new arrivals. Everyone here is permitted to worship however he or she wants, and people are allowed to drink, party and have fun. At the same time, solidarity is held in high regard. Germans live by the credo: "If someone has fallen, help pull them back up again."
Slide No. 13: The rule of law. There is little or no corruption; human rights are respected, as is equality for women. Boutaieb tells his audience that in Germany, sometimes it's the man's turn to cook, vacuum and clean. The men often chuckle when he says that.
- Part 1: What a Million Refugees Mean for Everyday Life
- Part 2: Integration 101
- Part 3: Are Refugees More Violent?
- Part 4: Frustration and a Lack of Resources
- Part 5: Teaching Refugees to Swim
- Part 6: 'A Challenge Like No Other'
- Part 7: The Doctor's Advice: Learn German and Be Patient
- Part 8: A 1.5 Billion Burden for the Healthcare System?
- Part 9: Dancing Away Stereotypes and Prejudice
- Part 10: The Midwife's Migraine
- Part 11: Germany Will Need 20,000 New Teachers for Refugees
- Part 12: 'We Need Time'
- Part 13: 'We Will Only Manage This If We Have the Infrastructure'
- Part 14: 'We Will Undergo a Multicultural Transformation'
- Part 15: Refugees at Our Doorsteps
- Part 16: 1.09 Million Refugees Registered in 2015
- Part 17: Policing the Refugee Camps
- Part 18: The Refugee Bill
- Part 19: Integration Will Be a Task for Decades to Come
- Part 20: 'An Open Economy Would Be Unimaginable without Immigration'
- Part 21: BMW Courts Refugees
- Part 22: A Michelin Star and Refugees
- Part 23: 'What Is a Petroleum Technician?'