Dr. Angelea Panos (Utah Valley University)
(United States, Germany, and Afghanistan )
Co-author: Patrick Panos, University of Utah; Ahmad Hamid Wahidy, Herat University; Shiwa Askandari, Herat University; Nafisa Saeedi, Herat University
Topic: Challenges Faced by Afghan Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Germany in 2022-23
Background: Germany provided a haven for Syrian refugees, and now also for Ukranian refugees. Sandwiched in-between were many refugees and asylum-seekers from Afghanistan who departed their country quickly after the U.S. withdrawal was completed on August 30, 2021, despite the Taliban’s toppling of the Afghan government earlier that month. These Afghan refugees live with a great deal of uncertainty about their futures in Europe. The have a precarious legal status and must learn German quickly before they can qualify for employment. This paper documents other challenges they face as they attempt to make new lives in Germany/
Methods: The data collection took place online from November 2022 to January 2023. The questionnaire was designed in Google Form and distributed with a snowball method to the refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan, but now living in Germany. A total of 50 individuals participated in this data collection. The questionnaire consisted of 9 demographic questions, as well as 15 quantitative and 3 qualitative questions.
Results: The majority of the participants in the study felt that Ukrainian refugees had better chances of employment and were better received by the German people. A majority of respondents found that cultural shocks and trauma from the war were deeply affecting their everyday life. Fears about their families still in Afghanistan persist. Finding the services that they need has been challenging, and they feel that Ukrainian refugees are prioritized over them.
Conclusions: Afghan refugees and asylum seekers have faced unique challenges in their adaptation process in Germany. Understanding the human needs of Afghani refugees as compared to other refugees, along with campaigns on equal rights for all immigrants and asylum seekers is recommended. Specific recommendations are given.