Halyna Abdo ist eine junge Frau, eine der Flüchtlinge, die vor wenigen Wochen aus der Ukraine, in der seit Februar Krieg herrscht, nach Konstanz gekommen ist. Die Klasse 6a hat sich Interviewfragen überlegt, diese mithilfe ihrer Englischlehrerin übersetzt – Halyna Abdo spricht noch kein Deutsch – und ihr diese Fragen am 12.April in der Deutschstunde gestellt. Für die Klasse war es sehr spannend aus erster Hand Informationen zu bekommen.
Hier finden Sie das vollständige Interview.
Halyna Abdo: I’m twenty-nine years old.
Andjelija: What languages do you speak?
Halyna Abdo: I am speaking actually five languages: Arabic, Kurdish, English, Russian and Ukrainian.
Andjelija: That’s cool. We were told that one of your parents is from Syria, and one is from the Ukraine. Where and how did your parents meet?
Halyna Abdo: My parents met in university. They were studying together; not in the same group, but they know each other from one company, and the city where my parents were studying is Mariupol and if somebody knows what is happening with Mariupol right now. The Russians bombed almost ninety percent of the city and they said it’s a nazi there and still the war, this city is very very dangerous. Most people are still in the bomb shelter and nobody knows what’s wrong with people. It’s ... No. And Ukranians – others than military – cannot come to that place. Actually because most Russian military is in that city and we do not have any chance to come to that city and the Russian military have the people that was living in Mariupol, they did’nt have a choice to come back to Ukraine, the Russian military force people to go to Russia and nobody is asked if they want to be in Russia or not. And that is – I think that is, actually this city – there are mostly ruins in that city.
My father and my mother – sorry for this.
Andjelija: It’s okay.
Halyna Abdo: I was talking about the bad things. My mother and father are engineers. And yeah.
Andjelija: Where were you born and raised?
Halyna Abdo: I have – we are six, eh…
Andjelija: Family members?
Halyna Abdo: Geschwister? Geschwister! And I am the second one. My first sister, she was born in Ukraine and I was born in Syria. At that time my mom and my father decided to live in Syria. That’s maybe, you know, when you are from different countries and different culture, you are mixed it, you feel, ehm…
Andjelija: More connected to one? Or you feel connected to both?
Halyna Abdo: Ehm, half from this and half from that. You cannot be in one culture. You feel like you are an alien. You are not there. Nobody got you. You can communicate just with people who are like you, who had the same situation, the mother Ukranian and Syrian father.
Andjelija: Why and when did you go to the Ukraine? Why did you have to leave Syria?
Halyna Abdo: I left Syria in 2010. My parents decided I should live in Ukraine and study. I came to Ukraine to study. Before I came to study our family was living half year in Syria and half year in Ukraine. And the one moment when I was in six grade like you guys, I couldn’t stay so long in Ukraine. My parents decided to live nine months in Syria and in holidays, in summer holidays we – every year we were coming to Ukraine.
Andjelija: What do you think about the war?
Halyna Abdo: Nothing good. I am twenty nine and in the first time I felt… You cannot help people. The city I was living in that country and when you see how many people died for nothing. And you are just told you are so lucky. That moment you are not there. And when you escape from the third war you started to think if it’s you are lucky or if it’s just your way of life like. But it's very hard to just understand that how much the young guys in your age just left this life.
I have – not too much – but, when you are in the school like that and one moment you realize this guy was with you in the school. And he is not alive any more. You feel like ‘Oh my good, I am still young.’ And the death is near, very near to you. And they are just like walking around, walking around you and didn’t touch you. And it’s… it’s strange feeling.
Halyna Abdo: Very strange.
Andjelija: Do you think the war is Putin’s fault?
Halyna Abdo: Eh. The very little story about that. Originally my mom. She is Russian and nobody knows how much Ukranian is in her blood. We were living in Donetsk. In 2014 it wanted to be an independent country, an independent region. In that time when Putin come to us to help us - like he said this time. But my mind in that time and my mind right now. It’s very different.
Most people that were living in that region they are speaking Russian. And I think 90% of that people wanted to be with Russia. And I remember many people went to the meeting to have a referendum. And I never went… I was unpolitical every time. I was not interested, like in having a referendum. And I never was, I was unpolitical every time. I was not interested, like what’s going on with Russia and the Ukraine. I was thinking like every time it’s not our business. It’s just political business. Nobody gonna tell you the truth.
And I felt like – in that moment, in 2014, because of the TV, because the same way Russian doing to their Civilians, they are lying on the TV, in the TV-show all the… everything is lying and how Russian doing like they say ‘We are coming in your country to help you’. But actually they are coming to kill you. What they are showing to their people: ‘Really, we are coming to help you.’
That’s why most Russian people were thinking when the war started, the war is not started because we just came to help you. You have a problem. They were thinking in Ukraine most people speaking Russian are discriminated but that is not true at all. In 2014 I was – I cannot say that I loved Putin, maybe, maybe love. But right now it’s absolutely different. It’s hatred. In 2014 I was, it was war. The first time I saw the war because when I left Syria I didn't see war. I left before, half year before the war was started. In 2014 I stayed in Donetsk still three months and I was… I saw all that like when you are walking, just like that, you are walking and you are hearing the siren. In that moment you are walking the city you should just escape or hide yourself. And you just don’t know if something is gonna happen with you. It’s really a scaring moment. And every time you are hearing this bomb and the siren. It’s actually emotionally very very hard.
And I decided to leave Donetsk by myself. My parents, my mom stayed in Donetsk. All my family stayed in Donetsk. Just me. I decided to go to Odessa.
Odessa is a very beautiful city in Ukraine. It was my dream every time to live in that city. When I started to live in the different part of Ukraine and I saw how people really love Ukraine. They are so patriotic on that country, very. And when this time Russia came to us I changed my mind at all.
For no reason, on one day, you are going to, for no reason, for example you are going to your upstair-neighbour and start to beat him for nothing. It’s the same situation having with us.
And right now I can say differently. In Syria Putin didn’t start the war. But he helped our president, the bashar, because he is the same dictator, to kill people. Almost maybe four, five years Russia came to us to help us but actually they were killing people. The same they are doing right now in Mariupol, the same attack, the same, everything the same.
And right now I most feel myself Ukranian. And about Russian people I can say before war we never hated them but after war I was very surprised that they were very happy that war started in Ukraine. And they really hate us. And for no reason. For no reason. We never did something bad for Russia. Never. They just hate us because we are different. They hate as because we are talking in Ukranian, they want us to speak Russian. Actually me, I am speaking Russian, I don’t speak Ukranian. I was living in a region we are not using Ukranian language.
And when somebody comes to you and says we are coming to help you but actually we are coming to kill you because you are not speaking Russian. I don’t know it’s really a crazy thing. That’s why I said politics, it’s about ambition. It is political ambition, it is not about the people. People cannot do anything. People are just killed, people started their futures and politicians have money, they have power and they never give up, they never give any attention tor our population or our people.
Andjelija: So, how was your journey, when you fled, when you were escaping the country. Was it hard, or?
Halyna Abdo: No. Maybe it’s second or third time in my life.
In first day of the war… Actually I was sleeping till eight o’clock in the morning and I saw in my phone a lot of messages that the war started. The war started at four o’clock in the morning. And after four hours I just knew about that.
I was in my bed like that (she is leaning backward) and said ‘No, everything is good’ because I remember how it was in Donetsk. In Donetsk it was very slow, very slow. In Ukraine right now the war started in one second. Like (she snips with her fingers) suddenly war in your country. I was like ‘No, they are just little it beating each other but they will stop after one week’. And all the day I was in bed, always watching the news. I go out to the supermarket and I saw. When you see the people’s eyes. They buy everything because they know if the war will start you should hide you and – no food – like you should prepare yourself to have food.
I came back to home and I said ‘no’, maybe it’s the chance to leave right now. Because before war I decided already to leave the country. It was my dream to leave Ukraine actually because the European countries… Maybe… Everybody is dreaming to live here. Maybe because oft that, maybe… Almost people are dreaming to live in America and you are safe in Europe. And that was one of my dream to live in Europe. Almost people are different here than in Ukraine, the salary is different and – we are thinking about that, yeah.
Andjelija: How long did your journey take?
Halyna Abdo: My journey? Five days.
And all that way I didn't feel anything, just in my mind it was like ‘Okay, the way right now is very hard. But I know. I put it in my mind that I will be in Europe. I will be in Europe. And that’s why. I kept myself so without any emotions. Just like it’s my goals. I should be there. And right now most safely place is not Ukraine, it’s Europe. That’s why I came. And five days it was from Odessa to Luive - in German they say different name to Luive. Ehm, after that from Luive to Poland border. I was staying on the Polish border two days. And it was very cold. Very cold.
After that from Poland to Berlin and Lonenburg. I stayed in Lonenburg one week because I was not alone. I was with company. Two of my friends, they have Dutch passports. And that’s why it was very easy for the guys to leave the country. Because like I am a woman it is very dangerous to leave country by yourself and the guys helped me a lot. A lot, yeah.
Andjelija: Did you have pets? Could you take them with you?
Halyna Abdo: No, I went all by myself (laughing a bit).
Andjelija: We are done with the first page of questions. We still have some more questions. How were you welcomed here in Germany?
Halyna Abdo: At first, before coming to Germany my goal was to be in the Netherlands. And I never felt I love the language. It was for me like – I don’t know, maybe because I saw so many comics about German language and when one word is so long (she shows about a meter with her hands). It makes me very I say no, I don’t want to learn that language (she is laughing).
But actually the moment when you just cross the border and when I saw Polish people help us and in that moment I saw a lot of German journalists and they were all saying ‘You are welcome. We very like, we are waiting for each people from Ukraine.' And I was in shock because in Ukraine people are not like that. Not like that at all.
I never saw – I don’t want to say that my country is bad, but every country has a bad side and a good side. And the bad side of Ukraine is that it’s all politics and most people don’t have money, most people are poor. That’s why they don’t have, aren’t able to help other people. When I came here I saw that, wow! It’s actually different because most of Ukrainian people think about how to work, how to get salary. Get salary to…
Here the government gives you all and you - the second step of humanity is when you start to think about the people who have a problem around you. And that’s very cool.
I felt like that’s why – the first I really know – I decided to stay in Europe. And all my live I want to live here. And it’s really… I was in shock when you came here and saw like everybody thinking about the cats, the dogs – all these Животные zhivotnye…
Halyna Abdo: Yeah, animals. In my country the people don’t think about the humans. I felt like Germany… You know, when I came the first time because of language, because of the war you still think about the war I didn’t… I don’t know how to explain that. I felt like I don’t know I want to stay here and maybe because I do not have a communication with German people and I was still by myself I was thinking people, they were not very welcome to another people but in the… The life showed me that is actually in my mind. It is different how people act around me. And I am very surprised, in a good way.
Andjelija: So you decided to go to Berlin and stay. How did you end up in Konstanz?
Halyna Abdo: My uncle, he had a friend, who was living here. And he is working with refugees. He called me and … No, my uncle gave me the number and I called the man. I said like I don’t know where I want to live. He said, come here. There are not that many Ukranian refugees here. We can find for you a good place, where you can stay. And it’s really a good city. Because I was living in Odessa in it is a touristic city and the sea and actually I like when the city is with See. The most important for me it’s the See. And the good weather. That’s why I came here.
Andjelija: What about your relatives? Do you stay in touch?
Halyna Abdo: I can by myself. And I have someone here who is from Syria, my uncle. I have two uncles, who are living here. In another cities. But we are not in a good relationship.
Andjelija: Do you plan on learning German?
Halyna Abdo: Stay here?
Andjelija: No, learn the language.
Halyna Abdo: Learn the language. Yes, I already started to learn the language. But not really so fast. I need time. And maybe it’s when you know a lot of languages. In one way it’s easier for you to learn a new one but in the same time it is hard for you to choose which language you should speak right now.
Andjelija: So, do you want to stay in Germany? Or do you plan going back when the war is over?
Halyna Abdo: No, I don’t have plan to come back, actually this year. And because in Odessa I had a job and an apartment. In the first day, when the war was started my job just closed and my apartment – it is not my apartment, I have to pay for it – and you know, to stay in the country and you don’t have a job, you don’t have money and you should pay for apartment…
Andjelija: Could you take anything from your home with you?
Halyna Abdo: I just left my apartment with one little bag. And the most things I just really hurts me that it stayed there is the… I painted one
Andjelija: You drew a wall?
Halyna Abdo: No, I painted a picture. It’s most I drew it myself and it’s there. And I am often thinking about that picture. That’s all.
Andjelija: What’s your occupation? Are you planning on working here?
Halyna Abdo: Yeah, I am planning on working here. Actually I am an massage therapist. I am a doctor at first, I finished the medicine study. And I didn’t work like a doctor I started to work as massage therapist. Working with the kids. Doing massage therapie. And right now I am trying to find something like that.
Andjelija: What are your wishes for future?
Halyna Abdo: Whishes for my future? To make my – actually my wish is to have a family.
Halyna Abdo: Yes. Have a family. An own family. But I don’t know, sometimes I think like I will be thirty and I still didn’t find the right person how you want to live with him. And every year it’s harder. Maybe because you action all the time by yourself and you know yourself and it is very hard someone is coming to you live with you.
Yeah. And this is actually my most dream in future to have my very strong family.
Andjelija: Do you have any plans for the future except for having a family?
Halyna Abdo: I don’t see my future right now. Because of the war. And the new country, the new language, everything is new. It’s like a new step of your live. And I think my goals gonna change. That’s why right now… No, I am not thinking about what I will do in the future.
Halyna Abdo: Yeah.
Andjelija: So I think you answered all the questions. Thank you. Good luck on learning German.
Halyna Abdo: Thank you.