New Web site Helps Germans and Migrants Meet, Speak About Life

In the course of the peak of the migrant disaster in Europe final fall, Lasse Landt got here to a startling realization.

Hundreds of migrants have been pouring into Germany daily, however the 36-yr-previous startup marketing consultant from Berlin hadn’t met a single considered one of them.

"It was everywhere in the media, each day on the speak exhibits you had individuals speaking concerning the refugee disaster. I had by no means seen a refugee," stated Landt. "I simply needed to seek out out if it was actual."

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Along with Khaled Alaswad, a 25-yr-previous Syrian he met at a pc coding class for migrants in Berlin, Landt began a venture to assist refugees and locals meet up. Referred to as Let’s combine! , it permits customers to select a time and site and arrange a "date."

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New Website Helps Germans and Migrants Meet, Talk About Life

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Alaswad stated his friendship with Landt has helped him land on his ft in Germany.

"If the refugees by no means speak nose to nose with an area individual, they’ll by no means know something concerning the tradition right here," he stated. "There’s simply such an enormous distinction between our tradition and the German tradition."

Germany registered round 1.1 million irregular migrants in 2015, most of them refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. However with the closure of the Balkans migration route from Greece to Germany, the variety of migrants coming in has dropped dramatically this yr. So consideration has now shifted to integrating the refugees, who will more than likely spend a number of years, if not their entire lives, in Germany.

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The authorities are specializing in having migrants study the language and get jobs. The German authorities has promised to introduce sponsored workplaces earmarked for refugees.

Let’s combine! was launched Might 1 and up to now at the least a dozen conferences have taken place. Extra Germans have signed up than migrants, so organizers are placing up posters in refugee houses to attempt to even out the numbers.

The service is free however solely obtainable in Berlin, although there are plans to increase it to different German cities quickly, together with these the place migrants have acquired a much less-than-enthusiastic reception. Fears about migrants have been stoked by far-proper and nationalist teams, who’ve staged a whole lot of rallies close to refugee houses or deliberate shelters.