Berliners open their doors: “My Roommate the Refugee”

ESPMI Network

standing-facing-sarah-refugee-source-allison

ALLISON WILLIAMS

As the snow begins to fall, authorities in Germany are struggling to find sufficient housing for a steady flow of refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. But some Berliners are opening their homes.

Rachel Wangari joined her flat mate at the kitchen table.

“I had a bad dream,” she said. “I called my mother right away.”

Ms. Wangari is a refugee from Kenya in her mid-thirties. She has just moved in with Sarah Diehl, a German writer and filmmaker who shares an apartment with a friend in Berlin’s multicultural Kreuzberg district.

The two had an open room and offered it to Ms. Wangari – for free.

“Why don’t you Skype her?” Ms. Diehl said.

“In Nairobi, it’s easier to call,” Ms. Wangari explained, as both sipped coffee from chipped mugs.

Ms. Wangari came to Germany six years ago. She works as a…

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