Foto: Julien Fertl
Photographer is Yemen Akkad’s dream job. His parents run a photo studio in Aleppo where he once worked, however, he also studied biology at university. “There is no training or study programme to become a photographer in Syria, so I decided to study a different subject. A university degree gives you professional security,” he explains.
As the risk of being drafted into the Syrian army and going to war threatened, Yemen Akkad decided to leave the country. He crossed the Turkish border on foot in the spring of 2015. He worked in Turkey for three months, but saw no prospects for himself. Together with friends he made his way to Germany, crossing by boat to Greece, travelling by train, bus and on foot via Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria to Passau, where he reported to the police.
In Bavaria he was housed in various locations until he finally found an apartment in the Nuremberg area. It took a year for Yemen Akkad to obtain a residence permit. During this time he could not pursue any education or employment. “I used the time to learn German, for example with YouTube videos,” he remembers. After his residency was approved the Jobcenter arranged an integration course for him where he also obtained a B2 level German certificate.