Josef, a 27-years old student, has a bachelor degree in Middle East studies and then had continued his education in economics. Interested in Arabic language and nations, he spent a year in Egypt and Jordan and has used the opportunity for learning Arabic. “On Iran my knowledge is limited to its recent history of Iran and its relations with Israel,” he said.
As a short introduction on Germany and lifestyle of German people, Josef noted the punctuality and hardworking as the main characteristics of Germans. “The clichés are that their minds are well-organized and they have a plan and procedure for everything. There is a rule and prescription for everything. Yet this is not true for everyone.” He added “but job is a very important issue in Germany and there is a pressure to be excellent and successful at work.”
Noting the social features of Germans, Mr. Perera underlined that they are not welcoming like Iranians; “they need more time to know people to create a relationship.” In terms of tradition and culture, Josef noted different carnivals in German cities; “depending on the region, German cities host several carnivals and parades. Rare to find in eastern region, festivals are a main feature of western cities and even local people say that there are five seasons in Germany, the fifth being carnivals and festivals.”
Touching upon German popular sport, Josef said that football and soccer have a lot of fan among Germans. “Like Iranians, German people are interested in watching and talking a lot about football. He also noted that hiking and travel are so popular among them.
“On cuisine the cliché is meals with potato and meat as the main ingredients; yet the reality is that due to immigration the German food enjoy variety and on the other hand German like other people in the world eat fast food.”
Josef later touched upon the pros and cons of German; “there is an advantage about German which is a disadvantage at the same time. Germans have to pay a lot of taxes on energy, electrics and smoking cigarettes and their incomes which is used by the government for education, health care, banking and social system expenses; therefor welfare and health care are implemented at very good level and public health insurance covers most of medical treatments; on the other hand, education is free and government supports poor families.”
Noting refugee crisis, he underlined that refugees come from Syria, North Africa and Afghanistan; “refugees’ life quality depends on many factors such as their education background, knowing language and motivation; highly educated refugees like doctors make a good life in Germany and their life quality in improving while the ones with basic level of education do not have a good life and they really have hard time to integrate with German society.”
When asked on the policy of German government about asylum seeker, Josef underlined that “Germany is still open for Syrian immigrants, but tries to send back some North African and Afghan refugees to their country as the condition in their home countries is not so grave.”