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What is Home to You?

A photo album to accompany the »Salām Syria« festival.

Immer wenn ich an meine große Familie denke, habe ich Bilder vor Augen, wie wir alle gemeinsam lachen.

Nidal aus Damaskus

»Home« – an important, meaningful word for everyone. But what does home signify exactly? The house in which you grew up in, the city, the scenery? Family, friends, neighbours? And what happens when you leave your home and move further afield?

These questions are particularly relevant to those who were forced to leave their home as a result of war, violence and other events that made living there impossible. For these people home now only exists as a memory and they must search for a new home in countries such as Germany.

A photo album, containing 40 images and accompanying text to the theme of »home«, has been created for Salām Syria.


17 years old, from Aleppo in Syria, in Hamburg for one year now

My favourite spot is the citadel in Aleppo, which is luckily still standing. Every time I visited it there was ice-cream and french fries, and there used to be many tourists too. Afterwards, I visited my father in the tailor’s shop and we drank a cup of tea together.


30 years old, from Damaskus in Syria, in Hamburg since 2010

My favourite spot is the place where my family’s holiday apartment is located – at the foot of the mountain in Bassemeh. This spot is especially important to me, because I spend the happiest times there with my large family. I played with my family members as a child and we climbed the mountain together.

Whenever I think about my big family, I see how we all laugh when we’re together. Bassemeh is now almost completely destroyed as a result of the numerous clashes between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian regime. The photo shows the village in 2010, shortly before I left Syria for Germany.


39 years old, from Iraq, since 2009 in Hamburg

I get a warm feeling inside when I think of home. I think about particular people; I can feel, smell and taste the past. Home is a place where I am understood and don't stand out. I have many homes across the world, but the most special is the Cologne Cathedral. Although I'm a Muslim, the cathedral feels like home to me. My father once told me that he would like to buried in a place that smells like home – like petroleum.

Das Projekt »Heimatbilder« wird ermöglicht durch die Körber-Stiftung.

Flip through the album
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