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Jan 092013

by Habib Ur Rehman

It is very difficult to leave one’s home, family and friends just for the sake of a better future, but it has been done in all ages and the process is still going on. On the other hand, getting settled into a strange culture and society is a big deal but those who take risks often succeed.

In most cases the first and basic hurdle faced by an immigrant in a new country is the language barrier. Even if a person holds a degree in his or her native country communicating in a foreign language still forms a huge handicap. He or she has to struggle to communicate in every-day situations like shopping, travelling, consulting a doctor, visiting an office etc.

During the past year I have met many immigrants who are, unfortunately, unable to speak the local language well despite of the fact that some have been living here for more than 10 to 15 years. This shows that learning the local language never had a high priority for them. However, a basic language course in my opinion is absolutely essential for immigrants. Interaction with local people, reading books, newspapers, magazines and watching local television channels may also help to improve the language.

Another thing or complaint that is often heard from immigrants is the lack of job opportunities. This complaint may hold weight but it should also be noted that in today’s highly competitive society a high school or even college degree is no guarantee for getting a good job. One should have to be skilled enough to meet the requirements and merit. I have observed that persons with an immigrant background tend to set simple goals which can easily be achieved. For example, their priority is to get a job as soon as possible. Immigrants seem to have little access to the higher and more competitive fields of science and technology, for example. It is an open secret that immigrants from many countries have been living in Germany for decades and all of them are being provided the same educational facilities. But unfortunately, after going through the list of Nobel Prize winners from Germany, I am unable to find a single name suggesting immigrant background from non-European countries who received this prestigious prize for decades.

In these competitive times those who lack access to certain fields may suffer in the end.

Artikelbild: © media4us / foto: Sabine Hoffmann – Beitrag aus dem Fotowettbewerb “Zeig’s uns!“


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