Meeting Saleh Kahhal

„I finally have a job!“ The first step is complete, but Saleh dreams of working in his actual field - as a journalist.

von Saleh Kahhal

A selfie of Saleh Kahhal in Berlin

I remember my first moments after arriving in Germany. At the time, I thought I would get many job offers as soon as I presented employers with my degrees and qualifications. However, after a couple of months, I realized that my reality was far from the expectations I had set up, and I understood that I must build my new life here step-by-step.

At first, I had no patience, I just wanted a job as soon as possible. I had studied Journalism in Damascus and even worked as a TV host there, but here I lacked the language skills that were so central to my work as a journalist. Therefore, I signed myself up for a German language course, and after I had learned some German, I went directly to a temporary employment agency, where I got my first job in Germany! However, I got disappointed; I was not allowed to work as a journalist, I was only allowed to work as an assistant – an assistant at a cleaning company. The work I did there did not match my academic qualifications at all! I felt extremely out of place, and because of the exhausting nature of my work there, I had no time left for myself.

I finally decided to quit my job and give journalism another try. I wrote some articles in English and Arabic, but this didn’t actually provide me with any income. That’s why I had to look for another paid position that fits my German course schedule. This time I found a mini-job at a hotel, where I still work to this day. Here, I am more content. While I am still not working in my field, maybe these are just the stepping stones on my way to the world of Journalism. That’s a dream I will never give up on.

Saleh Kahhal (*1991 in Damascus, Syria) is a Syrian journalist. He graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Damascus and worked as an editor and presenter for radio and TV stations in Syria. He lives in Germany since october 2015 and has participated in journalistic workshops at “Tagesspiegel” in Berlin.

This text was first published in “Tagesspiegel”.

Translation from German to English by Malak AlSayyad