New start in Germany: Training at Talanx

HDI Group ,

If Fayez Allababidy had stayed in Syria, it might have cost him his life. He was old enough for the military to draft him. And as a soldier, he would have had to fight the Syrian opposition and the "Islamic State" in a war in which hundreds of thousands have already lost their lives. More than five million Syrians have left the country since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, reports the refugee agency UNHCR.

Neustart in DE

Fayez Allababidy is not a soldier. He studied physics in Damascus and honoured his achievements with a Bachelor of Science. So he decided to flee to Europe. Fayez Allababidy packed up what he needed, strapped his backpack to his back and set off on the dangerous journey to Europe: on the west coast of Turkey, he crossed over to Greece by boat. Wind and waves regularly cause boats to capsize there. He finally reached Germany via the Balkan route. And first ended up in a shelter for asylum seekers. "I then took language courses from 2015 to 2017," says Fayez Allababidy. "Now I have my own small flat in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne."

"I like everything that is logical and has to do with mathematics and programming." - Fayez Allababidy, Talanx Systeme AG

A few weeks ago, Fayez Allababidy started a dual training programme in Cologne to become an IT specialist at Talanx Systeme AG. This makes him one of 13 trainees in the new cohort specializing in this field. They now alternate between learning the theoretical basics of business administration and IT at the university of applied sciences, and are involved in IT projects at Talanx during the practical phases. "I think the dual study programme is great because it combines professional practice and teaching," says Fayez Allababidy. "I started something completely new with it, but as a guy I like everything that is logical and has to do with mathematics and programming." With the training salary, he now also no longer needs state support, something he is very proud of: "I want to work here myself, live among Germans, be independent."

He shares this wish with Djoulde Barry. The 23-year-old fled from Guinea, a country in West Africa that is one of the poorest in the world. For a good year now, Djoulde Barry has been training to be a cook at Talanx Service AG in Cologne. "During my language course, our German teacher asked who could imagine working as a cook," he recalls. The teacher had researched apprenticeships for her students and thus gave him the idea. "I think it's important to do proper training here in Germany, and cooking is a creative profession, I like that. I really like it at Talanx. I like my workplace and my colleagues."

"Cooking is a creative profession, that's what I like." - Djoulde Barry, Talanx Service AG

In a way, Djoulde Barry is now learning German in two ways: the language and in the kitchen. "In my home country, my mother used to cook for me," he recalls. "Now here I am learning to cook for others. My favourite German dish is beef goulash." And as for the language: "I know I still have to learn it better. It wasn't so easy at the beginning. Now I can exchange with a few friends outside the company and other trainees."

Business informatics specialist Fayez Allababidy has also long since arrived in Germany. He sings Mozart's Requiem, for example, as a tenor in the concert choir in his home town of Bergisch Gladbach. And as a newly minted Rhinelander, he has already taken the highest step towards integration: "I'm now in the carnival club, and in the Rhineland that means you belong.