1st mission: The south of Brandenburg
Our first trip was to Großraeschen, 125km south of Berlin in the district of Dahme-Spree. With 10,000 inhabitants Großraeschen is a small town. The sky is blue while we are driving on the highway. We want to visit the first Arab grocery store in Dahme-Spreewald.
Großräschen greets us with a blue sky. We want to meet the entrepreneur Omar Kassab who opened the first shop for oriental groceries.
We meet Omar in his shop which is bigger than expected. The shop is located right in the center of town - surrounded by other shops like Quelle, Lotto, a café, a bike shop and Sparkasse. While drinking tea and eating figs, Omar tells us about Syria and his journey to Germany. It is remarkable how fluent Omar speaks German and what he has managed to achieve since arriving in Germany.
He also tells us that he was already a freelancer in Syria and owned a company for low voltage. His fahter already warned him in 2011 and urged him to leave the country. First, Omar went to Libanon with his two kids and his wife before coming to Germany in 2015.
After the interview Omar invites us to his home, for dinner. We can't say no to that. In the closeby flat we meet his wife, his daughter and his two sons.
A tablecloth is being spread on the living room floor. Then the food is being brought in. There is bulgur, cooked in chicken broth, rice with biriyani spices as well as yoghurt with cucumbers and two chicken.
We are discussing the differences within borders and the different Arabic dialects. Omar Kassab's youngest son, 10 months old, is crawling around. His wife has worked as a hair dresser in Syria, but now is taking care of the kids.
Omar tells us about his vision to open a restaurant one day. We are sure he will realize this dream in the near future!