I keep some of them, because I want to give them away, and others as mementos. In Syria I had a similar cupboard. I remember how I sometimes used to take out my children’s first items of clothing to breathe in the scent. Those clothes are gone forever.
But now I have a different bag of children’s clothes, and their scent triggers equally strong emotions in me. Among them are the T-shirts that my children wore when we first came to Germany in 2014. At the time my children were eight and ten years old. Our start here wasn’t easy, and the smell of fear still clings to that bag of clothes.
The fear has ebbed, but it has never disappeared completely. What will become of us? Will we make it? These questions plague me not only in private, but also in my work as a journalist. I’m an editor with Amal, Berlin! a local news platform for new arrivals. We report in Arabic and Persian about what is happening in Berlin and what people are concerned about.