German Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Reem Alabali-Radovan, said she did not want to be seen as a symbolic example of successful integration efforts in Germany. Instead, she wants to maintain an open dialogue between the government and migrant communities.
In an interview with the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland Alabali-Radovan news agency stressed that it fiercely opposed the idea of ”being set up as a model of successful integration”.
“I am happy to give hope and courage to young migrant women. But … I did not succeed because I succeeded in my integration better than the others”, she underlined, adding that ‘it had “made its way despite all the structural obstacles that existed”. “
Alabali-Radovan also said that such obstacles still exist today for people of foreign descent, stressing that everyone has to face them – and overcome these challenges – differently and on their own terms.
A family of persecuted refugees
The 31-year-old politician, born in Moscow to Iraqi parents living in exile, moved to Germany with her family in 1996 as an asylum seeker. She was only five years old at the time.
Alabali-Radovan’s family background is part of Iraq’s Chalda-Assyrian minority, which as a Christian opposition group witnessed persecution under the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
She is married to professional boxer Denis Radovan, whose own family also arrived in Germany as refugees, fleeing the authoritarian regime of former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu.
Dialogue instead of symbolic
Alabali-Radovan said she sees her role as that of a mediator between migrant communities and the federal government and also as an advocate representing Germany as a contemporary destination for immigration. But she also recognized the limits of her positions:
“I cannot represent all the communities; they are all diverse and take very different positions,” Alabali-Radovan said. “For me, it’s just important to stay in constant dialogue with everyone.”
Alabali-Radovan, holder of a degree in political science, worked in reception centers for refugees and migrants before embarking on her political career as a representative of the German Social Democrats (SPD).
Last year, she became integration commissioner in her home state, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, before being elected to the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, at the end of September.
with AFP, KNA, Reuters