Jannat Raslan and her brother, Syrian refugees from Homs, on swings at Volkspark, a park close to the refugee shelter they live at in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, Germany, on May 28, 2016.
The Raslan family lives in an eight story building that used to be an office tower inside an industrial park. There’s a training centre for maintenance workers who clean the blades of wind turbines just outside, and other abandoned offices in the park. Behind them though is a residential neighborhood with a sprawling park, a school and small, stand alone houses, somewhat of a rarity in Berlin. The family consists of Khaled Raslan (red t-shirt), 33; Amira Raslan (white veil, red dress), 24; their daughter, Jannat (white hat, black dressl), 7; their son, and Jannat’s twin, Amr (white t-shirt, orange shorts)), 7; and Karam (orange t-shirt), 4. They moved into this shelter just over a month ago, and it is designed as a more permanent living arrangement than the basketball gymnasium they lived at for the from December, which had no privacy and was extremely noisy. Khaled has been taking German courses for the past three months, and just ten days ago their two older children were accepted into a language course at a nearby school. Amira is hoping to start her own course soon, once she finds someone to look after her youngest, Karam, or after he is assigned a place in school.