UNICEF recently released a heartwarming video on its YouTube channel showcasing two 7-year-old kids. Alec and Nammar are pupils in a school in Berlin and, like many students in German schools, have a remarkable grasp of English. Nawwar is a Syrian refugee who arrived in the German capital this year; Alec served as his translator in class and his helping him learn German.
The video showcases their gentle camaraderie; Alec praises Nawwar's school smarts and says he's already one of the better readers in the class. To be at that stage is already quite an accomplishment.
"The most difficult part was sleeping on the rocks," Nawwar explains about his family's journey away from the horrors of war. He also describes his fear crossing the Aegean on flimsy boats and the subsequent treks through Greece.
"For every child, a fair chance," concludes the U.N. agency at the end of the video.
The duo presents a human face to what's more commonly seen as a polarizing, continental debate. In Germany, which has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants over the past year, there has been a pronounced backlash among those opposed to such an influx, as well as fearful of Islamist infiltration.
Many believe a lot of the animosity comes from those who don't have close relationships with ordinary Muslims in their midst. A recent poll found that almost two-thirds of non-Muslim Germans couldn't count a single Muslim among their friends.
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