Dima, a young Iraqi girl, was only three years old when her parents decided to migrate for reasons related to lack of security and instability in Iraq. After a perilous journey through land and sea, Dima and her family arrived in Belgium and settled in a camp as they applied for asylum, and in that time, they started another journey of waiting. During three years as migrants, the family moved many times between Germany and Belgium and they got fed up by receiving a negative decision regarding their case so they finally decided to return to Iraq.
Dima integrated with European culture in a positive way, she learned the French language and a bit of German as well as acquired many good habits while she was enrolled in a Belgian school. Dima and her parents had counseling sessions after their arrival in Iraq. They visited the IOM Baghdad office to claim their eligibility. IOM team in Baghdad discussed their reintegration plan thoroughly. After detailed one-to-one counseling, the family decided to enroll Dima in a summer school to help her interact with other children for more socializing experience, also to develop her analytical skills. Dima faced some challenges due to her poor Arabic language, however, she managed to communicate very well after receiving the best support from the school staff and her young colleagues.
When we’ve asked Dima about her migration memories, she said: “I still remember my sixth-year birthday in Belgium, my teacher made me a nice surprise party and I was so happy, I hope I’ll have the same one here!”