It was a real culture shock for Ammar Allaham when he arrived in Germany. However, this friendly Syrian overcame all adversity and is now working as a dental technician once again.
For Ammar Allaham, the best thing about his profession is making people smile. The native Syrian is a dedicated dental technician. The fact that he was also able to work here in his beloved profession was really important for the 30-year-old when he fled through Turkey to Germany in 2015. Ammar Allaham overcame all adversity to achieve this goal.
Ammar Allaham recounts how his first time in Germany was a real culture shock. “It’s a different culture, a different way of living. I struggled with the language and didn't know what to do.” However the 30-year-old was not put off. He was supported by a society assisting in asylum issues—here he was not only given help with day-to-day matters but also received advice regarding professional opportunities. While working hard on his German at the Goethe-Institut, he completed two placements, one with a dental technician and one in an orthodontic practice. These were arranged for him by the society. The latter then appointed him as a dental technician. Ammar Allaham appreciates his work, even though the way of working is different in Syria. “Here we work more quickly and more precisely. There is also much closer coordination between the dentist and the laboratory. I learn something new every day and I get a good feeling when I work well.”
Ammar Allaham's goal however was to reach the status of master dental technician. To achieve this he needed recognition of the professional qualifications he had obtained abroad. He contacted the Heilbronn-Franken Chamber of Crafts and Trades and submitted the application for recognition in April 2017. Having fled his country of origin however, the documents were incomplete. This meant the Chamber of Crafts and Trades offered a skills analysis. An appointment was quickly arranged and the 30-year-old demonstrated his skills in a laboratory in Schriesheim near Heidelberg. “I had to complete a range of tasks, for example I had to produce a partial denture. The examiner was very pleased with me and even offered me a job.” Shortly after that he received the recognition as dental technician.
Ammar Allaham is now one step nearer to realising his professional ambition. The recognition and the permanent job provides him with the security he needs to plan his next steps in peace. Now there is nothing to prevent him from becoming a master dental technician.
The interview with Ammar Allaham was conducted in June 2018. He was advised and supported during the recognition procedure by the organisation “Verein Freundeskreis Asyl” [Circle of Friends Supporting Asylum Seekers] and the Heilbronn-Franken Chamber of Crafts and Trades as the competent authority.