When strangers commenced to ask for his whereabouts Kamal Chomani knew it was time to leave.The young journalist and political analyst had positioned himself in clear opposition to the ruling Kurdish elite's plan for a referendum on independence from Iraq."These people are ruthless and unforgiving", Kamal said after his arrival in Hamburg as a guest of the Hamburg Foundation for politically persecuted People" in 2018.
Three years later Kamal is studying for his master degree in Public politics at the "Willy Brandt School" at Erfurt university. And although he openly admits that "once you leave your country this feeling of homesickness is always with you", his move to Thuringia has opened up a whole new array of options. In Erfurt he has met young Kurds not only from Iraq, but from Turkey, Iran and Syria as well. "For the first time I have the opportunity to learn about the conditions of Kurds in other regions then my own homeland" he says. But his biggest surprise have been the encounters with young Arabic Iraqis: "Although we have had a very bloody past the younger generations of both sides have the same desire for democracy, human rights, free media and free thought."
"Whether in Bagdad, Basra or Erbil - we are all fed-up with the corruption and selfishness of the ruling elites. And we will change this. The time has come for radical political change. We are the future not only for Iraq but for the entire region. We will not allow to be sidelined any longer."