As Syria collapsed into a civil war, Omar, who had a comfortable life as an insurance analyst in the Syrian town of Latakia, decided to leave.
He came to Germany. Europe’s biggest economy is now only second to the United States in the number of immigrants it welcomes. The United Kingdom had traditionally been one of the most popular targets for migrants, but the government responded to popular pressure to tighten controls on immigration. Germany is now the place to head for.
Omar, who declined to give his real name because he had entered Germany illegally, could have settled in Dubai – many Syrians go there to study and to work, and the country had made it easy for well-educated citizens to settle here, but he wanted to come to Europe. It was safer, more prosperous and he had a chance of using his qualifications: he holds a degree in finance.