Mario and Fatima
February 17, 2018 was the date when Australia’s National Multicultural Festival took place in Canberra, Australia’s capital. The festival brings together people from a number of countries to proudly showcase their background. It also brings visitors from around the world to enjoy the cultural diversity.
Dr. Mario Feigel and his wife Fatima Feigel took part in the festival during their visit to Australia. They currently live in Germany, where Mario is originally from, and where Fatima migrated to from Bosnia over in the 1970s years ago. Fatima comes to Australia often, to visit her brother who lives in New South Wales and her niece in Adelaide; they moved to Australia as refugees after suffering from the Balkan War in the early 90s. “They came here to start a new life and they feel very good in this country,” said Fatima.
Then Mario explained, “Germany on the other hand is experiencing difficulties in dealing with migration, we were not prepared. Although I know it is a big challenge for Germany, I also understand that migrants need support and a response to their situation. I am a member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and I’m against all the troubles that war and conflict have caused in so many countries. I hope that the IAAM campaign will move people to accept migrants and to help them integrate into their new country in a smooth and helpful way.”
When asked if she missed anything from Bosnia, Fatima replied: “I miss swimming in the Adriatic Sea and the dishes are different in Bosnia, but I have been living in Germany for so long, I have fully integrated.”
“She is a nurse - she got her training in nursing in Sarajevo so she could apply to work in the German health system and that’s how we met each other, I am a doctor you see,” Mario added.
Fatima feels that her heart is in Bosnia, Germany and Australia. "So many places to call home! If you feel at home this plays an important role," she explained.
Mario concluded by saying that the help of people from all the different cultures to support migrants to integrate is key. “We don’t have that in Germany, you see there are so many different cultures here in Australia and this helps with integration. We haven’t had that experience in Germany, it slowly builds up and I hope we will become better one day.”