Refugees celebrate Persian New Year in Berlin church

German church opens its gates for Nowruz celebrations for refugees from Iran and Afghanistan.

Sorin Furcoi | | Arts & Culture, Human Rights, Europe, Refugees

Berlin, Germany - In a small reception hall at Herz Jesu church in Berlin, few members of the local parish prepare the tables for the celebration. In the kitchen, men check the cooking pots while women decorate dessert plates and children run round playing and singing.

"We usually have events every weekend here for the local community to come together. But now, as this is a special celebration for the refugees, we were delighted to help organise this celebration for the Persian New Year," said Katharina Link, a member of the local parish.

"It's very important to have such events" said Sepher, 36, from Iran. "This helps Germans understand our culture and see we are normal people. All we want is peace and to live side by side".

Ghezal, an Afghan refugee from Kabul, said these celebrations were important "to make them feel like human beings again".

"It's important to share these traditions with others," said the 20-year-old, who aspires to be a journalist.

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