Refugees: Why do you need a mobile phone? – ZEIT ONLINE English

Why do so many refugees have smartphones?  When we were discussing this in our department, the  conversation quickly switched to Rasoul al-Hamade.   

The 25-year-old petrochemist from Damascus met ZEIT editor Fritz Habekuß on the Aegean island of Kos back in May: al-Hamade had added him on Facebook and then asked if he had WhatsApp. Then Habekuß took a flight to Hamburg and al-Hamade travelled to Munich via the Balkans. “We’ll see each other again in Germany God willing, Inshallah,” he wrote.  Habekuß tracked his progress digitally: “I’m now in Serbia but my phone got stolen,” “I’m in Munich” and finally, “we’ve been moved to a town called ‘Neustadt’.” In September Habekuß travelled down to this town near Coburg to spend the weekend in the shared apartment, where al-Hamade and his seven countrymen now live. 

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