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My Interview with The Mirror

My Interview with Frost Magazine

Available in English & German

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As a former war refugee in the eighties, I know exactly how the refugees feel today. I also know what a difficult and challenging journey they have ahead. Once they arrive in their host country, rejection and indignity are just the beginning of a lifelong battle dealing with bureaucracy, discrimination and isolation.

As we all know, the issue of refugees and immigration has taken on urgency in the previous years. Not a day goes by that this delicate and “annoying” topic isn’t covered by the international media.

It is horrifying and heartbreaking to witness the governments incapable of finding a solution that is beneficial for everyone. Why is this issue causing headaches for these highly educated and overpaid people in the governments, non-profit organizations and charities? Why is it so difficult to find a simple and helpful solution that ends this broken integration system once and for all? Why are these helpless people treated like dirt? Instead of taking care of these innocent people, they are sent to abandon buildings outside of the city centers. They are treated as if they are terrorists with a disease and who should be removed from society, punished and sentenced for life like prisoners.

Most refugees struggle for decades to get a permanent permission, like we did. Others struggle to find work despite having legal refugee status, which leads to difficulty finding a decent home and build a normal life and independent future. So, it is no surprise that young refugees see no solution other than to end up being homeless and doing criminal activities, such as prostitution and drug dealing.

Of course, the best solution to avoid the immigrants and refugees is to STOP creating war. But we know this won’t happen as long as there are power-hungry countries that benefit from this business and make a fortune by selling weapons!

But as I always say, there is a solution to every problem. If plan A isn’t working, try out plan B. After 30 years of struggling with the asylum/refugee/foreigner system in a narrow-minded and prejudice country like Switzerland, its finally time for me to speak out and be the Voice for the Voiceless.

Decades ago my mother and I experienced this failing system; first as asylum seekers, then as “tolerated” refugees with NO legal status or rights, and later as rejected adult foreigners.

But the solution is simple. Treat everyone the way you like to be treated, especially in times of need and desperation. Every human being should have the right to a life in dignity regardless of nationality, skin color, gender identity, religion and level of education. Every human being should be treated with respect and kindness. Every human being has their strengths and talents. Focus and nurture them instead of looking down on people and judging them by their life story, weakness and insecurity.

People are like the fingers on your hand. Each one is different and individual and yet they are connected and need each other to function. Do not stop people from further education in their field of interest and strength. Do not force people to do your dirty and low-income jobs. If someone is already down, you don’t have to kick them too. Instead, help them up.

According to the latest news and numbers in the Swiss media, only every fourth refugee in Switzerland is able to work and earn money. All others are forced to survive with social welfare. More than half of 93,000 refugees are under thirty. Around 50 percent of the refugees have only a simple school degree from their home country. Not allowing these refugees to integrate from day one is counter-productive for everyone. The longer these people are ignored the longer the governments have to support them financially.

According to the latest news and numbers in the Italian media, of the 154,000 people migrated to Italy in 2017 and 84,000 applied for asylum. The Italian government placed less than 20,000 of those into integration programs where they learn the Italian language and get assistance for job placements.

Our motto is: Education means independence and independence means liberty. Helping one person might not change the whole world or solve the refugee crises, but it could change the world and future for one talented and devoted person! Don’t forget that Albert Einstein was also a refugee!

In 2005, when I self-published my memoir the first time in English and in German, I’ve contacted several people worldwide to bring awareness about the refugee issues when it comes to education and employment. People like Bill and Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton, Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, Mrs Blair, Sir Cliff Richard and Mohammad Al Fayed all responded with empathy but no interest in supporting my scholarship program.

2015: A decade later refugees have become a global responsibility, and it is our duty to find an international and humanitarian solution. It is our duty to give them stability, security and a future with possibilities and opportunities.

2020/2021: I was planning an online petition in 2020, when Covid19 changed everything! So I have decided to support international charities in this field instead. Therefore LILY4REFUGEES is no longer on FB and Twitter. Follow @Lily4Refugees and @Lily.Amis on Instagram.

August 2021: I have decided that it is time for CHANGE. And despite my reservation about starting a petition in this challenging times that everyone is facing everywhere, I've started HUMANITY BEFORE NATIONALITY. Please visit my petition page to support the refugees! The petition is available in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish and will be extended until August 2022!

November 2021: For people living in Switzerland, I have published my petition #HumanityB4Nationality on the Swiss petition platform COMPAX.ORG as well. Please sign and support, if you care about human rights and dignity. Thank you for your love & support! Dankeschön. Merci. Grazie.


****LINK 4 Supporters in Switzerland!****



Art for Refugees is an online art shop that raises money for charities who work with refugees and people seeking asylum. This initiative is run by three volunteers and sells prints of pieces of art, which have been donated by artists from across the globe.

Art for Refugees donates 50% of all profits to Choose Love: Help Refugees, one of the UK’s leading charities providing support for refugees and displaced communities, and 50% to Watford and Three Rivers Refugee Partnership, who offer practical and emotional support to asylum seekers and refugees in West Hertfordshire.

You can choose my three art works “The Chopped Tree”, "Protecting Planet Earth” and “Shadow" and make a difference with your purchase! Thank you for your love and support.

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