Homesick Assyrian Christian Refugees in Slovakia Return to Iraq

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Assyrian Christian refugees from Iraq after their arrival to Slovakia in December 2015. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 17 (TASR) – A total of 21 of the 149 Assyrian Christian refugees who came to Slovakia in December have decided to return to Iraq, the Slovak Interior Ministry confirmed for TASR on Tuesday.

According to the ministry, the reason for their return wasn’t unhappiness with their treatment in Slovakia, but homesickness. “This was creating problems for them in terms of integrating themselves into life in Slovakia. Elderly members of two families weren’t able to adapt to the new environment, while other family members decided to return with them out of solidarity,” stated the Interior Ministry.

The return of this group to Iraq was carried out in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration.

“Slovakia isn’t the only country seeing asylum seekers returning home or going to a different country after finding themselves unable to become accustomed to the local culture and mentality,” noted the ministry.

The remaining Assyrian Christians out of the original group of 149 continue to integrate themselves in Slovakia under the aegis of the Peace and Good civil association and Nitra diocese.

“Children are already going to schools in Nitra’s vicinity. All the Assyrian Christians have access to Slovak language lessons, and they’ve also begun approaching potential employers,” reported the Interior Ministry.