“Temple of Refuge” illustrates Iraqi-Kurdish migrant Sartep Namiq’s journey to Berlin. It was commissioned with the help of a unique organization.
Sartep Namiq’s story begins in his Iraqi-Kurdish homeland. When the living conditions there became unbearable due to drought which made trees die and lakes dry up, his exodus began. Sartep joined the stream of refugees and new arrivals who ended up in Berlin after a dangerous and adventurous journey.
Namiq’s story is told through the illustrated graphic novel, Temple of Refuge. It’s named after his first home in Berlin: Tempelhof Airport — a former airport built by the Nazi regime, which was transformed into a temporary refugee shelter. Yet in the book, instead of looking bleak, it is a comfortable place to live, a valuable shelter where dreams of a better future come true for its residents. “Of course, this is a modern fairy tale,” Sartep Namiq told DW. “But why not dream of a place where everyone has the same opportunities, whether they are rich or poor?”
A graphic novel depicts a refugee’s journey Sartep’s vision emerges
The book’s main character, migrant Sartep, stands in front of the concrete wall of Fortress Europe. In front of this inaccessible world is the Tempelhof Airport refugee camp, which can be seen in the foreground of the cover (pictured). In the story, the young northern Iraqi finds an imaginative way to reconcile both worlds.
A graphic novel depicts a refugee’s journey Depicting the journey
In striking images, the comic-style book “Temple of Refuge” depicts Sartep’s perilous journey from Kurdish northern Iraq. It takes him across the Mediterranean, where he and fellow refugees wander through the streets of Rome. They then make the long trek through wintry southeastern Europe.
A graphic novel depicts a refugee’s journey A world without hope
A white bus speeds through a shantytown on Tempelhofer Feld toward the wall that separates two worlds.