NIZAQETE BISLIMI with BEATE RYGIERT
DURCH DIE WAND. Von der Asylbewerberin zur Rechtsanwältin/
I WILL PREVAIL. From Ayslumseeker to Lawyer
Non-fiction, ca. 200 pp.
The biography of a remarkable woman - the story of an ascent against all odds
70 years after the holocaust, Roma people are still being discriminated against in Germany.
‘There are many successful Roma in Germany. Yet most of them do not reveal themselves as such, in fear of the old stigmas.’ Nizaqete Bislimi
Kosovo in 1993: The 14-year old Roma girl Nizaqete is smuggled out of the country by traffickers. Her family, caught between the fronts, due to the growing tensions between Albanians and Serbs, are now hoping for a safe life in Germany. What the Bislimis don’t know is that before them lie 13 years of uncertainty; a life threatened daily by deportation. Nizaqete quickly understands that there are three categories of people: The ‘population majority’, who have all rights, the refugees, who are not welcome, and those who are both refugee and Roma. At school, she denies her heritage. She is ashamed: Ashamed of being ashamed.
In a country where parents’ education and income significantly influence the educational opportunities of their children, Nizaqete defies all statistics. She begins an unusual career from the refugee centre in Oberhausen: She decides to become a lawyer. After completing her secondary education, she fights for the right to go to university, despite her ‘tolerance’ residency status. It is only long after she has completed her clerkship in government service that the Bislimi family finally get awarded right of residency.
‘I am fighting to ensure that we no longer have to talk of a ‘majority’ or ‘minority’ population, but rather that all people are considered as humans – equal and respected.’ Nizaqete Bislimi
‘I overcame every obstacle I encountered. My mother believes I made it because I am unbelievably stubborn.’ Nizaqete Bislimi
Born in Kosovo in 1979, Nizaqete Bislimi came to Germany in 1993. Five years later she completed her secondary schooling and studied Law at the University of Bochum. It is only when she is administering justice as a clerk in government service that she and her family finally get awarded right of residency. Today Nizaqete Bislimi works as a lawyer and primarily represents families who are threatened with extradition and is the first chairman of the ‘Bundes Roma Verband e.V’.
Beate Rygiert has published numerous biographies, such as ‘Als ich vom Himmel fiel’ with Juliane Koepcke, for which she was awarded the Corine Literaturpreis, or ‘Nicht ohne meine Mutter’, with Meral al_mer, or ‘Löwinnenherz’ with Sengül Obinger. Beate Rygiert lives in the Black Forest and in Stuttgart.
Nizaqete Bislimi, geboren 1979 im Kosovo, kommt 1993 nach Deutschland. Fünf Jahre später macht sie Abitur und studiert Jura an der Universität Bochum. Heute arbeitet Nizaqete Bislimi als Anwältin für Ausländerrecht und Asylrecht und ist Erste Vorsitzende des Bundes Roma Verband e. V.