To judge the life and the vita of another person by either admiring or demonising this person seems to be a human characteristic, especially if it is a question of a delinquent with an “intensive” career such as the one of Yehya E. A stateless Palestinian who fled at the age of four month with his parents from a Lebanese refugee camp to Germany where he never really arrived respectively became homelike.
Cursorily considered Yehya E. did not manage to leave his criminal career in the time when Christian Stahl, the book’s author, accompanied his life (2005-2014). According to the young guy he did not want to be that way. But, does he really try hard enough to oppose to the assumed sense of entitlement of the north of Neukölln – namely to be a reckless Gangster-Boss.
The book “Gangs of Neukölln” brings another perspective into play. What proportion does the German asylum law have on the criminal career of the Palastinian? A law that does neither allow him to work legally not to leave Berlin. The book cannot give a clear answer to this question. With its transcript of a changeful story the book can start up a process of reflection which should encourage everybody who is interested in this topic. It’s worth reading. A reflection that questions at least the careless verdict on the issue whether any delinquent has the sole responsibility for his situation and whether the German asylum system needs to be improved.
The cooperation between Yehya E. and Stahl produced the film “Gangsterläufer”. A film that brought some fame to the young guy and maybe also the slight chance to lead a “normal” life in Germany. Due to his alleged little frustration tolerance Yehya however does not succeed in leaving his criminal career behind and falls into relapse.
The proceedings of the intelligent-seeming guy with his deeds are brutal, his conduct is – despite all odds – without excuse. And the question remains why does he do that to himself? Maybe this perception of mine is too simplyfied. Finally I can travel wherever I want to (as long as I can afford it), I was able to do any vocational training and to study whatever I wante to (even though I had to finance it by myself). However, there is one occurrance I will never forget. During my stay in Jordan I had to extend my visa. Not a big issue for a European. However the Aliens Registration and Passport Office was packed that day . And then the unexpected happened: The people queing up – alledgedly all Jordanians and Palestinians – asked me do go ahead to the top of the queue. I wove aside out of shame.The people however took no refusal and I could see that they enjoyed the favour and were pleased when I finally accepted the offer. For those people I was a guest in their country and they wanted to treat me like that. An act of friendship I cannot image in Germany – unfortunately.