Chechens in Austria Feel Insecure After Incidents in Boston
The largest new Chechen diaspora in Europe is in Austria. After the terrorist attack in Boston and the identification of the suspects as ethnic Chechens, they are feeling insecure.
Today, about 26,000 Chechens live across Austria. So far, they have not had any problems with Austrians, but now they are living in uncertainty. There are prejudices associated with being Chechen, and they have fight to prove that they are not terrorists, especially after the incidents in Boston.
“Here, I feel like I am at home. We have a normal life like many other Chechens. I want to continue my studies. In my early days here, without knowledge of the language in a foreign country, it was hard. In school, we were teased for it. Otherwise, I have never been treated badly by Austrians,” said 19 year old Chechen refugee, Khava who fled with his mother and sister ten years ago from the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria because his father was abducted and kept in a prison for allegedly being a resistance fighter.
His mother Malika has also learned the German language and studied psychology. Now she works as a psychotherapist at Caritas, an international social service organization. She has supervised many of her compatriots there.
“Here, Chechens are strangers, and people are afraid of strangers. There are also prejudices against every nation and religion. After the attacks in Boston, a generalized suspicion falls on the entire nation. This is scary. It also grows distrust of each other,” said Malika.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco