韩国半永久纹眉

Successes blossom in Vienna amid Europe’s migration crisis

At the reception desk at Magdas Hotel, tourists check in then take the elevator to their rooms.

韩国半永久纹眉

 

It’s a hotel like hundreds of others in this tourist city – except for the staff who work here.

 

Until very recently they were asylum-seekers trying to get into Europe.

 

“I fled Afghanistan in 2009, arrived in Austria in 2010 and a year later I received my work permit and since then I’ve been working in Austria.”

 

24 year-old Ehsan Amim is making coffee and serving drinks in the bar.

 

He says he learnt to speak German on the street while waiting for his asylum application to be processed.

 

Only when he was finally assessed as a refugee could he get a job.

 

“There are lots of people who wait 10 years and haven’t got anything. Lots of refugees wait a long time – but it was great that I received it within two years.”

 

Magdas Hotel is owned by the Catholic aid agency, Caritas.

 

A former aged care home, when it became vacant Caritas turned it into a hotel with the aim of providing training and jobs for refugees.

 

Hotel spokeswoman Gabriela Sonnleitner says since Magdas opened earlier this year, guests have been pouring in.

 

“From all over the world, but mainly from Germany, England quite a lot⦠because we were on BBC and CNN and so I think because we’ve got lots of good media echo, lots of good stories.”

 

There are 20 refugees working at Magdas, representing sixteen nationalities.

 

Hotel Manager Sebastiaan de Vos says that diversity is paying dividends.

 

“It’s nice because we have so many cultures coming together, so many mentalities coming together, it’s another working experience. Those people bring a lot of working skills with them, for example Dynis at reception, he can talk seven languages and is just perfect for a receptionist.”

 

Hotel cook Segun Prince, from Nigeria, shows off his bright clean kitchen.

 

He says he became a refugee because he refused to take part in a tribal ritual and was threatened with death.

 

Finding his way to Austria and getting a job at Magdas has saved and changed his life.

 

“Wow that is so wonderful! I tell you this Magdas Hotel is.. I will never leave I love it so much it is so very beautiful. Even the guests come and eat and say very good food and everybody is laughing together, joking together, we are.. 28 language.. we talk together with Deutsch with English and we are just like brothers and sisters.”

 

Magdas Hotel is a success story – but what about the thousands of would-be migrants trying to get into Europe every day?

 

Barman Ehsan has been watching television coverage of the dramatic events on Europe’s borders.

 

“But I want to tell these people they shouldn’t come to Europe, it’s all over here. There are no more places for refugees, do you know what I mean? Many of them have problems but when they come here they have no papers and they will probably be deported⦠but I don’t want to talk about it.”

 

The name Magdas is actually a play on words.

 

In German Mag Das means “like that”.

 

But the refugees at Magdas don’t just like this hotel, they love it.

 

“I love my job. I want to keep working in hospitality, either here or somewhere else but I want to keep working in the hotel industry.”