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  • Publication
    The Sociological Observer, including Stay at unhome: Asylum seekers’ struggles in domestic spaces of heim(s) in Germany
    (Sociological Association of Ireland, 2021-04) ; ; ;
    Heim in German means home. However, Heim(s) are also the names given to residential complexes that the German government has provisioned to accommodate asylum seekers (similar to Direct Provision centres in Ireland). These temporary accommodations are available to asylum seekers until their applications for refugee status is determined. Rooms within a heim are shared between 2-3 people and kitchens and bathrooms are shared among residents of up to 10 rooms. Heims in general are cold and unwelcoming places that do not offer what is expected from a home. Touraj Soleimani’s narratives of a heim where he currently lives in Germany was reminiscent of narratives Mastoureh collected in her research with refugees in Ireland when refugee men recalled their experiences of residing in Direct Provision centres. Similar characteristics of cold, unhomely and devoid of physical and emotional contacts are also reported about Direct Provision centres in Ireland – structures which are used to host asylum seekers for a temporary period but lack adequate standard of housing (Breen, 2008). In our discussion, Touraj, referred to three distinct spatial elements in heim as an unhome.