The Syrian diaspora of newcomers to Canada or Germany represent the more fortunate refugees escaping from civil war, that is, more fortunate in terms of their arrival into two democratic, socialist-oriented societies as opposed to being housed in refugee camps in neighboring Middle Eastern nations bordering Syria. They are also more fortunate in attending schools where Canadian and German educators have had measured successes in integrating previous immigrant populations in schools and communities. Such advantages by themselves, however, do not equate to living and working in socially just systems, particularly today, in 2019. Chancellor Merkel’s government is being challenged by anti-immigration segments of the German population, and it is already determined that before this chapter is published, she will be ousted. Her electoral term ends in 2021. While – as yet – no such formal opposition party threatens Prime Minister Trudeau’s government in Canada, integration successes are limited to specific urban areas surrounding Vancouver and Edmonton on the West Coast and in the Province of Ontario, further east. Nevertheless, the polar opposites of transitioning from war to peace, authoritarianism to democracy, and from no schooling to compulsory schooling are all positive steps towards socially just opportunities. Still, below the surface, as a constant reminder to educators, the newcomers struggle with trauma and stress, now and in years to come. The case stories of how Canadian and German educators are managing the welcoming and integration processes inside schools, focusing specifically on the surge of 2016, is the subject of this study. In retelling the stories of educators, those on the frontlines in both countries, we ask readers to consider how national histories, cultures, and politics intersect as both supports and barriers.Writing in 2019, 3 years after the surge, conclusions are still uncertain even as we documented successes and the mutually beneficial exchange of “gifts.“We stop short of drawing definitive conclusions based on our data, as socially just societies cannot happen in such a short period of time.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-14625-2_75

ISBN: 9783030146252, 9783030146245