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Through my eyes! Asylum seekers take you on a photo walk through Zurich



Through my eyes!

Publisher: Service Civil International (SCI) Switzerland

In cooperation with: AOZ Durchgangszentrum Hegnau and Schweizerischer Friedensrat

Bern, 2017


Through my eyes! Through my eyes! Asylum seekers

The photo walk was one of the

The idea of the photo walk was

take you on a photo walk through

activities we, a group of volunteers for

developed by an EVS volunteer for the

Zurich. They formed impressions and

SCI Switzerland and an EVS volunteer

Swiss Peace Council together with SCI

thoughts, which we would like to share

for the Swiss Peace Council, undertook

Switzerland volunteers. Our goal:

with you. We asked our photographers

with people from the AOZ transit centre

Foster mutual understanding, empathy,

to choose their favourite photos, and tell

in Hegnau during 2015. Some of the

and tolerance. Talk, listen, share, hang

us what inspired them to press the

people we met had just arrived, while

out, go for a coffee, as a volunteer,

shutter button.

others had been in Hegnau for several

neighbour, friend, as a human being,

weeks already. Most didn’t know how

with people who are like you, but who

long they would stay there for; whether

have had to leave their home.

they would be sent to another centre, or back to their country.


Through my eyes!

Photographers: Abdi Raham Hassan, Abbas Razayi, Fatime, Maryam Hakimi, Muad, Naseri Zakir, Orhan

Volunteers: Maša Soršak, Aleksandra Hiltmann, Svenja Obrist, Simon Greuter

Book: Aleksandra Hiltmann

Editing: Niamh Mac Namara

All participants were previously asked for permission to publish their photographs, statements and names.


“The view from above looks nice, it looks beautiful.” Fatima and Orhan, Syria


“The first thing I saw was the beautiful view - the water in front of the houses, it all looks very beautiful. That’s why I took the picture.” Maryam Hakimi, Afghanistan


„I will remember the place we went to today because it was very old.“ Abdi Rahman Hassan 7

„It was amazing to look at the river. I liked the way the reflexion of the sun and the light looked on the water.“ Muad 8

„I liked the way the buildings were and the way it was peaceful - a very peaceful place.“ Muad



“The kids are playing together and they all look so happy. They feel peaceful in this place and it appears that there are many different kids here, with many different behaviours, but they all look happy and play together. What I particularly like about the picture are the shadows – so many different shapes and sizes. And although the kids are very small, they are very much into the difficult task of ice-skating. This is very difficult but they nevertheless are trying and improving. It seems that they want to become experts and could show other countries how to become a good ice skater – whether you are a man or a women.” Naseri Zakir, Afghanistan

“Our childhood is passing in front of me. This was very nice to see.” Maryam Hakimi, Afghanistan


The Botanical Garden through the eyes of Fatime and Orhan from Syria.




“I was always very interested in biology. I especially like flowers, any kind of flowers. And here, the colour of the flower is blue – simply blue. I like this colour very much. That’s why I chose this picture.” Maryam Hakimi, Afghanistan


„Today was my first day in Zurich. Here are some beautiful pictures of plants that I saw today.“ Abbas Razayi



“I chose it because there are three flowers together, two bigger ones and a smaller one. And they are all together in one place. And also I like how all of the leaves look like they get smaller and smaller towards the middle from this perspective. That’s why I took this picture.” Naseri Zakir, Afghanistan


“I liked Zurich, the Sechseläutenplatz, the view from Lindenhof and the the train station full of people. I like busy places.” Orhan, Syria 19

Through my eyes!

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this book.

And we are happy that it caught your attention. It might even have instilled a spark in you to become a volunteer yourself, a good neighbour or a photographer. Maybe you already are. In any case, we hope that you continue looking through others’ eyes from time to time.


SCI Switzerland: As a non-profit organization, SCI Switzerland has been active for over 90 years in promoting intercultural exchange, nonviolent conflict resolution and sustainable development. It provides motivated volunteers for workcamps and long-term assignments worldwide and supports ecological, social and cultural projects in Switzerland through the coordination of volunteers.

Visit our Homepage: www.scich.org

SCI Switzerland on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sciswitzerland/


Copyright: SCI Switzerland 22

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Through my eyes!  

Asylum seekers take you on a photo walk through Zurich. A joint project of people from the AOZ transit centre Hegnau and volunteers for SCI...

Through my eyes!  

Asylum seekers take you on a photo walk through Zurich. A joint project of people from the AOZ transit centre Hegnau and volunteers for SCI...