At the suggestion of the former Federal Minister Brigitte Zypries, Welcome in Berlin visited “FREEARTUS: artists & refugees united for freedom” on 24 May 2018. Ms. Zypries who is engaged in various projects for refugees, made a short presentation on the organization, their commitments and the ongoing projects. The non-profit organization was founded in 2015 and managed by Theater Director Frank Alva Buecheler and Bashar Hassoun, a businessman from Syria. Being a former refugee himself, Bashar Hassoun is very familiar with the concerns and the needs of the refugees.
The company is ideally situated in the center of Berlin on Oranienburger Straße where Lawrence, one of its projects, is located. Its subtitle "we are the cultures" reveals the programs. Lawrence is not just a restaurant offering Arabic cuisine, it is also a melting pot of different cultures. Bashar Hassoun is very keen to present his region of origin to the people of Berlin and their guests. The restaurant serves its purpose as a cultural exchange and a better understanding of the respective mentalities. Lectures, exhibitions and concerts are on the program in addition to regional dishes and beverages. The majority of the employee are the refugees. It is a stepping stone for a their new professional future in Germany.
FREEARTUS operators are actively involved in the refugee camps in crisis regions and do not receive financial resources from public funding. They are grateful for any kind of support and remain confident.