July 4, 2019 has a special meaning for Mohammad Ibrahim “Ibi” Rahimi. It was on this day that he signed his employment contract with Sennheiser Austria as an accountant. His journey to this point was anything but easy. This is his story.
“My roots are closely linked to two countries whose names are synonymous with war, terrorism, brainwashing, torture and religious fanaticism: Afghanistan and Iran. I was born in one, I grew up in the other. The positive sides to these two countries are never seen, and what is happening to people’s lives there is not reported in the tabloids. I will let you in on the greatest secret of my people: We Afghans and Iranians are afraid of terrorists and suicide bombers just like everyone else in the world. In both countries, my family and friends were killed by expensive American and German weapons. I saw children who slowly lost sight of their talents and potential and who had to dig graves for their siblings while they were still children themselves. I didn’t want to be in the same situation and I couldn’t bear to watch any longer. I simply had to block it all out and keep fighting. There was no going back. I plowed on blindly, continuously pushing ahead ... When I opened my eyes, it was like waking from a deep sleep and regaining my sight. I was in Austria.
Some people see me as a Muslim refugee or as a dark-haired dangerous criminal, others see me as an open-minded, logical agnostic or a super hard-working friendly person. Some only see a foreigner taking advantage of the social security system and putting their country’s security at risk, others greet me warmly with a friendly smile. I simply wanted to work and continue my education. I wanted to show the people who treated me with contempt that they were wrong. In Austria I learned that it is possible to find a new family. I discovered that if you really want something, you can achieve it. So I decided to complete an apprenticeship as an accountant. I was extremely motivated and my new patchwork-family supported me in my decision from the start. After a year, I successfully completed the accounting course and submitted my applications. I wanted to work in a company that is open to diversity and that doesn’t judge me based on my roots and my origins. I wanted to be measured by my ability, my motivation and my attitude. Sennheiser gave me a professional home. We are a strong team, we support each other, pursue our goals together and greet each other with a smile. I am very proud to be part of Sennheiser. I would never have dared to dream that I could achieve so much in such a short time. As the saying goes in my mother tongue: When an apple falls from a tree, it must spin in thousands of different directions before it reaches the ground.”