Assimilation is a big issue in German politics these days.
Her self-funded workshop, Improv Without Borders, gathers weekly to let Europeans and refugees do improvisational theater together.
Lierenfeld studies the texts from the medical student and delivers what is obvious to her, but surprising to Abulhusn.
"From her messages," she explains, "she seemed to be really interested in sex with you. She's inviting you to cook together, which means you're already at her place." She tells Abulhusn the problem was probably not that he'd done anything wrong or inappropriate.
But good friendships have a way of escalating into marriage proposals — and he always put a brake on it before they did.
Raghd Hadid, a 19-year-old from Damascus wearing a headscarf, said she was there to practice "a future self" where she is "strong, not weak, not shy." And then there's Aktham Abulhusn. Unlike the other Syrian refugees in the workshop, Abulhusn is not Muslim.Abulhusn would be happy to date a German girl — if one of them would only give him a chance.Abulhusn's journey: The life of Abu Techno There was a time in Abulhusn's life when finding love seemed like too much of a risk.On a recent Thursday afternoon, about a dozen men and women from Afghanistan, Syria, France, Germany and elsewhere milled about awkwardly while Lierenfeld waltzed among them and gave out hugs.After some warmup games, they broke off into groups to perform skits.