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Refugees welcome the guests at new hotel


Multilingual former asylum seekers have stories of survival
The new boutique Magdas Hotel in Vienna employs 20 multilingual former asylum seekers, giving them jobs and training while making a political statement about the plight of refugees in Europe, newspaper The Guardian reports.
In the lobby, beside an artistically arranged pile of coloured suitcases, a campaign poster demands an end to migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Some of the employees have their own stories of survival about the journey, coming from troubled nations.
There is, for example, a young activist who exposed corruption in Guinea-Bissau, a 38-year-old who escaped persecution in Morocco for being a lesbian, and a 24-year-old who walked alone for six months to escape the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Previously a retirement home, the tastefully designed 78-room retro-style hotel opened thanks to a €1.5 million loan from the charity Caritas and €60,000 raised through crowdfunding. A double room costs €72 and up.
The Guardian


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