It’s been quite a journey for Syrian migrant Tareq Alaows.
Almost six years ago he was fleeing military conscription in Syria - and now he’s trying to win a seat in Germany's parliament.
Alaows drifted across the Aegean in a rubber boat, before walking most of the way from Athens to Vienna.
He plans to run for the Greens in a former coal-mining region of western Germany in a national election in September.
His candidacy is dependant on his application for German citizenship being approved.
When he arrived in Germany in 2015, he felt safe for the first time in years. But he was shocked at what awaited him: a bed in a gym alongside 60 other refugees where he was prohibited from working and not given lessons in German.
"My perspective, as someone affected by all this, was missing in politics. No one represents me. So I co-founded a political group of refugees and we carried out several actions."
Now he has a platform, Alaows plans to run on issues that will improve situations for other refugees.
"Refugees face systemic discrimination in this society. They're affected by racism and by laws on asylum and residence - those are experiences that refugees share and I want to work on bringing about changes in these areas."
The Greens say Alaows would be the first refugee elected to the federal parliament.
Opinion polls put the left-leaning Greens second behind Angela Merkel's conservative bloc.