Chancellor Angela Merkel might have faced tough criticism over her handling of Germany's refugee crisis but her conservative Christian Democrats have gained at least one new member as a result of her stance – a 41-year-old Syrian refugee.
"I admire her and her policies, she has done a lot for us," Imad Kharma told dpa on Tuesday.
Merkel's decision a year ago to open her nation's borders to allow about one million refugees to travel to Germany and her subsequent refusal to impose an upper limit on the numbers entering the nation have sparked deep divisions in her political bloc and a slump in her approval ratings.
But said Kharma: "She has supported us and now we want to work with her," adding that he hoped to meet the chancellor one day.
As a non-European Union citizen, however, Kharma for the moment will have to be content with a guest CDU membership of the party's Grossenhain branch, which is located just outside the eastern German city of Dresden.