Ahmed and Nourhan and their daughter Alin came to stay for 10 days, carrying all of their belongings in two small plastic bags. More than a year later, they and their new baby are now part of the Buisset family -- though it hasn't all been easy.
"Ahmed was very insecure and shy, but we thought he was stubborn," recalls Manuela. "He wouldn't make eye contact with us, which we thought was so impolite, but he thought it was rude to make eye contact ... He later told me he was just completely lost."
"We are so happy here," says Nourhan. Manuela went with Nourhan to all her medical appointments, and was at the hospital when baby Laith was born in July.
"At first I was scared," admits Manuela, "But we really, really like each other now."
Although they feel at home with the Buissets, the family longs to return to Al Quneitra in Syria -- when peace talks were held last November, they began packing their bags in the hope they could go back.
'We packed whatever we could and ran'
Architect Lars Asklund was so moved by the sight of thousands of refugees arriving in Sweden that he went to an immigration camp in his hometown of Malmo to try to help. While there, he met Waleed Lababdi.
"I asked him three questions: 'Are you married?' He said yes. 'Do you have kids?' He said no. I looked him straight in the eye and asked: 'Are you a fundamentalist?' He said no. I told him 'OK, I have a good proposal for you.'"
Lababdi and his wife Farah Hilal moved in with Asklund in November 2015; Farah's brother Milad Hilal joined them last Christmas.
The trio had fled their home in Syria in 2012, first moving from place to place within the country and then, when a missile landed across the street, leaving the country for good.
Now they have a new home with Asklund; the four eat breakfast together every day, and gather for Swedish lessons at the kitchen table each week.
"He cares so much," says Milad. "He studies with me, even when he comes late at night. We are so lucky to have met him."
Asklund says he too has benefited from the arrangement: "For me it's fun. It's fantastic, I have new friends and I really like them."
'Integration is not one-sided work'
The Jellinek family is used to welcoming guests into their Berlin home for the weekly candle-lit Shabbat dinner, but now they have a regular -- and somewhat unlikely -- participant: Syrian Muslim Kinan.
"It's wonderful, because every Shabbat we meet new people," says 12-year-old Joshy. "Kinan brings his friends and friends of our family come too."
Kinan, 28, from Damascus, has lived with the Jellineks since November 2015, and now feels at home enough to cook Syrian meals for the family.
"We are both minorities in this country," says Chaim. "One thing we have in common is that our identities are very different from the majority in this society.
"Integration is not one-sided work," he says. "[It] is not something that we should only ask from people coming into our country, we should ask this of ourselves too. We must accept different food, different culture, behavior."
'To be completely helpless, that was the hardest thing'
Wilhelm and Brian met Syrian refugee Inas on a train shortly after he arrived in Germany; they struck up a conversation with the help of Google Translate, and swapped phone numbers at the end of their journey.
Inas, who was staying in an emergency shelter, reached out to them for help and advice, and asked if he could use them as a local contact when filling in paperwork. His first three-month permit to stay in Germany listed Brian and Wilhelm's home as his legal address.
"It came as quite a surprise to us of course," says Brian. "At first we were completely unsure of all the implications, three months is a long time. But we talked with our friends and decided: let's do it!"
The couple, who have been together for 25 years and married in 2011, were concerned about how he would react to their relationship."We knew we had to tell him we were gay," Wilhelm says. "So we showed him our wedding pictures. He shook our hands and said, 'No problem.'"
Fashion designer Inas, who is originally from Damascus, had to leave behind his thriving wedding dress company when he left Syria, carrying just a few bags. He initially struggled in Berlin.
"Suddenly I was not a grown up man with a life anymore," he says. "I felt like a child. Brian and Wilhelm helped me with everything ... To be completely helpless, that was the hardest thing."
Now he feels at home in the city, where he hopes to stay for good, and is working with a haute couture dressmaker.