Im a woman, a mother, a lawyer, not a refugee

I was born in Lebanon and have four sisters. We moved to Syria because we are Syrian. I grew up in Aleppo with my mother because my dad died when I was 3 years old. My mom struggled to get education. Studied and worked in the university. I got my education at the university of Aleppo, where I studied international criminal law. I started my training with a lawyer, and after that I had my own company as a lawyer since 2005. I worked very hard. I made a good reputation. Had a good job, and good customers. I worked when the war started, but it was a very bad experience working during the war.

Manal Anabli is 34 years old, and is from Aleppo, Syria.

I came to Denmark in September 2015, and then the suffering starts. I haven’t any choises here. I cannot choose work, studying or doing anything. I go to school to learn Danish to get qualifications. They sent me on internship in a kindergarten where they made me clean. I cannot use your education, and I’m not a second hand person.

I have a problem. I need to learn Danish because I cant talk to anyone. When my children speak, I cant understand them. We need more Danish lessons, twice a week isn’t enough. It should be every day instead of internship. Its useless for me to work with cleaning in a kindergarten. Im a lawyer, I need to use my degree and to do that, I need to learn Danish.

I was in contact with an organization who helps refugees. They told me they could not help me because they only help people who are 18-22 years old. I’m 34. We might as well kill ourselves, because there is no place for us.

We need a chance. A chance to study and a chance to work. We need someone to support us.

I have a very important point: All the time we are called ‘refugees’. Every time someone makes a phonecall about us or talk about us they say ‘ here is a refugee’. Im not a refugee, Im a person. Stop calling me a refugee. Im a woman, a mother, a lawyer, not a refugee.

Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: refugee, lawyer, a million stories, denmark, syria