I feel like politicians just talk about us, to promote their parties

Assem Swaid is a 36 year old man from Homs, Syria.

In 2013 the Syrian government wouldn’t renew my passport. I had lost my job in 2013 and couldn’t go back to Syria. So, I went to Istanbul, Turkey for two and a half months, wanting to help refugees there. I was told it was better to go to Greece, and then go to Denmark where my sister lived. I stayed in Greece for 1 year and 8 months, and then traveled towards Denmark. When I came here, I stayed 10 days in Fredericia, then 10 days in Auderød, and then I was sent to Asylum camp at Aunstrup for 10 months. They were very nice to me at Aunstrup but my case took a very long time to process, because my caseworker quit, and then they had lost my file. So, I started a hunger strike. It was very hard. After 3 days, I was very weak. On the fourth day they gave me an interview, but everything just started over again. They told me that I would get an answer after a week, but 3 months went and I received my papers on july 20, 2016.

I came to Denmark on September 24th 2015. I used to live and work in Dubai, working for the marketing section of LG-electronics. In Denmark I’m waiting to get a flexjob, and I volunteer in the Syrian cultural café at Vandkunsten, Copenhagen.

I was sent to Hillerød to live in a sharing company house. Now, they have sent me to another place that used to be a kindergarten. Its nice here because I have two rooms and my own kitchen and hallway. I have more privacy here.

In april 2017 I sent a proposal to the Syrian cultural institute, to start a culture cafe, where Syrian people can meet every Monday from 17-20. The main purpose of the café is to have a nice place where new Syrians in Denmark can meet other people. The other purpose is to bring Syrian and Danish people closer together. Both culture, language and relationships are very important. Relationships is the most important factor in getting a job etc. My dream is to get a job, and also to raise funds for the café so we can make better conditions for it.

When people meet each other in real life, it is a lot different from just hearing about other people in the news. I feel like politicians just talk about us, to promote their parties. I only hope that the same will not happen to us that have happened to others who are not so integrated here. Young people who have turned against society. They feel Danish people don’t like them. So they – in return – don’t like them, and choose to live apart. They hear, for instance, what Dansk Folkeparti say about them, and it isn’t true. Syrian and Danish people are not so different. We just need to meet and find out that way.

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