“No one asks me if I get sick”

My name is Muayad. I am 24 years old and come from Syria. I have been here in Sweden for two years and three months. I had to move from my home country because of the war. I was a student in my home country and studied at university as a technician of engineering. I ended my studies because of the war. I was a person who worked and studied at the same time.

My life was very good before the war. Here in Sweden I live like all other people. Right now I have received a residence permit, Id card and I can do what I want, I have a social security number. When I came to Sweden, I thought I had to learn the language. I knew that the key to the new country is the language. Therefore, I wanted to learn the language as quickly as possible. I received my last interview 5.5 months ago with the Migration Board.

I could speak a little Swedish but I was glad I could speak after 5.5 months.. I could not do much but that was good. The Migration Board told me it was very good that you could speak Swedish after 5.5 months. After 1 year and 3 months, I was shocked because I had a temporary residence permit.

When I came to Sweden there was a law saying that anyone who leaves fingerprints here will get a permanent residence permit. I left fingerprints because I found out that you can get permanent, that’s why I came to Sweden. I wanted to come to Sweden. In June 2016, the rule changed to temporary residence permit. I will not give up.

I told myself that I must continue to fight. I started with the employment office on November 15, 2016. Then I started studying SFI in October. I got ready after 4 months. After this I tried to study basic Swedish. I waited 5 months to get a place. I took place on September 11th and continued to study fundamentally. I also tried a lot to get a job. In July, I got a job at McDonalds. After 3 months, I received a monthly employee and soon I became a supervisor at McDonalds. I have also received first-hand apartment.

I have almost done everything. But last month, September 12, I had a meeting with the Migration Board. This because I had applied for a change regarding my residence permit. When I went there for an interview, I took all the paper with me. I talked to the migration and showed him that I have an apartment, insurance, I work, ready with SFI and I study basic SFI. I did my interview without interpreter, I spoke Swedish. I showed him a paper that I have attended a social class. It was 100 percent. That was all I had done from December to July. After all, he told me I can not give you permanent residence. He said I know you’re working with you have no permanent employment. Then I asked him, can you get permanent employment in Sweden from first job? He answers me “no”. How do you want me to get you permanent employment from your first job? The first job must be a probationary job and maybe support from employment services, and maybe you can get permanent employment. He told me I understand this and I’m impressed but I can not help you. I felt there was injustice. I know there is a new team at the Migration Board, but they have to think that they try to do everything and fight. Then you do not get what you hoped for. Then you do not have the same energy as before.

But I will continue more and more. I spoke with my manager yesterday and told her that I need permanent employment to get a permanent residence permit and stay here in Sweden.

I miss my family first. My family is most important in my life. I moved from Syria because of the war, if I had stayed in Syria, the regime would have forced me to make the military. I do not want to kill people. I live alone here in Sweden. No one asks me if I get sick. If I get hungry, nobody asks me if I want food or not. If I am cold or hot, nobody will ask for me. If I get a problem in my home country, I can look right or left and find my brothers, my mom or dad standing by my side all the time.

A Million Stories Sweden: Nizar Keblawi, Nina Olsson, Sara Sarabi, Malin Gillberg, Daniel Björklund, Mats Nordström.

A Million Stories Sweden volunteers: Fariborz Ghadir, Mohamad Mohsin, Yazan Saad, Tarek Aloudallah, Dalia Saleem, Yara Ali, Ahmad Younes, Chaimae Hamri.

In association with

Dublin Core: Language: swe Subject: asylum, refugees, A Million Stories, Sweden