Abdo Kweider is 44 years old, from Damascus, Syria.
In 1988, when I was 14 years old I left my school, because my father got sick, and I started to work. I was the oldest of my siblings, so I helped my father. He was the owner of our family business Kweider Sweets that had existed since 1912.
I left Syria because of the war. It was dangerous for me and for my children to stay I Syria, and that was the reason I had to leave.
On the first of march 2015, which is also my birth day, I arrived together with my family in Denmark. We lived in the asylum camp and after three months we got residence permit. I decided to move to Aarhus, because it is a city of trade, and in Aarhus I decided to do business with someone that I knew in Aarhus. This person I knew from many years ago. We used to send containers of Syrian sweets from my fathers shop to retailers in Denmark. It was my fathers idea to start exporting sweets, and we had been doing that since 1969.
One of the best thing in Denmark is that a person gets economical help so that no one needs to ask for money and so that one can depend on himself and start a new business on his own.
Before I opened my own shop, I worked at a bakery shop as an intern, and they gave me a very good recommendation. For example they said that I was very good at administrating the shop. I had this experience because I participated in many events in Europe and America before. From these events I also knew many good business men, and some of them also helped me to start my small business. I’m actually a little disappointed that the Job center in the municipality were not interested in helping me to start my business, for example to know the laws and my rights and about the possibilities for economical help for new businesses.
Some people asked me why I opened my shop here in this neighborhood, and why not in a neighborhood where many Arabs live. The answer is that I want to thank the Danes, because they helped me – to give something beautiful back. And I am also happy to now pay tax as a thank.
My business is now a success, and I hope that in the future I can open more shops with my sweets in different cities.
I wish the politicians would look at refugees with a good point of view. We just came here to find peace and a safe place to build our future and our kids’ future.
Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: a million stories, denmark, syria, damascus, bakery, aarhus, refugee,