I ceased being a refugee when I started school and began to work. I have only ever fled once. But I am 100% foreign. Even if I had been born in Denmark I still wouldn’t be Danish. To be a Dane you have to look like a Dane, and I just don’t. Most people assume that I come from a small village and that I am not used to modern life, but I come from Damascus, a city with 1,7 million inhabitants. So I haven’t had any difficulties with integrating, and I know I can manage on my own. After two years in Denmark I got a 12 in Danish at the VUC course. When I left the asylum centre I decided to move to Copenhagen. Three hours after arrival at Copenhagen Central Station I had a job and three days later my own room.
Most of my family is still in Syria. I fled with my mother, but at the station in Malmö we became separated and I ended up going to Copenhagen while she stayed in Sweden. I miss my family awfully. In Syria I spent all my time with them or with my friends. I feel a huge void. It has been difficult getting friends here in Copenhagen. Most of my friends are also Syrian refugees and a few from Venligboerne refugee network. But I am young and I like to go out and party. It is not that I don’t meet people when I go out, but it never seems to go beyond being Facebook friends.
Building a new network as a 26-year old is difficult, inasmuch as most people seem to have a close-knit network, where new friends are often perceived as a sort of invasion.
26 years / male / single / student / Copenhagen NV / from Syria / came to Denmark in 2014 / residence permit same year