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Hakija Ahmetaga

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I am an old Bosnian and proud of it. Of course I am also proud of being Danish with a valid Danish passport. The new Bosnian Danes are now more or less like the Danes. They have started thinking and speaking alike. There is this common notion among Bosnian Danes that Denmark is almost like a paradise on earth. Denmark is a lovely country.

Before the war in Bosnia, the Danes didn’t know much about the country or its population, in addition to which the Serbs’ vile accusations against the Bosnian people helped taint the general attitude towards us in the early 90s. So the first five years were a difficult period for the Bosnians in Denmark. Since then the Danes have taken us on board and have become familiar with our full potential.

We never really thought that the war would break out, and we were 100% confident that we were full of compassion and tolerance in Bosnia, something which did not exist anywhere else in the world. When the war did break out, we were convinced that it would end in a matter of months. And that as soon as the West heard about the atrocities, they would put a stop to it.

But nobody got involved and came to our rescue. The tragic war continued with increasing strength and pressure on our people. As a Bosnian I felt persecuted and threatened on my life. To flee was our only option despite having done nothing. We reached Denmark on 22 October 1992. The war and the flight had a big impact and left us traumatised. We fled to Denmark to save our lives, and since then it has been my mission in life to tell the truth about the war in Bosnia. It has now been 26 years. I retired 9 years ago, and for me, Denmark today is better than Bosnia.

70 / male / married / child / Randers / from Bosnia / came to Denmark in 1992 / residence permit in årstal

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