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Rawan Abdullah

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I don’t really feel Danish, but then again, I don’t feel like a stranger either. I arrived here as an adult, and I do not believe that the feeling of being Danish will grow on me. But I do feel like a part of the society and the country.

I’m married to a Dane, so I also have a Danish family with whom I celebrate Christmas. Therefore, I also have an affiliation with Danish values and Danish festivals. When I got here, I was very conservative and had a closed personality, but meeting other asylum seekers made me think less about where people come from and how they look – and more of who they are.

I lived in Saudi Arabia from the age of 19 and until I was 24. It was the worst time of my life. I had to have my face covered and I couldn't go out on my own. When I returned to Syria, I couldn't understand how I ever put up with those five years. Although the language was not a barrier, I had no friends. I felt more like a stranger in Saudi Arabia than I do here.

I miss my family and I miss the shared culture: That everyone meets in the street and says "Happy Eid" when Ramadan is over. But we are some Arab families in Nexø, so we have a small community here. We also have it for our children's sake, because they must also be offered to experience the culture.

The future is something that hovers in the horizon. I can't see myself tomorrow. This is something that started in Denmark. Before, I had a dream of what I wanted to do in five years. But you can’t think five years ahead when everything has been ruined and you have to start from scratch.

37 / female / married / children / starts teacher education / Rønne / from Syria / came to Denmark in 2014 / residence permit same year

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