I don’t feel foreign at all in Denmark. Of course I have had some bad experiences with Danish people, but I have also had bad experiences with other nationalities. It is not really about Denmark or Danes but about the individual person.
I need the freedom to be myself. I want to listen to the music I like, and I want to look like I want to. I refuse to restrain myself just because I stand out from the crowd. Here in Copenhagen, I do feel at home.
I have dyed my hair and I also have tattoos. A lot of people think I have distanced myself from the Iraqi culture, but for me it is an expression of my newfound freedom. I am a metal freak, and I also play in a metal band. My music means everything to me. When I lived in Iraq, I spent years and a small fortune on buying the kind of music I like. But it was well worth it. I feel completely happy when I am playing music. I will never forget the first time I visited the music library in Odense. I had only just arrived in Denmark, but I thought I had arrived in heaven. I borrowed as much sheet music as I was allowed to and copied them all, because I feared that it was an awesome dream I might wake up from. I just couldn’t understand that it was real. Music has also helped me make friends here in Denmark. Just when I arrived I had a neighbour who didn’t speak English, and I couldn’t speak Danish, so we communicated through music, and we would often sit and jam together.
- / male / in a relationship / children / educated petroleum engineer from Iraq and a masters degree from ITU /self-employed web designer / Copenhagen NV / from Iraq / came to Denmark in 1999 / residence permit in 2000