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Galawiesh Abeid


You can speak perfect Danish and have lived all your life here, yet still feel foreign. I usually tell people that what they may experience in Denmark is not racism but more a basic mentality. The Danes are not outward.

I am not a woman’s magazine kind of woman. I don’t do sports, and I hate spending all my time cooking and cleaning. My world is more like that of the Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. As a young political activist I had to flee up into the Kurdish mountains, where I ended up working at some temporary hospital. Sometimes I cried because it was all so dirty and primitive. But I persevered because it made sense. While in Baghdad I hardly ate, my appetite in the mountains was huge, and I saw that as a good sign.

There is more to life than being pretty and sweet, and life is in fact more than me, my husband and my happiness. You must try to make a difference for others than yourself and your family. I love when someone says: “My child, you are not the centre of the world”.

The more energy you feed your ego, the more it needs. I came to Denmark because I needed security for myself and my family. But having got used to this security, I became aware of something in society which shocked me. People concentrate a lot on their ego. It doesn’t make sense to me to say that you make your own happiness, as the Danish saying goes. My happiness depends to a large extent on other people, and in my family there is no such thing as your problem. It is always ours.

58 years / female / in a relationship / children / pedagogue / Lille Kregme / from Iraq / Kurdish background / came to Denmark in 1986 / residency permit in 1987

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