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Sahar Asif


I don’t feel foreign, and I feel rather provoked by the title of this exhibition. In general I am not affected by the political discourse about Muslims, but when Anders Samuelsen, in connection with the Olympics, posted a photo of two beach volleyball players on Facebook, one with a headscarf and long clothes and one in a bikini, and added that the picture was a symbol of coercion versus liberty, I became angry, because I saw myself in that photo.

Recently I lost my aunt. On the day she died I stood up and went out. I just couldn’t deal with standing face to face with my mother’s grief, because I know how her grief is associated with the even larger grief that she and my father are not where they are supposed to be. Afghanistan is poor and unstable, but you are always among family. I sometimes wonder what my parents really want with all their prosperity and security, when they can’t be with the people they love, and they can’t say their final goodbyes when they die.

One of my father’s reasons for fleeing was the role of women in the Afghan society. This he told me when I was a child. My brothers would get along fine, but my life would depend on me getting married to someone who could provide for me. My father’s flight was a declaration of love. Therefore I feel that it is my duty to educate myself and create a foundation for myself, because here in Denmark I have the possibility. I don’t wake up every morning thinking that I now have to spend yet another day in the reading room because I owe it to my parents, but the awareness is inside of me, and it has an impact on all the choices I make.

24 years / female / single / MSc in political science / Skovlunde / from Afghanistan / came to Denmark via family reunification in 1999

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