Ahmad Saleh

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I am 100% foreign. I wish that Denmark had given me a chance instead of judging me before they even got to know me. I would have developed much faster if the municipality would stop placing so many obstacles on my way.

Since arriving in Denmark two years ago, I have had six caseworkers assigned. I have been thrown around in the system and not been treated as a human being. I have lost 20 kilos due to stress. Basketball has been my refuge.

About a year ago, I volunteered as a basketball coach for a team of children. It was the first time since arriving in Denmark that I felt like a human being again. When the kids look at me, they see their coach “Ahmad” and not a refugee.

The parents have also played a big role in my life. It is through them that I finally got a good job. And it is also due to them that I feel appreciated again. I will never forget when some Danish parents asked me to see their 5-year old daughter home. They trusted me and knew I would look after her. It was like winning the jackpot. I think integration in Denmark would function much better if refugees were viewed as potential assets rather than as a burden.

26 years / male / single / support teacher / Værløse / from Syria / came to Denmark in 2014 / residence permit same year