Ghazi Azzouni

As a Palestinian living in the Middle East outside of the Palestinian autonomous territories, I was already a refugee. We were looked down upon by everyone, and all the governments made life hard for us Palestinians. Here in Denmark I am met with respect for the person I am, regardless of my background.

I was born and raised in Kuwait, but when Iraq attacked Kuwait in 1990, we returned to my parent’s hometown of Homs in Syria. A knee injury put a stop to my career as a professional football player, so I established a company for import of goods from China. But the civil war in Syria went on not only to destroy my business but also my family home, so we fled to Turkey, where my family bought a house. But my childhood friend Mahmout and I wanted to start a new life in Europe.

Now I am happy to be out of the Middle East. Their governments are evil. In Denmark everything is under control, and there is no corruption. It is a good system. You may pay high taxes, but you get help if you become ill. In Skagen, I had job training at Prime Ocean, and subsequently a proper job at the fish processing plant. It is a good place, and the bosses treat everybody alike. Not all refugees were offered a job after their job training. I honestly don’t get it. Instead they hire people from Eastern Europe, who speak neither Danish nor English, and who send all their money home. At least us refugees learn Danish and use our money locally. And we want to be active and manage on our own.

33 / male / in a relationship / no children / works at a fish processing plant / Skagen / Palestinian from Syria / came to Denmark in 2016 / residence permit and asylum granted same year