Mina Qaume

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Will you ever be 100% something? We live in a globalized world and our identities are influenced by different cultures, thoughts and trends. I was born in Afghanistan, my mindset consists of the best of both worlds, and inside I feel like a world citizen. I like the idea that one's possibilities are not limited by boundaries.

I have adapted many Danish values. As a woman in Afghanistan, one could not express one’s opinion without having to fight the patriarchy. When I arrived, I was sure I was going home helping with the reconstruction of my country. But having followed the situation and studied the conditions in Afghanistan, I can see it will take time to create new structures and conditions for women. The degree of freedom is far from the same, but I still have that dream.

Last year, I was honored to represent Denmark at the Euro-Asia summit in Brussels, and at a brunch with the Foreign Minister, he asked me: What are you doing? How does Denmark look from the outside? The feeling of alienation embraced me, and I laughed and answered: It is tragicomic that I, who do not have Danish citizenship stand here and represent the Danish ‘we’ for the world.

The Danish community behind the politics and the media saves me when I’m the most frustrated. It is easier to imagine a life here when my family and friends are here, but with the ever-changing rules about residence, it's hard to predict what's going to happen in the future. And it is the weirdest things we must relate to. Such as where my parents want to be buried when they die. My mother wants to be buried in Afghanistan, where we own a burial ground while my father wants to be buried where his children are. But what if he dies in Denmark and we can't stay here?

Mina Qaume / 23 / single / graduate student in political science / Aarhus / from Afghanistan / came to Denmark in 2009 / residence permit 2010