Teweldebrhan Negassi

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In some ways I feel at home here, but I also miss all the familiar in Eritrea. My family, my friends, the food, the noise. In Denmark it is just too quiet. Quiet in the street and nobody shouts. When you come from outside, it can be hard to adjust and feel at ease in the silence.

When you have finished 12th grade in Eritrea, you have to sign up for military. Military service is compulsory for men and women alike. As a rule it lasts for 18 months, but my father joined the military during the war with Ethiopia, and he is still there. Conscription in Eritrea has turned into a sort of slave labour, and one does not know when it is going to end. That is why I fled the day I received the call up papers from the military.

I have two siblings in Germany, both of which fled Eritrea for the very same reason. As things stand we have no future in Eritrea, so I try to create a new life here. I want to be a cabinet maker or at least work with wood in some way, like I did in Eritrea. I attend church on Sundays, pray to God, and feel confident that everything will be alright. My faith is important to me. Religion has become my life. It is what I am, my values and my being.

23 years / male / single / attends production college / Hårlev / from Eritrea / came to Denmark in 2014 / residence permit in 2015