Ashti Ali Hassan

I feel I belong more in Denmark than in Iraq, because I have lived here for more than half of my life. But I do feel foreign when I hear how asylum seekers are treated. That a child can be refused potatoes and broccoli at an exit center.

Denmark has changed. The politicians who decide the fate of others have ruined too much. But there are many good Danes. And I have many lovely memories from Denmark. When we landed at Kastrup, I saw the landscape as a green carpet with the blue colour of the sea. I thought it was paradise. We had spent the last year without freedom in a refugee camp, sleeping among scorpions and snakes.

My eldest son were once turned away at a discotheque because he looks Arabic. But he did not let that stop him. We have taught our children that they are worth the same as everybody else regardless of their religion or the colour of their skin. I have taught this to the children I teach. It doesn’t really matter if you use knife and fork or your hands for eating, as long as you are full.

We have three cultures at home, Danish, Arabic and Kurdish. My mentality is probably 70% Danish, 20% Kurdish and 10% Arabic. I've always thought that men and women are equal. My husband agrees. He has changed nappies on our children and still does on our grandchildren. Our two eldest children are married to Danes, the youngest with a Palestinian. They have chosen who they want to marry by themselves. They have the right to decide about their life and body. In that respect I am 100% Danish.

Ashti Ali Hassan / 63 / female / married / children / accountancy trained in Iraq, educated in Denmark, flex jobs / Aarhus / from Iraq / Kurdish background / came to Denmark in 1984 / residency permit same year