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Ibrahim Xhemajli


I have now lived longer in Denmark than I did in Kosova, and despite having used a lot of effort fighting for the Albanian cause, I still contribute to the Danish society, and I don’t consider myself foreign in Denmark. Of course I speak with some accent, but my views are not far from other Danes.

When I was young I constantly took part in demonstrations for better conditions for the Albanians in Kosova, and because of my political activities I spent four and a half years in prison. When I was released I began medical school, and I was just two years short of completing it when I was forced to flee. I wasn’t allowed to continue my studies in Denmark, so I began to drive a taxi, and later I trained as a pedagogue.

My career was ruined by politics, but I don’t regret my choice at all, because nothing is more valuable than the freedom. As long as my people are not free, nothing else matters. When the Albanian media closed down in the late ‘90s, my wife Emine and I launched a radio channel here in Denmark, so we could keep all the Albanians in Denmark up to date about the situation in Kosova. You must think creatively if you want to continue with your activism at a distance, so through the radio we tried to mobilise people to support the Albanian people. Now that the situation in Albania has stabilised, the radio’s focus has changed. We focus more on life in Denmark, and we deal with issues such as culture and integration. In fact it reflects the way my own focus has slowly changed. But I still dream of going back one day.

56 years / in a relationship / children /Brøndby Strand / pedagogue / independent taxi driver / from Kosova / came to Denmark in 1989, residence permit in 1990

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