On a daily basis I do not feel foreign, but when I watch television, I do. "Muslims should not be here in Denmark. Get rid of the scarf”. It saddens me to listen to that.
In Somalia, I dropped out of school and chose the military. I was there for 15 years. I got an education and a job in the telecommunications department. It was great to have a career and be in charge of people. I'm good at deciding. In a positive way. I made jokes with people. People liked me. I wish those days could come back, but they never will. At my current job, I do not decide on anything, but I can make suggestions.
In 2014 I collected used hospital equipment. I came up with the idea, but I didn't do it all by myself. I delivered it in Somalia myself. Denmark gave me the opportunity to do it. When I start something, I finish it. Then I become all military-minded. I've also been a neighbourhood mother. I was the first in the country to be trained, and each time a new team of neighbourhood mothers are finished, the mayor visits and shakes hands with them. If I told my friend in London about the mayor, then she wouldn’t understand. But that is Denmark for you. It's great.
I'm afraid of getting old. Old Danes go to care homes. No one visits them. Suddenly you get a bed in a room and just lie there and look up at the ceiling. It hurts my stomach. In the culture I come from, the old ones live at home, and even if you are in a bed, the grandchildren run back and forth. Here you are just thrown out. Of course you are treated well, but it is different. I'm not going to be with my family.
59 / female / married / children / social and health care assistant / Herning / came to Denmark in 1994 / from Somalia / residence permit in 1995