You are always a stranger in a new place. I had never been outside in Syria before, but because I go to school, work and participate in society, I have started to feel attached and experience that my attitudes and ideas change in the encounter with the Danish.
When the war broke out, I studied to become a surveyor, but the university closed, and as a young man in Syria you can either go to a war that you do not fully comprehend or flee. I fled alone via Turkey and Greece, and knew there was no turning back. I remember the sea at night, I was terrified I was going to be devoured by sharks, and how beautiful the sea was when the sun rose. It was almost like a rebirth, as if I got my life back. It was such a relief to get to Europe where it is safer and you can say what you want.
I have Danish as well as foreign friends, also Arab and Syrian. Politically, we disagree - to them Kurds are not real Muslims - but in Denmark it is possible to disagree without fighting, here there is room for everyone.
Since I came, I have been active on DFUNK's board and in various groups. I also work at a French restaurant north of Aarhus. It's so cozy, but it's hard to feel at home here when refugees are constantly referred to as a problem. I contribute as a Dane and do my best to adapt. If I am sent back to Syria I will once again be a stranger and have to start from scratch. I try to focus on starting the engineering study this summer and believe it will happen.
Mohamed Hassan / 27 / single / student / Ryomgård / from Syria / came to Denmark in 2014 / granted 5-year residence permit same year