Naseer Alkhalidi

Soura

I feel a bit foreign here in Denmark, but even more so in Iraq. Your name plays a major role when you look for a job here in Denmark. It is hard to make it as far as an interview when you have a Middle Eastern name. But how do you get started when nobody gives you the chance to show who you are and what you can do?

I love to work and I am pleased about my job at a raft manufacturer. The worst job I had was at the abattoir where I worked for 8½ years. Same hard work day in, day out. No development opportunities, and the body became worn. While I worked there the fishing rod became my best friend. It almost made me go nuts if I did not go fishing at weekends.

The fjord is my favourite place, the coast in general. When you have dark thoughts, or when the experiences from Iraq come back to haunt you, the coast is pure medicine.
My father was an angler too. He and I would fish in the large river in Basra, where I was born. The water there is warm. The fish we caught were all from the carp family. I cried when my dad went out fishing and I could not go with him.

Now I fish mainly in salt water. In spring and autumn for sea trout, in the summer for the fish who migrate here – herring, mackerel and garfish. But I don’t expect to catch something every time I go. It’s good enough to get some fresh air and enjoy the nature. My wife is OK with my fishing. We talked about it before we got married. There were two things she couldn’t ask me do: to quit smoking and to quit fishing.

40 / male / married / children / production worker / Horsens / from Iraq / came to Denmark in 2007 and residence permit same year.