Saddika Ali - Fareed Hassan

Soura

We’ve now been in Denmark for three years. We chose Denmark because Saddika has a sister here. When we arrived in Denmark it felt like being in some film studio or some tall building close to the sky. There’s more freedom here, including gender equality, which has already had an impact on our relationship. We feel like guests and we try to respect the life and legislation here. Six months ago we would have said we wanted to return, but because of the things happening in Syria we become more and more convinced that our future lies in Denmark.

Denmark is different, not least the weather. Obviously, we knew about Europe, but were surprised about all the legislation, such as traffic laws, with clear rules. We have tried to get a visitor’s visa for our son who’s in Russia but it was rejected on the grounds that the authorities were afraid he would stay. He’s not interested in that at all. He studies at university in Russia, and plans to stay on and use his education there. We’ve all got a short life, so it is hard when we can’t see our family. What right have you got to deny that to people? We live up to all the rules, so why can’t we see our family? Even though we like it here, the pains resulting from the war will never go away, also because we can’t see our family. Yet we feel safe here, and have begun to rebuild our lives, so we are now more confident about the future.

42 / married couple / both in work / Sønderborg / from Syria / Fareed came to Denmark in 2014, and Saddika in 2015 / residence permit same year