Shahow Muhaeddine

In Denmark I have a good job and a good education, yet I still don’t feel at home. My children are Danish. I am not sure what I am. I was born in Iraq, I have lived in Denmark for 30 years, but I am originally Kurdish. My identity is split and I still need a home. During the world championships in football, I never feel the buzz others feel when their country wins. In many respects I feel homeless, and now that I have grown older, the feeling has actually intensified. I dream about travelling the world, looking for a place to call home. Anyway, I am quite sure that I am not the only one with a split identity.

I was shocked when I had a visit from some old friends now living in Germany and Sweden, when they said that they didn’t feel split. When I spoke about Danes, I said “them”, whereas they said “we” about the Swedes and about the Germans. Why they feel at home there I don’t know. Perhaps it is because I am constantly asked where I come from. I only remember one person here in Denmark who has been indifferent to my background. She was my boss just after I had finished my education. I had worked there for two years before she even asked. It wasn’t important to her. She judged me by my work and my personal ability. This really meant a lot to me.

54 years / male / in a relationship / children / trained as a machine worker / traffic warden / Brøndbyøster / from Iraq / with Kurdish background came to Denmark in 1986 / residence permit same year