Shekwa Azizi

I have never felt Russian, and I do not feel Danish. I have promised my children that sometime they will visit Afghanistan, and we speak Afghan at home. I watch both Russian and Afghan television.

My father taught at the University of Kabul and was a member of the party. He got killed, so as a 9-year-old I was sent to boarding school in Russia. When the Taliban rose to power, we children could not return home. Although I have only lived in my home country until I was nine, I still feel Afghan. But I speak better Russian than Afghan.

We had arranged with a people smuggler to go to Switzerland. But I ended up in Denmark, which I had never heard of.

We were kicked out of the car at two o’clock at night. It was dark and it rained. We were looking for a police station, but it was as if the police were hiding.

Even though I am a Muslim, I think it is ok with a ban on the niqab. I have never worn a headscarf myself.
I am proud of being independent. Women can always think of something. Men just sit there with the remote control.

The general attitude of the public has become harsher during the time I have lived in Denmark. It develops in the wrong direction, I think. I think we should respect each other and not just think me, me, and me.

The first thing I remember from Denmark is the smell. It smelled of agriculture. But I have only met good people and have had no bad experiences.

43 / female / married / children / independent hairdresser / Viborg / from Afghanistan / came to Denmark 2000 / asylum 2001