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Hussein Hirey


I have lived here for 20 years, so why should I feel foreign in Denmark? I feel at home here, but obviously I am formed by my past experiences in Somalia. When I was a child, the circumcision man came by a couple of times a year. All the boys in the neighbourhood were rounded up and circumcised one by one. It really hurt, but other than that I was undamaged, so I find it hard to understand why circumcision at Danish hospitals should pose a problem.

In the Muslim communities you are not considered an adult until you become married. I was married at 36, so from that perspective I didn’t reach adulthood until about a year ago. But of course it is not like that. I moved away from home in 2001 and have managed on my own ever since, but it has taken a long time for me to get my life sorted and back on track.

My life has been full of partying and few worries about the future, but after a traffic accident, I was hit by a severe depression. I lost almost ten kilos and many friends. People like you when you are young and beautiful and have the energy to phone and chat, but not necessarily when you are down.
I have now come out on the other side, and I am grateful for that. As I have grown older, I have become more conservative. I appreciate the calm and stability, and I try not to be arrogant. I work as a teacher in a reception class for refugee children, where I try to advise the pupils to become focused and not run around aimlessly like I did. My wife is pregnant, and nothing is more important to me now than being able to provide a safe and stable childhood for our daughter.

37 years / male / in a relationship / child / teacher in reception class / Rødovre / from Somalia / came to Denmark via family reunification in 1996

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