I was a Kurd in Syria and now I am a Kurdish Syrian in Denmark. I am used to feeling foreign. I never tried anything else, so for me that is the norm.
I left Syria on my own. As a conscientious objector I had lived in hiding for a long time, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before they would find me. So I decided to flee to Europe, where I got stuck in Greece and spent six months in prison because I didn’t have any identity papers. Those six months were the worst of my life. It was like living in a tin of sardines, and food was stale and moldy. I would probably still have been there if it hadn’t been for this man I met in prison. I helped him keep his money safe while he was in prison, and as thanks he helped me get the legal aid that I needed. When I finally left Greece, I was stopped at Copenhagen Airport. I was terrified and was convinced I would go to prison again. But the police just smiled and talked nicely to me. Was I hungry? Did I need this and that? But I was too scared to talk to them.
After I got a residence permit I felt very alone. One day I visited the network house here in Gentofte, and it soon became my second home. I used all my spare time here, and I hated returning to my empty flat.
It was my job to repair the bikes in the house, and it felt nice to be able to contribute with something, to feel useful again. But it wasn’t till I met the woman who was to become my wife that I felt at home again. I miss my own family of course, but I am now starting my own.
27 years / male / couple / educated economist / craftsman / Gentofte / from Syria / kurdish background / came to Denmark in 2013 / residence permit in 2014