Laleh Yazdane

Soura

I have never felt foreign. We quickly settled down in Denmark and I have lots of friends. They loved visiting us because my mother was very hospitable, and we always had lots of food. It wasn’t always like that at my friends’ places, because they had had a more traditional Danish upbringing.

I am a single mother, and my son’s father is no longer part of our lives, so all the responsibility rests on my shoulders. My mother was a good role model for me. She fled Iran with just my brother and me, so she became a mother and a father to us. She is a very strong and independent woman, so in that respect we resemble each other a lot.

When I was young I always had goals to pursue, but when I completed my education, I became restless and needed some challenges. I also felt a wanderlust so I decided to travel the world. I stayed many places on my journeys, including six months in New York, where I had a fantastic time. I ended up on Zanzibar, where I spent a year of my life. I worked and I had huge plans to start my own business. But as a woman it is hard to get a break through there, so in the end it all became too much, and I returned to Denmark. Now I am a social worker. I help young criminals find the right path. I love my job, but I feel that many social projects are unable to connect with the youth. They let go of them too early, often resulting in their reverting to their old ways. It is such a shame for the youngsters, and also a waste of public resources.

38 years / female / single / child / social worker / Copenhagen Ø / from Iran / came to Denmark in 1992 / residence permit same year