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Leyla Oshman Ali


How many years will have to pass before I can call myself Danish? Denmark is my country now, Danish has become my language too, and I have Danish and immigrant friends, but I sometimes still miss Somalia. When the war broke out, it was as if I was being lifted out of a happy childhood and landed in a freezing cold place. I am glad my first years in Denmark were spent in Hurup.

My friends and I often talk about the welfare state becoming a "every man for himself" society. I've been working for Epinions for almost two years now. When we asked people if they think the 1% affluent should pay more in taxes, they have now begun to say “no”. It is difficult to imagine poverty in Denmark.

The headscarf has been part of me and my identity since I was 4 years old, and it annoys me that the world thinks it will limit my job opportunities because of it. I don't think anyone can ask someone to choose between religion and career. I study political science in Odense. In my culture, it is unlikely that I will travel and live alone, but I have been allowed to, and learn a lot about myself from it. For example, that I am a compulsive cleaning freak and that it is demanding to study, work and cook every night.

I am romantic and believe that my soul mate does exist somewhere. I can bring home whoever I want to, but I'm a tad old fashioned. It's hard to know if guys just want to have fun or have sincere intentions. It's as if people don't appreciate love anymore. They are more concerned with getting what they want. We are destroying so many things for ourselves, and I can be quite afraid of whether love exists at all.

Leyla Oshman Ali / 24 / single / studies political science / Aarhus / from Somalia / came to Denmark in 2001 / residence permit 2010

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