Somali in Denmark

Somali in Denmark

The first time I visited the church, I met a woman who had spent two years in Baghdad working as a nurse. She invited me back for coffee, and she became like a Danish mother to us.

Somali in Denmark

Of course I have my Iraqi background, but after 17 years here in Denmark and thanks to a lot of good friends, I feel 80-90% Danish. The last 10-20% stem from the culture I came from. Back in Iraq I had my own electronics business. It was awful having to abandon it all, but our lives were in danger because I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein. My wife and children have been to Northern Iraq twice. They were so happy when they returned back home. They had met the family and seen the mountains and the nature. It is important that the children see the place we come from.

I am a Danish citizen, as are my wife and children. I am one of the many Christian Iraqis in Denmark. The first time I visited the church, I met a woman who had spent two years in Baghdad working as a nurse. She invited me back for coffee, and she became like a Danish mother to us.

For the first many years she was our lifeline. She had a big heart. If we had problems, we went to her. During her last year she was very ill, and we looked after her. We followed her to the hospital in Roskilde, where eventually she passed away.

During my time as a volunteer for Roskilde Municipality and Ågerup Church, I have helped a lot of Syrian refugees. We shared backgrounds, and I could talk with them. I remember how difficult it was for me and my family to be on our own. We were on benefits and needed a lot of things, things we could hardly afford. We had to explain to our children that everything was going to be alright. It was also important to explain to them that life is more important than money.

Samir Bagi / 60 years old / male / married / 3 adult children / electronics technician / Iraq / Roskilde, Ågerup / came to Denmark in 2000 / residence permit in 2001