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3,716 kmfrom home
"My mind had already travelled before I decided to move from Iraq to Brussels."
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“I left Iraq for many reasons. I lost my parents and my brother-in-law a few years ago, and it is hard to be a musician in Iraq. 

My mind had already left before I decided to move. The last two to three years I read a lot of books just trying to understand how everything works abroad. I was deciding between Finland and Belgium. Until a friend of mine told me "Go to Brussels, it will suit you."

It took me 12 days to get here. I took a plane to Turkey followed by a boat to Greece. There, starting from Athens I walked from border to border. From Greece to Macedonia, further to Serbia then followed by Hungary. In Budapest I took a taxi with three other people, each paying 500 Euros to reach Brussels. During the trip, everybody was complaining about many things, it was cold and people were scared. However, I was happy most of the time. I felt like there was a big light shining ahead of me, a new life was waiting for me.

For me it is very hard to survive in Belgium, especially because of the different cultures. I have seen a lot of Iraqi’s who returned voluntarily because they couldn't adapt.

I don't really miss Iraq that much though. When I hear news about Iraq I think about my country and sometimes it affects me, but I am really focused on finding my way here, especially for my music career.

Even though I’ve only been here for six months, I feel at home, especially in Brussels. In a way it feels like Baghdad to me, which I love. I loved going to Baghdad back in Iraq; I went there almost on a daily basis.

I don't really know which country I would call home. They both mean a lot to me. I had a hard time building a life in Iraq and I eventually had to leave but home will always remain home even if at some point it was horrible. One day I will go back, but maybe more as a visit.

The first week after my arrival in Brussels I started working in the Maximilaan Park where I met a woman who introduced me to the ‘Refugee for Refugee’ project. I now have several concerts ahead. There are a lot of new exciting things coming my way, musical performances and theater. Sometimes I feel like there are too many good things happening here and it scares me.”

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