Amir

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4,875 kmfrom home
#iamarefugee
"Home for me is where I can be who I am and pursue the plans and the goals I have without fearing for my life."
Amir
Occupation: 
Activist
Current Country: 
Sweden
Country of Origin: 
Iraq

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Amir left Iraq at the age of 24 and resettled in Sweden after living for a few months in Lebanon and Turkey.

“I moved out of my country because both my sexuality and the activism I do are illegal in Iraq, and I wanted to resettle temporarily to be able to grow as a person and continue the work I want to do, until it’s safe again to go back.”

I love the mixture of cultures in Sweden. I live in Malmö where 170 nationalities reside, and I always enjoy listening to so many languages, the scent of different foods, and being exposed to a diversity of cultures. I always had an interest in multiculturalism, and meeting new people. It’s beautiful to live in a small city of only 300,000 residents yet still be surrounded by such a diverse group of people all the time.

What I miss the most about being in Iraq is the type of activism that took place there- the need for change and the energy the youngsters have there always drove people into starting and creating several projects. Most of the people I volunteered and worked with when I was there dedicated an enormous amount of time to these projects, not thinking about whether it was a weekend or a holiday.

I want to grow and empower myself to be able to empower others. I want to use human rights as my avenue. There are so many important areas in life that we can use to improve life for everyone; but in my opinion, human rights always remain the top priority because everything else falls under its umbrella.

Home for me is where I can be who I am and pursue the plans and the goals I have without fearing for my life. A place where I can feel secure mentally, physically, and economically. A place where I can go back to whenever I want without anyone questioning why I should be able to go back there. Home is where I can pursue my mission.”

After personally being classified under the category of migrant I realised how exclusive this term is. If a person moves from Paris or NYC to another western city, he or she wouldn’t be classified as a migrant but rather an expat. It is much more likely that the term immigrant would apply to someone moving from the Middle East or Africa. For me, neither term makes sense. I’m not an expat nor an immigrant; I’m a person who was born and raised in Iraq, and now happens to live in Sweden, and this is where my current home is. When people say “Each person has roots somewhere”, it doesn’t make any sense. Barely anyone resides where they are “originally” from. Humans have always moved around.”

 

This story was provided by i am a migrant's partner, One Young World.

Previous Country of Residence: 
Lebanon, Turkey

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org