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Sabah talking about her shop with the New Times journalist. Photo: Bahr

Successful refugee Sabah sells evening dresses

Asylum in Denmark is not something new. Denmark has always received asylum seekers, but the number has been increasing. A lot of the refugees are now integrated in the Danish community and have become a part of it. Sabah Sabri Isa from Iraq is an example of a successful former refugee who learned Danish and got a job in Denmark. New Times met her and got to ask her some questions about her work and success.
By: Hala


There are many evening dresses you can choose between in Sabah’s shop. Photo:Bahr

Sabah Sabri Isa is a successful refugee who sells evening dresses in her store in Frederiksberg. She is 55 years old, she is from Iraq and she has graduated as a chemical engineer from Iraq. She has been married for 30 years to Faiz Moneam Al Sebahi. He is 56 years old and he is an Aircraft Engineer now working at the Danish Ministry of Defense.

Sabah Sabri Isa has one boy (he graduated in International Economy and Policy) and two girls (the bigger one has a Master’s degree in Medicine Technology and the smaller one is still a student). She came to Denmark with her family at 1999 and they lived in the asylum center for about one year and 3 months until they got permission to stay in Denmark.

Learned danish quickly
“I remained in language school just for 3 months until I got the dansk 3 certificate, then I decided to enter the labor market”, Sabah says.
She continues: “In the beginning I worked in a flower shop to learn Danish as well as to search for a suitable job”.

Finding a job
“It was difficult for me to find a job, because engineering in Denmark develops quickly – I can say it’s changed every year, so I tried to look for something else I love” says Sabah. She continues to explain how she started her own work:

“In the beginning I opened a mini market at 2002, but at 2003 I changed it, because I wanted to sell something me and every other women like – and it’s evening dresses,” Sabah recounts: “The shop used to be in Nørrebro, but now the new address is H.C.Ørsteds vej 59, 1879 Frederiksberg C”.

New jobs for refugees
“I think, that it’s not easy to find a good job, but refugees can do it by getting some help from someone or from the Job Center in the Municipality – like what happened with my husband”, she says.

She continues: “I suggest that the new refugees get some practice from many different places and gain experience in different fields”.

Contact with Danes
I enjoyed working and living with the Danes. They are very honest when dealing in business and the foreigner has equal rights to the Danish citizens. So I am very happy to have come here and to be living here,” says Sabah Sabri Isa.


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