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Many asylum seekers can’t get an education, and are stuck in no man’s land like 20 year old Hanna

Wasted time without education

Hanna Hussein is a 20 years-old Palestinian, who has been in Denmark for one year and half. She has been living in the different asylum centers since the end of 2014. During all this time, the only study she had was four month of basic Danish language in a school inside the camp. To her, not studying feels like a big waste of time.

By: Huda

Before Hanna came to Denmark, she was in her last year of high school with focus in science and technology. But now, she is one among many other young asylum seekers, whose years are being wasted without having any real, official education in Denmark. New Times interviewed her, and asked her about her current situation and her hopes for the future.  

Why you chose the work over the school?
“In the school the teacher had to repeat from the start when new people came. I don’t want to study things that I already know over and over again, so why should I go? Just two days ago they started a new advanced class twice in a week, but I do not feel like I am moving forward. If there was a real chance for me to go to a language school or to study in the university, I would take it without any second thoughts.”

What do you think about the wasted time without education?
“I think it is really bad. I feel like my life is pointless, and I’m stuck in between: I can not go back to where I came from, but I cannot stay here. I was rejected. But even though we do not have permit to stay, they should at least educate us during this long waiting time. I mean we are just people; without education we are nothing.”

Do you think it could make you feel better if you spent your time studying?
“Yes, I will feel like human then. It could give my life sense. It could also make me forget a little about all the things that I’m thinking about.”

What are the challenges that you are facing?
“I cannot just ask the Red Cross to pay for my education, because it is so expensive. My biggest challenge is my identity as a refugee. Even if I could afford the education, it is very difficult for me to get acceptance from university.”

Do you think the Danish state should pay for your education?
“Kind of, because I can not afford it. I mean if they payed for me, and I get education and maybe work after that, I will be able to pay back for what the country gave me, when I was in need.”

What do you wish for?
“I wish I can move forward with my studies and have a good future in Denmark. I just want to have a normal life like everyone else.”

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