Hanna Hussein is a 20 years-old Palestinian, who has been in Denmark for one year and half. She has been living in the camps 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. It feels for her like a big waste of time.
The situation of Hanna is one among many other young asylum seekers whose years are being wasted without having any real, official education.
Some of the asylum seekers are facing deportation which can take more than two years in some cases. Others are stuck in “no man’s land”, which means that they cannot be send back and they cannot be granted residence.
Hanna was rejected by the immigration service after waiting for the answer one year. Now she is facing deportation that is going to take 18 month of her life.
Before she came to Denmark she was in her last year of high school with focus in science and technology. When she first came to Denmark she studied the basic Danish language only four month and stopped going after that. The reason for that is because the Red Cross school do not move to higher levels, asylum seekers come and leave so the teacher will have to start from the beginning when new students come.
After a while of doing nothing she was accepted to work in a factory and she liked it, saying: “It is good, I use my time on the job, and I learn new things”.
When I asked her about the reason she chose to work, she said: “Because it is boring just to sit in the camp with nothing to do”
Why you chose the work over the school?
“In the school the teacher had to repeat from the start when new people came, I cannot just 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, very bad. I feel like my life is pointless and I’m stuck in between. I can not come back from where I came from, I can not stay here.
I also think that it is stupid, even though we do not have permit to stay, they should at least educate us during this long wasting time of wait. 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 than. It could be give my life a 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?
“Challenges from The Red Cross and Job Center, but I can not just ask them to pay for my education because it is so expensive. My biggest challenge is my identity as a refugee, even if I can afford it is very difficult to get acceptance from university”.
What do you wish for?
“I wish I can move forward with my studies and have a good future in Denmark. Normal life like everyone else.”
Do you it is fair from Denmark to pay 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.”