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Where are you from?

Chronicle by Nadim Ghazale.
Publicerad 28 november 2019
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Vxonews. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.
Foto: Borås Tidning

Where are you from? It is a question that you can expect to answer if you look like me. The little percentage who also work in police uniforms often have to answer whether you are a real police officer or not. But we get used to it, smile at it and move on.

I have answered this question so many times that it has became reflexively. But if you stop and think about it, where you actually come from, it's hard to know. Is it the skin color, the home language with the aggressive tone or the sound of the surname that defines you?

Personally, I was born in Zahlé, Lebanon and my native language is Arabic. But I am also a boy from the Backamo refugee camp and a second-grader from the Runneryds school in Nässjö. The biggest portion of my remaining young years were in Ullricehamn. In Ulricehamn I was a fika moocher on Ryttarevägen, dog phobics on Frändevägen, soccer player on Vistavallen, bandy player on Tallgatan, handball player, school pupil at Ulrikaskolan and Tingsholmsgymnasiet and creator of the pizza that took the city by storm, the "Chilla special". This is my real story. The places, the people and the city that formed the foundation for whom I am today. So when someone asks where I come from, it's rarely the story you want to know, but it's the one I want to tell. For me, and many more with me, the story is much more than our divergent appearance and origin. However, I can think of myself in similar paths sometimes. Particularly, when new conflicts flare up in the area I come from. Like when I see pictures of children who are bloody and broken, children whose appearance is reminiscent of my own in children's version. The feeling is that the broken child could have been me, or someone I know. Or when the language I speak is the language the murderers use while executing someone in the name of their religion. It's so unfortunate that I'm almost ashamed to share language and hair color with these beasts.

Not only is this wound inboard, the Swedish debate about immigrants is raging as never before. It is talked about us as a single homogeneous group, a group that is and always has been a burden. It is not enough that we work and start operations, it must be done at a reasonable distance. An extremely fuzzy discussion about migration is always one of the topics and God forbid if you return to your home country on vacation. This constant struggle between inner feelings and external factors affects people. People who in turn will influence the future of our country. THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY.

It can be considered strange that, among other things, I, now a plus-size full-time policeman, still take pity on me when the debate kicks off. Logically, it should not affect, but still it sizzles. Perhaps this is due to the incurable appearance-based status, despite 29 spotless years in a forever new country. Or can you just be from different places and have multiple identities. For example, both an insecure little Lebanese boy raised in Sweden's most beautiful city and a person who lives in Borås with the world's safest arms.