My name is Sayed Rahim Rahimi and I have been in Denmark for a bit more than 2 years. I am from Afghanistan and grew up in the capital, Kabul. After I graduated high school, I studied philosophy and sociology for 3,5 years at Kabul University. Alongside my lessons I took a job as a journalist, because I was interested in becoming a reporter. Today, it is still my wish to be a good reporter or photographer in the future.

My mother is my love, my life, my sun, my moon, my world, my everything. She is the best things I know, and it is my biggest wish to see her again. Unfortunately, I don’t even have a picture of her to put in my room.

I live in a container that the Danish government made as a temporary home for refugees with a residence permit in Denmark. My room is very small and besides sleeping here, I use it to study and to cook. Sometimes I get nervous and sad while I am preparing food, because it reminds me of my mother and how she cooked for me. 

When I am walking in the city and see people walk in peace and far from explosions and war, I become so happy. In Denmark, no one asks you about your religion and there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I am a Muslim, but I have friends that are non-Muslims and friends that are Muslims, but they respect me and I respect them.

When I have spare time, I go to Copenhagen to enjoy the weather and see the city. Sometimes, it makes me so happy inside, that I am able to walk around and see the city without having to fear war. I find joy in watching how everyone enjoy their freedom and live in peace. 

An outside playground with a slide, a small house, a sandbox, a swing and a bench.

When I see children enjoy their childhood, I remember my own and get sad and angry. My childhood wasn’t good, because I had to work as a carpet waver from when I was 9 years old. At the age of 11 I had to live in Pakistan without my parents and make carpets. When I see children and their family sit in a restaurant in Denmark, it reminds me of my own family and I think to myself, why I am not able to be like them.

Sometimes, when I see families walk together or share a meal, I pray to Allah to help me see my mother and my father again, and to be able to walk and eat with them here in Denmark, and live in peace.

Rahim and three other persons sitting in two couches talking and looking in a book.

In Dragør we have “Friendly house” (Venligbohus in Danish) and every Tuesday we come here to meet friends and family. We also play billiard, eat cakes, drink tea and coffee and just talk to each other. When we (the refugees) have some problems with the Danish language or personal matters, the Danish people help us.

I have friends who live in Copenhagen. They are the best, so brave and always positive. Mostly we meet in the weekends and go to the cinema or to a restaurant and talk about things that matter.

I have a contact-family; Carsten with his beautiful girlfriend, his smart son and sweet daughter. They are very kind and always help me improve my Danish and teach me about the Danish culture. 

I am so proud of my Danish contact-family and really happy to have them in my life.

Eight people standing around a school table talking and looking at books.

I am studying Danish in a language school in Kastrup three times a week. It is very important for me to learn Danish and to continue my education. I have some good teachers and sweet classmates, we always try to help each other out in class.

I always follow the news, especially those from Afghanistan. Sometimes it makes my cry, because it is all about explosions and war. I fear checking my Facebook wall because of this, or in case someone in Denmark writes about deportation out of the country. This has a very bad effect my daily life.

I like sports, especially football. Every Friday, I play football with my friends in Dragør football club. We are about 15 players, all of them refugees and its free for us. I also love to watch football matches in the television, and especially enjoy it when Real Madrid wins.

When I want to reflect on my life, I go to this place in Dragør. Then I review my past and think about how I can solve my problems as well as how I can avoid making mistakes in the future.

about the project

INSIGHT is a series of photo essays taken and written by refugees living in Denmark. With financial support from the Danish fund; Hjælpefonden Journalistgården, Refugee.Today has been able to give 10 refugees the opportunity to show us their lives in Denmark.

The participants in INSIGHT live in various parts of Denmark, from Hjørring to Bornholm, and are of different nationalities and backgrounds. They are all reefugees with a residence permit in Denmark, but first of all they are individuals. In the course of 7 days these people have documented their everyday lives through photography and words.

By letting refugees be in charge of the camera, Refugee.Today offers an insight into a world that is not always accessible to the public. Refugees and integration are heavily disputed topics in Danish society, but rarely are the voices and viewpoints of the refugees themselves visible in the debate.

Through these photo essays the viewer is offered a gaze into everyday life as a newcomer in Denmark. How does the Danish society look through their eyes? How is everyday life as a refugee in a new country taking place? How is the past and present balanced for people who have had to flee their homes?