Mohamad Kanina: ”Kristianstad has become part of my life, my home”

Mohamad Kanina.
Mohamad Kanina.

I dream of becoming a Swedish citizen. I've wanted to be one since the very first day I arrived. Now five years have passed.

Since I grew up I have wished for a good life that guarantees security, respect and basic human rights. I had that wish even in my home country, but the war disrupted everything.

Sweden can guarantee a good life. Sweden is one of the best countries in the world.

After five years in Sweden, I already notice a difference in myself. I've grown more tolerant in matters of political opinions, religion and life-style. And I'm waiting for the day I can say, ”Now I'm Swedish”.

I appreciate different aspects of Sweden, for example Kristianstad, where I have lived since I came here. Kristianstad has become a part of me, my home. I miss the town when I'm away.

I've grown more tolerant in matters of political opinions, religion and life-style.

But there is something deeper.

I have lost a great deal, among other things the dream of a good future in Syria. I've left my native country, I miss my family and the the way of life there. I need to feel that I belong to, am a part of, a new community.

Sweden gives me new hope, a new life in a country into which I am trying to become integrated.

Now I am a part of a community that I bear with me: language, places, customs, some traditions.

The dream is turning into reality.

Every day I wait for the decision on my Swedish citizenship from Swedish Migration Agency. Every day I check their homepage to see if they have come to a decision for me and my family.

We are not a part of Sweden's history, but we are part of its future.

Waiting increases the stress.

The children will be glad too when the decision comes. They don't really understand what it implies, but they want to go on living in Sweden as we have done for the past few years. They speak Swedish, sometimes better than their own language. It makes me feel good to know that my children will have a better life here.

Citizenship does not mean that I make a break with my background and culture. I can be a bearer of two cultures and play a part in increasing understanding between them.

When my citizenship comes through, I ought to feel more gratitude towards Sweden, which has given me a place of refuge and a good life. Sweden becomes my country. We are not a part of Sweden's history, but we are part of its future.

We often talk about this at home. We say that when we get our citizenship we will celebrate at home and with our friends. And we'll do some travelling, just like other Swedes.