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A year of change for Iman

Iman Alahmad likes to have a lot on the go. She works at the Swedish Enforcement Authority. At the same time she wants to develope her art. During the Syrian revolution she became well-known for her satirical paintings.
Kristianstad\nIman Alahmad comes from Syria. She has a degree in law, and worked as a lawyer before she fled from the war. • Publicerad 4 mars 2019 • Uppdaterad 10 april 2019
”When I was in Syria, it wasn't obvious at all that I'd express my ideas and opinions through out”, Iman says.
”When I was in Syria, it wasn't obvious at all that I'd express my ideas and opinions through out”, Iman says.Foto: Victor Lindstammer

She took a very active part in the 2011 revolution. Several of her caricatures againts the Assad regime have reached many news channels in the world, for which she has been awarded prizes.

– My life has changed completely since I came to Sweden. To begin with, I felt very much alone and disorientated, says Iman Alahmad.

–The languae was a barrier for me. Today I feel very strong and full of hope, she says.

Zlatan was the first portrait Iman painted in Sweden. ”I don't even like football, but I recognised myself in his story”, she says.
Zlatan was the first portrait Iman painted in Sweden. ”I don't even like football, but I recognised myself in his story”, she says.Foto: Victor Lindstammer
”I've had the chance to try things I've ever done before, and I've found myself. I enjoy living in my new country” says Iman.
”I've had the chance to try things I've ever done before, and I've found myself. I enjoy living in my new country” says Iman.Foto: Victor Lindstammer

In her paintings Iman wants to show everyone in Sweden who she is and where she comes from. She paints water-colours, often showing life in Syria as it was before the war.

She doesn´t want to go back to Syria.

– This is my new country. I want to learn more about the community and its traditions, but also its legal system, she says.

– I don´t want to feel like a foreigner here. Nobody has to regret that they welcomed me here.

She thinks her life took a turn for the better in 2018. She found a job at the Swedish Enforcement Authority, and she got married. She has some art exhibitions as well, and several of her paintings were sold.

At the Swedish Enforcement Authority she answers questions from the public. What is special about her work, she says, is that no two cases are alike. Her job is very interesting.

She says:

– I always enjoyed being a lawyer in Syria, but the Swedish Enforcement Authority is without a doubt the best place I´ve ever worked at. I have a lot of fantastic colleagues and heads of department. My boss really listens to his staff. If there is a problem, we discuss it and try to solve it. I can develope as an individual too.

Do you feel integrated?

– It all depends on what you mean by integration. I regard myself as being both Syrian and Swedish at the same time. For me, integration is about being part of the community and taking part in everyday life, and I feel that I do just that, says Iman.

Do you feel Syrian or Swedish today?

– At forst I thought I had to abandon the culture of my native country to become Swedish, but that is not true. Event although life in Syria was more social, I feel more at home in Sweden. Today I feel more secure than ever.

What will you be doing in five years time?

– Five years is a very long time. Perhaps I'll have a family of my own. I want to develope more in my job and take part in more art exhibitions, she says.

– Even although I've met with a lot of obstracles in my life, I feel more hopeful than ever.

Iman is going to have a new exhibition at Easter, where has not yet been decided. She has has 15 exhibitions, in Malmö, Kristianstad and Olofström among other places.
Iman is going to have a new exhibition at Easter, where has not yet been decided. She has has 15 exhibitions, in Malmö, Kristianstad and Olofström among other places.Foto: Victor Lindstammer
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