After nearly three years at my job at Kb Mosaik, we have won a prize, Nya Journalistpriset, for the best journalism in a language other than Swedish. This means a lot to me. My colleagues and I never imagined we would win when we saw the names of the other nominees. But we believe in what we are doing, and this has given us a prize.
We have been awarded the prize after a long journey, started by my colleagues, which I am now part of. There have been fantastic, difficult and testing days.
Most importantly, Kb Mosaik has given me the chance to work as a journalist in Sweden. A job that some say is hard to find in Sweden, even for Swedes.
When I think back to how I started at Kb Mosaik I realise how much I have changed.
”I've met some truly amazing people, and I've learnt from them”
I have learnt a lot about the Swedish media. The challenge for me was not to learn about journalism in Sweden but to write and explain to people new to Sweden how Swedish society works. At the same time it is important to tell Swedish people about the new arrivals' culture and experiences.
I've met some truly amazing people, and I've learnt from them. It has been a journey to find out more about what it means to be Swedish.
My language has improved greatly through my job, thanks to Inga-Lill, our editor, and Ann-Christine, my teacher. She saw that I needed to develope my language, even although I started working as a journalist once I had passed the upper school exams in Swedish.
But I must always practise more. You can't learn a language just from books, language must be actively practised. I've had to learn a lot about source criticism here in Sweden. The difference here from my previous experience is enormous.
”The better integration works, the better democracy works”
I'm glad to have worked to strengthen democracy, for when it comes to the bit, I think integration is a question of democracy. The better integration works, the better democracy works. I have a deeper understanding of integration and identity. Against the background of globalisation this is one of the most important issues for me.
Now I understand the role a local newspaper plays in the community and for democracy. I had no experience of this kind of journalism before.
I'll never forget that I was given Swedish citizenship while I was working at Kb Mosaik. It was an unbelievable time for me.
After three years in my job I think Sweden is a fantastic country where you can create a future for yourself and reach your goals, but at the same time you must do your very best.
As new arrivals we can be integrated into the community, but we must take our responsibility to make this happen more easily.
Above all we must learn the language to get over our feeling of not belonging.
To sum up, there are two things I strongly believe in after three years in my job – that every single one of us has an exciting and important story that is worth listening to, and that the differences between us are much smaller than we think.