”Stop chasing the perfect condition”
A strong woman who always strives for a better life. That is the impression I get at my first meeting with Hesho Rashid in Kb's office.
When Hesho steps into the office she takes out heer camera. She wants to document the moment for her personal Instagram account.
Hesho is well-known in Sweden and all over the world, is rated among the top four influencers in home furnishing in Sweden.
”The simple formula for success in the new community is: take responsibility, have patience, never give up, and learn from both cultures.”Hesho Hama Rashid
Being well-known mustn't be allowed to affect your personality, says Hesho. Fame mustn't make you think you're a cut above the others, or make you arrogant.
Hesho comes from the Iraqi part of Kurdistan. She came to Sweden 24 years ago along with her eldest daughter.
She literally started from scratch.
– But I knew right from the beginning that the simple formula for success in the new community is: take responsibility, have patience, never give up, and learn from both cultures.
”Started by picking potatoes.And worked long days”Hesho Hama Rashid
She has had many different kinds of work.
– Started by picking potatoes.And worked long days to support myself and my daughter. I didn't like sitting at home waiting for state grants.
– Then I sold fish, from a fish-van. I remember once when a customer asked for whitefish and I gave him perch instead. I didn't know all the different kinds of fish.
The customer came back next time and said: 'You didn't give me what I asked for, but it was good,' and we both started to laugh.
Hesho's motto is: Believe in yourself! Together we can work wonders.
– I think you must stop chasing the ideal condition, you must accept the situation you are in.
Today she is 43, but looks a lot younger. Especially when she laughs. Then she looks like a schoolgirl. She speaks eagerly, quickly, with lots of detail, about her journey through life.
”I came into a men's world, there aren't many women who want to own a car-wash”Hesho Hama Rashid
She has had another daughter. Her daughters are best friends. The elder daughter works in Stockholm, but is close all the same in Hesho's everyday life.
– While I was waiting for a residence permit I did everything I could to get out into working life. It was a whole new way of life for a mother, in a country where many women were out of work.
Once she had got a residence permit Hesho worked in Sölvesborg municipality, in a preparatory class. She began to think about setting up on her own.
”The money you earn from your work has a different taste”Hesho Hama Rashid
– I came into a men's world, there aren't many women who want to own a car-wash.
Leading a firm, daring to take responsibility and making the right decisions gave her confidence.
– The money you earn from your work has a different taste.
She dreamt of studying in her home country.
– But circumstances did not allow that. I decided to start studying here instead. I completed my upper secondary school studies, and was accepted for university. I studied HR (Human Resources) at Högskolan Kristianstad and graduated in 2009.
”We strongly believe that we can do more to increase integration.”Hesho Hama Rashid
– Because of difficult circumstances I had to leave the car-wash business I started and move to Kristianstad, to work at Manpower.
There she supported and helped job-seekers to find a place on the labour market.
Hesho has recently found a new job, in Kristianstad municipality.
– Yes, as integration co-ordinator. We strongly believe that we can do more to increase integration. In fact I have lots of ideas I'd like to discuss with my colleagues.
Who is Hesho Hama Rashid?
Age: 43, with two children.
Family: Married to Ahmed. Has two daughters, Hevi, aged 24, and Hanna, 4.
Grew up: in Iraq, in Kurdistan.
Lives: in Tollarp.
Work: Integration co-ordinator in Kristianstad municipality. In her leisure time she is one of Sweden's biggest influencers in furnishing, with more than 317,000 followers.
”I work with 60 or so firms, both local, Swedish and international. I display their products.and provide links to their firms. So they get very good publicity in home surroundings”.