Somali Parents in Sweden: Our children were born here and don't know elsewhere and we were born in Somalia and don't know elsewhere!
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This is a story you always hear from the streets where Somalis come together or when you pay a visit to a friend who has children, but is not satisfied life in Sweden. You can personally just reason that we Somalis in western countries ended up a situation which we were not prepared for and after I have read books about the fate of immigrant nations as we Somalis are today, I come to the conclusion that no door open to Somalis parents in western countries than to "make an integration”, but what does this mean? For the last 10 years, I have been trying to understand the really meaning which this word bears and yet I feel that the word is still foreign to me in terms of immigration policy. The word is widely used by every politician either from right or left wing, liberal or conservative for both positive and negative ends. I think the word itself is complex and abstract which make that it remains to be mysterious to many of us. On the other hand, to set a personal definition to the word "integration”, as I am going to do now, I suppose, one must be either an immigrant or politician in one of European countries, because it is only here where one has a possibility to see the word concretely, as a living force. For my part I can simply say that this word is the only weapon of every politician who has failed to accomplish his immigration policy, what every the cause it would be, he/she has this abstract word "integration” to use. Shortly, by the side of immigrants, the word stands for the only way that guarantees for an immigrant a successful life while the politicians always use it as justifications for their tougher rules for immigrants. The key question here is that why some European Countries open their borders to so many immigrants every year? In other words what do they need of them? This question I was asked by my old respectful teacher (Mohamed Xagal) three years ago when I visited him at his home in H/Wadaag Mogadishu Somalia. I had really never speculated of the question before although I had been living in Sweden 10 years before I met him, but the simply answer I gave was ”I didn’t know” because it was better to say I don’t know than to imagine and come to unsatisfied conclusion.
Why do European Countries open their borders to so many immigrants every year?
Over 160 000 arrived to only Sweden as asylum seekers last year stated one of popular newspapers DAGENS NYHETER (DN) December the 2th 2016 in Sweden, I really can not exactly say how many percent of these are Somalis, but I assume that they fill a large number. But by answering the question why people are needed here, out of many speculations which the scholars or the experts of this field have made by studying the same question I favor to cite one from Paul Scheffer’s book Immigrant Nations. He said: Some believe that the west’s middle class can’t survive without an underclass and that nowadays that underclass must be imported, since social advancement means cheap labour is no longer available within richer countries 2011: p,79. Because, after a long observation of my own I come to the same conclusion, that we as immigrants are prepared to fill an underclass. Although I am not always counted as pessimistic, here is the reason why the result of my observation has become negative- that all people of immigrant background are only fit to fill underclass. The key and central term of my article is, as I started, the term "Integration” because whenever the immigrants are to be burdened, it is only through integration.
What is integration?
In my own definition, integration is the means to prepare the immigrants in European countries particularly where I live in Sweden to fill the underclass so that there are used by the second class of the indigenous people. This definition is confirmed by the recent integration policy of the present Swedish administration headed by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. November 23rd 2016 my eyes accidentally caught an article with a tittle” I did it my way, said Mr. Löfven on the newspaper DAGENS NYHETER (DN). The article started with a question: integration, integration, integration how can we resolve this (the increasing immigrants) with the integration? By reading the article I have learnt that November 17th 2016 the present administration in Sweden handed in a contract which is aimed to create 500 jobs with a lower wages for the new immigrants to the department of employment office in Sweden and will also be increased to 5000 in the year 2020. The idea behind this task is, according to the article, that many of immigrants who with an adult-age are increasingly arriving to this country lack an education or skill which in terms of the quality is incompatible to Swedish labour-markets. They are not able to produce a high quality production compared with the one to the indigenous people. On the other hand, it seems that these adult-age immigrants cannot even after hand obtain a higher education to compete with Swedish people so that the choice, according to the article, is between to create jobs with lower salary for immigrants in order to make integration or give them the welfare money for the rest of their life.
The unemployment rate among immigrants is 15% compared with the indigenous people, the Swedish which is 5%. I believe this kind of solution may at least create some jobs to the new immigrants; on the other hand my objection to the solution is its future psychological effects on our children, I will explain this in final part of my essay. However, the Somalis and I myself are among the immigrants in this condition; either to be an underclass, a lower income worker for every job we do or be economically dependent on what we call "social bidrag” lacagta cayrta) in Swedish language respective Somalia. The rest of my essay is going to concern Somalis reaction in the process, how lite they are aware of this fact and further their endeavor to seek an escaping door, without really knowing the cause of the consequence.
Our children were born here and don’t know elsewhere and we were born in Somalia and don’t know elsewhere!
This statement can be viewed as a consequence of the integration policy of some of the European countries like Sweden which has been a destination to so many immigrants every year, nonetheless with all the facts that I have described on the above parts of my essay there are a very few Somalis who are familiar with or are interested in the debates with which the questions of their future of life in Sweden are discussed in order at least to know the sources of the problems which caused to some of them to be unhappy to the life in Sweden. I always divide Somalis in Sweden two groups, accordingly how long they have been living in Sweden and by narrating the frustration created by integration, and they give different stories: it is always the old group (not newcomers) who address that they are here in Sweden because of their children. For the children, they say, were born in Sweden and don’t know elsewhere and without knowing why many of them (if they had jobs) are employed with a lower income, they close the conversation that they were born in Somalia, the only escaping gate, and don’t know elsewhere. The other group which I call the newly arrived ones, most of them shows their reaction of the processes with a regret of the good life, as they always put it, they left behind. But which group I myself belong to is, I think, an important question which my readers may wonder.
The group I am belonging to and the future of Somali children in European countries!
Chronically I am belonging to the old group although my children have not reached an age that they can independently decide where on earth they would prefer to live either in Sweden or elsewhere. But as an immigrant parent I see a darker future even for my children if they remain to live in Sweden if the integration policy is not improved with regard to "a social equality”, because I don’t want my children too to fill underclass as I do right now. I have been working as a teacher of Swedish as a second language for the last six years and recently have gotten the certificate of the subject I teach from Goteborg University. With all my six years of experience as a teacher I still work with a lower wages compared with the other teachers whom I work with. Although, in Sweden the salary is also based on the individualism system, on the other hand I do the same job as my colleagues and not get the same wages simply because I am not trained as a formal teacher according to Swedish system. But, why am I worried about my children who were born in Sweden and have a better chance than me to prepare themselves for the future so that they can escape from the misfortune that their parents are coping with now?
Here is the reason: the educational successfulness for the children is much determined by among other factors the life at home, particularly the attitude of the parents to the society they live with. This is one of the social factors that directly and indirectly can affect their school progress. In this respect, children with parents frustrated by the effects of unknown integration system which is based on only a tougher rules to immigrants have, in my point of view, a zero chance to escape from the same misfortune that their parents are suffering now that is to say to fill the underclass.