Waiting for an Unknown Time: Asylum Seekers in Denmark

Collection with 10 media items created by Romina Vinci

Denmark 05 Sep 2015 12:00

Ranum, north of Jutland in Denmark hosts an asylum center that is home to over 400 people waiting to find out if they will be given asylum. They can stay in this center for months, or even years, depending on the Danish immigrations services in based in Copenhagen. They are far away from their home countries and from their families, searching for the promised land that they always dreamed of, but for many of them, the present looks empty. These are a few of their stories.

Syria Denmark Europe Asylum Seekers Refugees Eu Migration Civil War

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 01
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
05 Sep 2015

Abdulnaser, 16, is talented with foreign languages. After four months in Ranum, he can speak a little Danish.
He from one of many Syrian families waiting in Ranum's Asylum Center to be recognized as refugees.

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 02
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
05 Sep 2015

"€œA bomb destroyed our home in Damascus," said Mohammad, a 54 year-old Palestinian from Syria. "We sold the car and everything to find money to escape as soon as possible. There was no other way to survive." Mohammed remembers everything clearly. "€œIt was a long and dangerous journey crossing from Turkey to Greece and Italy by boat. We arrived in Denmark just with 20 dollars."

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 03
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
05 Sep 2015

Najwa is arabic teacher, and in Syria she also worked for the United Nations. Her husband is an engineer, and one of his sons studied Engineering at the University of Damascus.
Her family waits at the Ranum Asylum Center in Denmark to be recognized as refugees.

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 04
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
05 Sep 2015

The youngest of the family is Ahmed, 8 years old. He is a bright boy, and he likes to stay outside playing with the other kids. Sometimes, suddenly, he puts his hands up to his ears and start to tremble.

"He remember the sound of the bombs in Damascus," explains his mother, Najwa. "It'€™s impossible to forget. My hair has gone completely white."

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 05
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
03 Sep 2015

In Ranum, north of Jutland, a group of asylum seekers spends one of the first spring days at the beach. They come from Africa, and the harsh Danish winter has really taken a toll on them.

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 06
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
03 Sep 2015

Salina comes from Eritrea. She arrived in Denmark with a broken arm. She had an accident in the Sahara desert while trying to reach in Tripoli from Sudan.

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 07
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
05 Sep 2015

In their kitchen where they live now in the Ranum Asylum center, hanging on the shelves there are many signs with a word: "€œPositive"€."

"People who lived here before us have left these papers, and we like to keep them, because it'€™s good luck€," said Mohammad, a 54 year-old Palestinian from Syria.

He and his wife Najwa have five children, but the oldest, Ezzat, 22, lives separated from his family now. He was caught in Bulgaria.

"€œNow he is in Germany," continues Mohammad'€™s wife, "and we are here waiting for the results of our interview. If it is positive, we can get to him, because of family reunification. Otherwise, we don'€™t know."

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 08
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
03 Sep 2015

Deni, 4 years old, is from Ingushetia, one of the poorest republics in Russia, near Chechnya. His father had been tortured in prison for two weeks. Deni hates Denmark. Every morning when he wakes up he starts crying.

"I want to go home," he repeats. He does not have any friends in Ranum Asylum Center, because most of the kids speak Arabic or other languages, and he only speaks Russian. He always plays alone. The walls of his new 'home' are adorned with his drawings.

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 09
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
05 Sep 2015

Hardi (left), a 30 year-old Kurd from Iraq, sits with another Kurd from Iraq, Hemem, (right) while he talks on the phone with his family. Ten years ago he escaped to Europe.

"€œI can't go back to my country," Hardi said. "They will kill me."

This is the only thing that he said about his past. At first he went to Sweden, then Finland, but his asylum requests were denied in both countries.

"€œIn 2008, my wife and my two children came to Denmark. We spent one year waiting, but the government decided to deport us to Iraq."

Hardi stayed in Baghdad not more than two weeks before then he was obliged to leave his family and to fee again.

"€œI went to Iran, then Turkey, and after a dangerous journey I arrived in England€."

Great Britain also rejected him, and he spent two years in England living on the street with no news of his family. Now he is back in Denmark. He has done three interviews and went to court to plead for asylum. The verdict was that he is not sure to stay in Denmark, but that he also can't go back to Iraq because his life is in danger.

Thumb sm
Asylum-Seekers in Denmark 10
Ranum, Denmark
By Romina Vinci
13 Aug 2015

During a party, Ali (left) asks Kisanet (middle) to dance to his favorite Sri Lankan song. Ali was born in Ampara, and he left his country two years ago.