[r] Ok, my name is [name] and I’m from Somalia and I’m 22 years old and yes…

[i] When did you come from Somalia to Belgium?

[r] From uh…  2013 … Yes …

[i] And how was the trip to Belgium?

[r] Um… well actually …  I came from Somalia to Ethiopia and from Ethiopia to here, but when I went to Ethiopia, it was difficult but …  from Ethiopia to Belgium by plane, so to speak …

[i] Can you tell us briefly what the journey from Somalia to Ethiopia was like?

[r] First by plane from my country, Somalia, and then I had to go to a country called Djibuti.  From there we had to take the bus and that was very dangerous.  We had to cross the border between Ethiopia and Somalia and that is very difficult to do by car.  We also ran into a prison, and we had to stay there for a day and a night, and then we finally got out and continued our journey.  That was really difficult and yes …  And it was the first time I went to another country.

[i] Were you afraid sometimes when you were traveling?

Yes, I was really scared because it was my first time and I didn’t know everything and I was also with people who…  with my family and those, who were also…  For them it was also the first time they travelled and we were all just women, there was no man with us and…  and that was really a bit frightening.

[i] So you felt unsafe because you were only with women?

[r] Being with women, yes…

[i] Has there been a moment when you thought: I actually want to go back to my house in Somalia?

Neither, because then there was war and all that.  I know, we had a hard time in our country and that’s why we were …  That’s why we wanted to go to another country so …  I didn’t want to go back, but I always wanted to go forward so I could find a better life, otherwise I’m having a hard time, so to speak …

[i] Yes …

[r] Yes …

[i] So you had arrived in Ethiopia?

[r] Huh?

[i] So you were finally in Ethiopia?

[r] Yes.

[i] Did you stay there long, in Ethiopia?

[r] One year.

[i] Mhm…

[r] To wait for papers and stuff, to get everything in order to come here and stuff.

[i] How old were you when you left Somalia?

[r] Um, 16 years old.

[i] 16 years old.

[r] I was almost 16 years old and then…  So 16 years so to speak … just…

[i] So you were actually still a teenager then?

[r] Yes.

[i] Yes.  And what did you think of your parents’ decision to leave Somalia?

[r] I liked it because I didn’t feel safe in my country anymore, and also didn’t feel safe in my house anymore.  And always I heard the sounds of, how do you say that …  those guns and so I…

[i] Yes, guns…

[r] Yes, guns and so on…  And I couldn’t go outside anymore, I couldn’t even go shopping because it was dangerous to go outside so I felt totally… for our uh…  safety I thought it was good that we went away to a …  better … place … better place!

[i] So it was better…

[r] Yes, it was better to just leave.

[i] Did you have to leave family, there in Somalia, behind?

[r] Yes, my mother unfortunately, and my other sister and my father are still in my country.  Yes, I have my mother now five, I think… seven years …  no wait he … six years I haven’t seen my mother.  And that’s hard, she couldn’t come with us … Yes.

[i] And do you often miss her?

Yes, I really miss her a lot.

[i] What moments have you missed her most since you left?

[r] Just to have your mother is just a part of your life.  Sometimes you need support, sometimes you just have a mother who, if you’re not feeling well or if you have problems with feminine things, you can just go directly to her, that’s just a mother…  Yes, I can’t say more so you know what a mother understands, so…

[i] There is no one who has replaced a place of her anyway?

[r] No, my father did his best… and yes…

[i] Because you live with your daddy now?

Yes, and with my sister.  Yes, I’m fine now but I still miss my mother so …

[i] Yes… Would you like to go back to Somalia?

[r] Yes, if I can.  Yes, I would really like to go back to my country to see my mother.

[i] And wouldn’t you like your mother to come here from Somalia as well?

[r] Yes, to here… but for my mother …  I would have liked to stay in my country, but because it’s not as good as it used to be, or just not safe anymore … It’s just hard to live there.

[i] So you would like to go back yourself?

[r] Yes.

[i] And why would you rather live in Somalia than here?

[r] Mhm, because I grew up there and, uh…  I know everyone there, and my whole family is there, and there I grew up to my 16 and …  remained. That’s just something… of course.  In my country it is different, for example here I have lived for 5 years and here it is not bad and I have a better life and so, but in my country I had …  how do you say that … I had uh…  I found it even better.  Because in my country everything around me just…  My family, people I know, everyone speaks my language and then everything is easier for me.

Okay, so the language makes it easier for you, too?

[r] Yes.

[i] So…

[r] And also… just family and people you just know.

[i] Yes, yes, yes.

[r] That makes for me…

[i] So it’s actually a bit strange here for you… still?

[r] Yes, because yes. Here I sometimes find it difficult, I…  can’t reach everyone…  you’re not welcome at all, you know?  My language is not yet perfect and some people are not going to accept you because you might not know the language well, because sometimes you might er…  are someone from another country and you are not …  always welcome and you don’t feel that way either…

[i] So you feel really, you like living here but you don’t feel welcome …

[r] Not in every place.

[i] Not every place… Yes …

[r] No …

[i] That was the case in Somalia…

[r] Yes … they are just …  your people, you know who they are and you can just…  Yes …  I also think that for every person, if you know people, it is easier.  I also mean the language and also the culture and everything, you know how to deal with it … and those are just your people.

[i] Yes.

[r] But here it is different.

Yes, yes.

[r] And that’s normal hey, I was born there and…  and I haven’t been here long, and it’s normal that it’s different for me.

Do you think things are going to get better with time?

[r] I hope so.  Yeah, but, quietly, maybe… Yes …  But yes, it has been difficult, my first years it was really difficult to just here …

What is one of the stories that you have of your first years, that you say this was really not normal for example.

[r] Uh pfff, I’m just… in my language I really did my best…  Uh… When I went to school for the first time and I couldn’t speak the language, it was hard for me to know the language so quickly.  But I just went to school and some people are bullying you.  I had the experience that I was in a class, where everyone came from Belgium, and I was bullied and I couldn’t talk and they laughed every time and I had to shut up.  I had to change schools, I had gotten a lot of stress so…  I always felt, that I just…  was so lonely…  When I now see people in other schools who come from other countries, who are also like me, I feel better again, I feel: Ok, I’m the same as the rest.  But people who speak Dutch really well when I’m with them, then I feel … that I don’t yet …  I am one of them. That, when I also talk, they say: What do you say, how was that, and … ?  That gives me a… I can’t stand it, it’s hard.

[i] So you actually feel exactly that you’re… You are here, but you feel better with people who don’t come from Belgium either, instead of here.

[r] Yes, not everyone, but some do.

[i] Yes …  And uh… how have you been able to deal with that so far?

[r] Just by being patient and staying social, to…  if I can’t speak good Dutch either, that I ask a lot of questions, or that I just, uh… just talk…  (bumbling)

Yes, so you’ve learned that if you don’t speak enough Dutch, you just keep asking questions?

[r] Keep talking, doesn’t matter if that’s not right either.

[i] Yes.

[r] Yes, try so that people can understand me and just keep going, without paying attention to what people say and what they think about you … (stupid)

[i] Is that also the way in which you were able to learn Dutch very quickly within 5 years?

[r] I hope so.  Yes, I do my best.

[i] Mhm.

[r] Then I hope that after 5 years I can speak Dutch perfectly, but you never know.

And uh, you came here to Belgium, were you alone then or were you with someone else?

[r] No, I was with my two sisters…

[i] Two sisters…

[r] I just came here by plane.

[i] Mhm.

[r] Yes, that was all…

[i] And how did that go for them?  Do they still find it difficult to adapt?

[r] That goes … uh…  We all have the same thing, they also think it’s okay but not quite …  For us it is all the same, not …


[r] But my little sister does speak Dutch very well, she doesn’t have a hard time. My other sister doesn’t.

[i] And how old is your youngest sister?

[r] She is 16 years old.

[i] 16 years old… She was younger on arrival …

[r] Yes, younger on arrival, so it was easier.

[i] That’s an advantage sometimes he … Yes … ok …  And uh… you are from Somalia … uh … your faith…  Uh … what is your religion?

[r] Muslim.

[i] Muslim… Yes … And did this also play a role in your journey?

[r] What do you mean?

[i] So when you came here from Somalia, did it play an important role in your journey? That sometimes you thought of …  Have there been times when you still held on to your faith?

[r] I can’t understand that very well …

[i] Have you had moments during your journey where you had a lot of support for your faith?

[r] Support as what? …

Support as in uh, when it was difficult for example, or that you were sad, and because you went to pray for God or for Allah, that you felt stronger then.  That it played a role during your journey also …

Yes, yes, always, we pray to God and we talk …  and we hope that everything will be okay but… we always do that with us …  We say ‘Doha’, we always do … when you’re having a hard time.

Did you do a lot during your trip?

[r] Yes, a lot done yes, always …  That did help a lot …  Yes …

[i] And still?

Yes, always, because I believe in God and because I am a Muslim, I do what I feel …


[r] … can help me.

Yes. Is it also harder for you to find your place here in Belgium, because you are Muslim?

[r] No, because of that I don’t have any problems.

[i] No, no …

[r] That goes …

[i] Yes, ok, ok …

[r] I don’t feel racism because I’m Muslim.

[i] When do you feel racism, if I may ask?

[r] Uh, I feel racism …  by my language…

Your language.

[r] Always. And my colour too, but I don’t pay much attention to that.  My color and all that, it doesn’t matter, I don’t pay attention to it because I just know that I’m a good person.  But because of my language… sometimes… I mainly have real problems because of my language.  People are…  people here usually speak good Dutch and that’s normal that they don’t find it easy when people don’t speak good Dutch.

[i] So you actually feel, yes, discriminated against by your lack of language.

[r] Yes.

[i] Of the Dutch language.

[r] Yes.

[i] And you are a Somali muslim woman.

[i] Yes.

[i] All those things around it is nothing, but only your language you find …

[r] Yes, my language, because the other things aren’t things I care about, that’s just for me …

[i] Wow…

[r] Yes.

[i] That’s, uh…

[r] I just don’t care about that at all… Yes …  Where other people have problems with skin color and those things, they don’t feel like racism to me …  I’m just proud of who I am.

[i] Mhm.

[r] Because I just don’t see me.

[i] Because that’s normal for you…

[r] Yes, because it’s normal for me.


[r] But I’ve also seen dark people who were racist towards white people so that’s in every person, every country has people who are a bit racist.  That is normal … and I just don’t care about that.

Mhm, yes, yes.

[r] But what I do care about is just the language.  I just have a problem and that’s the language and yes …  Mmm.

[i] Yes, and what do you want to do about your language?

[r] Hmm?

[i] What do you want to do about your language in the future?

[r] (SIGHS) … I always try to make contact with people, to talk to people, so that it just becomes normal.  And uh…  I hope then everything goes better …  Yes, I can’t… but I always do my best and then I talk a lot of Dutch and yes …  That’s why I hope it goes better and better and that I can talk normally like the rest.  But now I also feel a bit good but not yet …

Yes, not quite …

[r] Yes, because I now work in a restaurant and in the restaurant sometimes …  usually you come into contact with people.

[i] Mhm, and how is that for you when you talk to the people in the restaurant?

[r] I do have stress sometimes when there is a group …  Going to a family and asking what they want to eat and drink and sometimes I get stress but …  I try to come to myself and say what I …  If I don’t understand, I say I don’t understand.  But most of the time people are nice to me, but some people aren’t either.  Some people also act weird, but yes …

[i] What’s the weirdest thing you’ve experienced so far?

[r] (SIGHS) … that I just asked someone what they wanted to drink and that person looked at me like that, and didn’t answer.  And I have said: Madam…  And the other person next to her said: She didn’t understand you…  Can you speak louder?  And I thought of … ooh not again … and yes …  And I just repeated it clearly and…  that person has ordered for her.  And then I felt really hurt but…

Yes, because that other person you had understood but the lady next to it …

[r] Yes, that was a bit weird, but yes …  There’s nothing I can do about it.

[i] That hurt you anyway, yes…

[r] Because you can really see that that person understands you but…

Yes, there is more.

[r] Yes, that there is more and that is sometimes … that is sensitive to me.  So I just pay attention to this, and I get stronger and stronger every time and hope that I won’t have any more problems later on… with that language … I hope so.

[i] And your colleagues in the restaurant, what do they do if you tell them something like that?

[r] Uh… When I tell them, they say: people are difficult, just don’t pay attention…  just keep going and… Yes ….

[i] That’s important.

[r] Yes… that’s important…

[i] Have you been yourself so far… Um, you still have… yes …. formerly … you have, uh…  Normally you would bring a picture?

[r] Yes.

Could you perhaps describe what that picture is, and why it’s so special to you?

[r] It’s a picture of my mother, my sister and me when we were very little…  And we are standing in front of our house in my country and…  That picture is just a reminder of when my country was good.  And we had no problems, and everything … the people were…  happy. We just had a happy life, the picture reminds me of that …  And now it hangs in my room, and that’s why I think it’s important, when I had …  I don’t remember when I was little, but my father always tells me what the country was like and how we lived and all those things, and that makes me happy and…  That’s just something that is a memory for me… Yes … that’s just… yes…

[i] And what would you like to wish for your country now?

[r] I hope that it will be okay in my country, and that there will be no bombs and …  that people no longer die for nothing, that my country becomes quiet so that we can just go back and just build a new life …

[i] Have you ever understood why your country is at war?

[r] Because people don’t listen to each other.  Because every person wants to be the boss, and therefore … the land is just for me…  it feels that way. That every person doesn’t want to listen, and that doesn’t work, and then fighting and…  because of that, nothing is going to be okay …

[i] So mainly because of misunderstandings, everyone wants …

[r] Yes.

[i] Saying something, wanting something and that doesn’t go well really.

[r] And most of the time everyone wants to be the boss, and that’s the problem … Yes.

[i] Yes, and Somalia is a big country, isn’t it?

Yes, yes, yes, it is.

[i] Many people live there.

[r] Yes.

[i] But there is no structure now…

[r] No, no, not at all, it’s just all mixed up …  And every time it just gets worse and worse, sometimes it gets calmer and then worse and that is …  that’s all complicated…

[i] Are they all people from Somalia itself who are at war?  Or is it also from outside Somalia?

[r] There are soldiers from Uganda there … in my country …  And they have been brought there to fight against two Somali groups who are against each other … and that doesn’t help either…  That makes it even worse, and that’s the government and a group called Al Shabaab, that’s …  That conflict is just between those two …

Yes, and then there is also a Ugandan group …

Yes, there and …  Then it gets even worse, yes.  People just die, die, die, die, die. Nothing comes back just fine … Yes …  And we just live in other countries where we don’t feel quite right and …  Yes … Our country is just so… and that is for a long time, 30 years or so …  That is so it happens… that there is war …  and I grew up in it so that’s…

[i] Mmh…

[r] Sometimes it was good in my country, but that did not last long, for example 2 years that it was quiet and that everyone was happy and so, and then it started again and then ….

[i] Mhm.

[r] Yes.

[i] So you actually grew up in the war too…

Yes, just grown up.

[i] In Somalia it’s actually, as you say, been going on for almost 30 years …

[r] Yes.

[i] So you were born in it, you left it too.

[r] Yes.

[i] And…

[r] And then…

[i] Then you are still going…

[r] Yes, it’s gotten worse but…

[i] Yes …  But there are also parts in Somalia that don’t have a war?

[r] Yes, but those parts also want to become another country …  So yes. But the part in which I lived is the part that always has problems.

[i] Okay, and where was that?

[r] Mogadishu.

[i] Mogadishu, that is the capital.

[r] The capital yes …

And what do you remember of the capital? …

[r] I remember …  Nice things and bad things … many things …

[i] What are the nicest things you can say right now: I remember that… ?

[r] The nicest things were just…  just… the school…  Going to my school… because I didn’t go out much either, I wasn’t allowed to either.  But I didn’t like much either.  Girls there usually have to stay inside. When they go outside it’s just going to school …  or they buy something for the house, otherwise they were not allowed.

[i] Mhm.

[r] So, I couldn’t go outside much but if I could go outside …  I was just going to school… and…  just go outside, walk with friends, just go to school and come back.  So I didn’t come to the capital much and so…

[i] Ok.

[r] I lived there, but the capital … there is a marketplace …  But I remember a lot of police who were there… and when you’re there you get really scared. There were a lot of different police between the road and the cars, that’s a bit…  completely different.

[i] Different from here.

[r] Yes.

[i] Yes.

[r] Yes.

And what is one of the worst memories you have of Mogadishu?

[r] Worst memory is uh… that I just, where I lived…  that when that conflict between the government and the Shabaab started, how much I did a lot of uh… how do you say that … those things…  those bombs and stuff…

And guns.

[r] And guns and stuff, different… we couldn’t go outside and we had to stay inside our house for a week and we couldn’t even go outside.  And every time we heard those sounds and stuff, and one day we were allowed to go outside and buy something because we had nothing left to eat … and …  I see people lying on the street, dead, who are dead and you step over those people and you walk on because you are just hungry.  And you just want to eat something, and you can’t even look at the people anymore and you just keep walking… maybe…  There are only two hours when it is quiet and you have to bring the food home quickly, otherwise it starts again …  And I just had to walk over dead people, and that was really bad to see…  And yes, that was the worst thing I’ve experienced, seeing someone die and you just have to keep walking because you can’t help him because that’s …  Yes, I felt, if I was that person, I would just be dead and I just had no help…

Did you feel powerless?

Yes, no power, you just don’t have power.  Even if you want to help someone, there is no hospital to bring that person.  Your own safety isn’t even there, so you can’t help that person, you just have to run for your life so…

[i] For yourself…

[r] Yes, for yourself just…


[r] We had to stay in our house for a week, I got a depression…  I was afraid, I just got a very severe depression, that I…  That I just didn’t… was normal…

[i] Yes, even after seeing those people of course.

Yes, and a very good friend of ours, we always played together and stuff, and one day he also died, so all that made me really …  I was even afraid of my own mother, and of everyone.  And I thought: that person is going to kill you, this and that…

[i] Have there been times when you thought of … this is…  I might be next, that you thought of: we’re not going to survive…

Yes, when we were traveling to Ethiopia and we had to go to prison, and my mother had been angry because we were in a very dark room with many people, and my mother …  Because a girl had fainted because of the heat and stuff, and the police standing outside wanted no one to go outside.  And my mother got really angry and she said words they didn’t want to hear.

[i] Mhm.  But with those police there are no sweet people, they are very aggressive, and then …  If they heard those words, they would kill you right away.  Then I was really scared and I was really crying, I didn’t know when I would be allowed to go outside, or if we should stay there. Did we ever get away? And I was really… like: when am I going to leave this world, this …  You name it… When do I go to a place where I don’t have to be afraid?

So you were actually like: maybe better not to be here…

[r] Yes.

[i] Yes.

[r] Better to just…  to be gone, because there had been problems, problems, problems for a long time…  And that made me tired, then you think… the world is just a problem …  Yes, but here it is quieter, you hear nothing more and so …

[i] So Belgium was actually a bit of a relief …

[r] Yes, and you do have a hospital where you can go if you get sick.

[i] Yes.

[r] If you get sick there it’s just expensive, or there are no good doctors …

[i] Yes.

[r] Mhm.

[i] There you have to pay first before they help you.

[r] Yes.


[r] And every time I thought: if someone ever gets shot or something, what are we going to do?  If you go to the hospital, you have to pay for that person first.


[r] Yes, and that person will see if you have enough money.  Every time I thought: who is going to have a problem?  And now I’m still afraid because my mother is there and yes … I still have it bad, because I’m safe, and I always think about my mother…

[i] So you’re afraid that one of your family members or your mom…

[r] Yes.

[i] If anything happens to her and she has to go to the hospital…

[r] Yes. And now maybe, because I’m here, I can pay money, but they don’t have good doctors there.

[i] Mhm.

[r] It’s just hard there, I think it’s important that there’s a good hospital, and that you just don’t hear guns or anything, so your life is easier. But without a hospital, I mind…

[i] Yes.

[r] Yes, so…  It is difficult yes …

[i] So on a political level there is unrest, but also the health care is actually not good …  in Somalia …

[r] Which one?

[i] The health care, so the hospital and …

[r] Very bad … yes …  If the hospitals were good, then …  maybe people had a better life.  But they both have them: they don’t have hospitals and they don’t have money, and they don’t even have a job, there isn’t much work there.  And if you are someone who has studied well and you know many things …  and you go to work… some people are going to kill you because you are someone who…  know a lot. That’s why my country kills people.

Wow.  So… my mother… she is…  she has finished her university, but sometimes she can’t work because some people…  They say: yes, she knows a lot. And they just go you without you knowing it…  You walk down the street and they kill you. Or they think that you know a lot of things, I don’t know, they really have a problem with that.  People who know things very well.  Or sometimes they just can’t find a job.

[i] So you are also punished because you have a lot of knowledge?

[r] Yes.  That’s just the problem, you can’t open your own business there …  They come to ask you for money, when you say you don’t have any money yet, they just shoot you …  So you just live, but there’s nothing you can do.  That is the biggest problem in my country.

[i] When do you think it will be solved?  Or do you think it will ever be solved?

[r] That’s a very good question but… I keep asking myself but…  I just don’t see anything coming out …  I think my country is never going to be good again, but everything can happen, that’s exceptional, but I don’t see anything right now that’s going to work out and change.  We have a new president every time, but worse or not better. Every time we have a new president, we just choose for nothing.

[i] Mhm.

[r] So I don’t see any… Yes …

[i] What do you think about, uh, Somalia, which is one of the … the diaspora of Somalia is very broad he, that is in almost all countries around the world …  I also visited Israel and Somalia a bit …  What do you think about the fact that there are so many Somalis, and that they cannot return to their country?

[r] Because they just know they don’t have a better place.  Why else do they want their country back?  If you ask people where they live, they are satisfied but not like in their country.

[i] Mhm.

[r] So, because it just isn’t quiet there. For example, today is good, you have no problems and so on, but tomorrow there will be problems again. So you move every time.  For example, this place is good today or a year, you stay there, but the next day is … It’s just that, you move over and over again.  People just get tired of that and…


[r] There is less place where you can work and then you have less money and then you don’t have good hospitals.

[i] Yes, so many people go abroad.

[r] Yes, that’s why many Somalis are foreigners in different countries.  Because they just don’t have a place where they can build a better life.  And my country has good weather, and I like it much better …  because the weather is good and also …  Yes, just because there are many good things …  But if it was quiet, I would never have come here.  It’s just my country.  Where I find the weather much better and so …  I always get jealous when I see how they live here and …  Then I always think about my country and I think: If you had like this…


[r] So, when you call, I always have a picture of: if your country was like that, you would be like that… You know what I mean?

[i] You actually compare Belgium with Somalia sometimes a bit.

[r] Yes, but I see… I used to watch videos, videos from the past, how people lived, what the girls wore, like here, everyone happy, you can wear what you want, you can believe what you want, and then I think of it:  Had I lived then, I would have seen a lot of things that I can’t see now.

[i] Mhm.

[r] So yes, in the past it was really like this, so to speak…

[i] Is that also the extremism that played a role?

[r] Who is extremism?

[i] Extremism, for example Al Shabaab and so on.

[r] Yes.

[i] That this also played a role?

[r] Yes, it really did play a big role.  Because of muslims, I am a better muslim, you are a worse muslim, that’s why it started to give much more fire.

[i] That people are going to compare their faith with each other.

[r] Yes, in my country the problem is just faith.  I am better, you are not better, I am better than you, I want […] .

[i] But in the end they are all Muslims.

Yes, and I think everyone should choose what they want to believe.

[i] Mhm.

[r] You just can’t be busy, in faith… just being busy that…  with what just makes you better, your country, or…  Leave everyone alone and believe, but in my country they just want to be the boss.  I know better, you don’t know better and…

[i] Mhm.

[r] That never comes… good.

[i] So, the faith does not share in the peace …

[r] No.  Just listen to each other and see … I just find that…  put aside the faith and also … that everyone has peace… they mix it up.

[i] Mhm, politics?

[r] Yes, politics and faith mix, that’s just not possible.

[i] Mhm.

[r] So some people just want their freedoms, who want to carry what they want and who just want…  do what they want, but Shabaab says that girls should wear headscarves and they shouldn’t go out without a man and that …  The conflict just goes like this, some people don’t want that and some people…  and so there are more problems. So they mix faith and politics together.

[i] Mhm.

[r] That’s the problem my country has now.  Al Shabaab no longer existed, but they now exist because of their bombs.  They come here today, nobody knows who they are because they behave like normal people, who throw a bomb …  and yes, 100 people are just dead at once…  So you can never know who Al Shabaab is and who isn’t.  So they exist as if… how do you say that… as if those…  that animal that lives in the sea… you just can’t know who Al Shabaab is…  It’s just like a fish in the sea, you just can’t know it.

[i] Mhm.

[r] How many people there just… Yes …  That’s the problem, so now we just have problems with bombs…  If there are 100 people dying at once…  Yes … and that’s exactly how it should be…  In almost 2 months once …  In 3 months once, I hear. They are bombs.  Now it has become exactly normal for me.  When I hear that a bomb has fallen in my country, that is exactly normal.

[i] Mhm … Don’t you mind that it’s … exactly… breathing has become actually?

[r] Yes.

[i] Isn’t it?

[r] That’s very bad, because that’s why I’m sometimes afraid when I go to my country, I want to take my mother to a better place … I’m thinking now.  That I can take my mother to a better place so that I can take her …  That I don’t have to be afraid anymore. But that’s a lot of money, then I have to see clearly …  You just don’t know, you go outside and you think it’s a good day …  you go to the store or something, and suddenly boom…  A bomb is underneath you and you don’t know…  And they don’t even tell you in advance, that they’re going to put a bomb …  Suddenly 100 people are gone, that’s what’s happening now …  Yes … Now that’s really a problem …

[i] Do you find the worst thing that they want to set the rules in the country or do you find the worst thing that they kill so many people?  Without knowledge, so just throw a bomb …

[r] Yes. I’m sorry that they just… with them there is no such thing as…  This is from the government, and this is the boss. They just want to kill as many people as possible, I think that’s just the way it is with them. They want fewer people.

[i] The people as well.

[r] Yes.

Yes, yes.

[r] They just go where a lot of people come together, for example shops.  A lot of people come and suddenly boom, I feel that they just want fewer people.  I don’t know what they think, but I hear every time…  200 people, 100 people, just dead at once.  And yes, that’s the worst part.  That’s very bad …  And they also throw bombs where people relax like by the sea …  Where people eat, and families, and where they have a good time.

[i] Yes.

[r] There they throw bombs, and that’s …  That’s the only place people think: okay, this place is a better place and all that. There they’re going to throw bombs and yes…  People are gone and that is very … to experience …

[i] Are there also people afraid of certain places?  That they don’t go there anymore because they think: There might be a bombardment?

[r] Yes.

Do you know that?

[r] Yes, just in most places where people just… If it’s a place where a lot of people come together, you should be afraid.

Yes, ok.

[r] That’s the only place where they…

[i] A place of risk then.

[r] Yes.

[i] Yes, yes…

[r] And that is usually …  to the …  […] where…  In the city.

[i] In the city, in a public place?

[r] Yes, where a lot of people come together, usually it just happens there.  If you go there then …  there’s less chance of being bombed.

[i] Hmm.

[r] Yes.  They are interested in more people, not in fewer people.  Then the bomb takes a lot of people at once, they don’t want the whole bomb to take only one person.  I’m sorry that one person spends so much time to place that bomb.  I think that person is … They just want to kill a lot of people in one day.  That feeling of that person, I want to talk to that person someday, someone who does that, how …

[i] How he feels.

[r] How he feels. You come to a place where everyone is happy, buying something, doing something when you know those people will be dead in a few minutes. That’s…  scary.

[i] That’s interesting indeed.

[r] Yes, that’s very interesting.

[i] Do you have any wishes for Somalia? What do you hope for the future of Somalia?

[r] I hope that everything … well comes …  I hope that everything … I hope that we have peace to …  better … just have a good life… I wish forever …  And that’s all I can say. I never know if it will be good again, but I hope it will come back one day.  But I want to see it someday.  Before I grow old, or die, I want to see my country that is good again.  Yes, I don’t know.  How people are behaving now, I don’t see anything good coming out of it.  But yes …

[i] So you’re a little critical of the future, you don’t know…

[r] Yes.

[i] You’re a little afraid that it’s not uh…

[r] Yes… I also always say to my father…  I don’t think my country will ever come back, but what do you think?  And he says…  That will be all right! So he gives me a positive answer.  So I don’t have bad thoughts and stuff.  But I see…  Because I also look a lot at politics and so on …  but I see how people behave …  I really don’t think anything will work out.  Those politicians, there aren’t any either…  I agree, you know?  They fight too.  And then nothing comes out.

[i] Hmm.

[r] So yes …  But you never know.  But yes, I hope one day they just decide that they…  just make a decision that they no longer, that those …  I don’t know.  That’s what I hope for…

And what is your wish for yourself?

[r] For myself?  (SIGHS)

Tell me in five years, where do you see yourself in the future?

[r] I see myself in the future…  Just what I like to do, I want to be an actress…  Somali actress.

[i] Mhm.

[r] So I see…

[i] Mhm.

[r] Within five years I see…  that I have finished my studies and that I have moved on with my …  with what I would like to do with my… just become an actress and better yes…  Making films or Somali films.

[i] Mhm.

[r] That it made me …  become known … by …  people, Somali people and also others. But most of all I want to become a Somali actress.

[i] And why Somali? Why only really … that you say: I want to be a Somali …

[r] Because we don’t have very good films like the rest, for example American films or just Belgian films, we don’t have that yet.  We just have short films and they don’t do that well, they don’t act that well either.  So I want to make it better, so that the world can see that we can do the same.  That is why I want to …  Becoming a Somali actress in order to … to just make good Somali films …  to be able to make good films.

[i] Ok.

[r] Because I like to act, I also have … theatre and I just love to do that.  And I also want to make things for the others, for the Somalis.

[i] So you also want to influence the Somali world.

[r] Yes, yes.

[i] Yes, with your talent as an actress.

[r] Yes, indeed…

[i] And you also do movies or … ?

Yes, we are now … in a group … and we do short films.  We’re starting now, but we want to grow quietly and get better.

[i] Also all Somali youngsters?

[r] Yes.

[i] Yes.

[r] A Somali group.

[i] Yes, do you like to work with Somali youngsters?

[r] Yes, I like that.

[i] Yes.

[r] We founded the group ourselves.  First I was with another youngster, now there are 5 or 6 other youngsters and we all want to make something better.

Yes, ok … That’s good.

[r] And that’s my… wish for the future …


[r] For myself.

[i] Super… Thank you …

[r] Please.

[i] Would you tell me anything else maybe? But I’ve asked all the questions…

[r] No, because I have nothing left in my head.


[r] No.

[i] That’s good, thanks [name] .

[r] Please. (bumbling)