Home is where someone feels respected and recognised? Sweden told to embrace diversity

By Dr. Saadia Hasanen

This article is meant to draw attention to some of the accomplishments of Eritrean Diaspora once they establish themselves in their host country where the rule of law and human rights are respected.  One such example is our Brother Arhe Hamadnaca who has recently won a seat in the Swedish Parliament (his second country).  I dwell on the phenomenon of home by looking at last week’s success of Arhe Hamednaca in Sweden.

In Sweden, the question of who you are and where you come from, is part of everyday life of an immigrant. One is constantly reminded of one’s ‘otherness’, every time people ask you about your origin, especially if a person does not share the visual physical attributes of an ethnic Swede. This is because in the universe of the nation states people are attached to a country and it assumed that they have an emotional attachment which is difficult to adjust in other than that (Bakwell, 2005). There is an implicit idea that immigrants that leave areas of their origin (home) involuntarily, fixed at a geographical location  to which they will continue to long while they live in another place.  However, despite this paradox, one can say those who work hard might find life in Sweden very nice..  Arhe`s success proved and challenged the notion of a nation state and home not being a fixed place.

Like the rest of us, Arhe left Eritrea against his will. But this did not stop him from being ambitious and creative in his new country ,Sweden. It is common knowledge that refugees leave their countries of origin against their will, but this does not suggest that they will stop living their lives and pursue their dreams. Refugees including Eritrean refugees once they live their area of origin they try to do something with their lives. In their new setting, they manage to build new home that can be different from what they used to have. This is because the notion of home is not always linked to geographical location. Over time, people can develop new identities and perspectives that can influence their conception of home which is substantially different from the one they upheld when they first fled their country. Contrary to received wisdom, the notions of exile and home are continuously negotiated, contested and transformed in accordance with the ever-changing socio-economic and political situations in the country of asylum and origin. I take this opportunity to congratulate Arha on his hard won seat in the Swedish Parliament.

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Posted by on Oct 6 2010 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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