A voice for newcomers in Sweden


Shakib Taaha fled Afghanistan with his family after a colleague was murdered by Islamist extremists. Now he’s living and working in Sweden, but doesn’t yet know if he’ll be allowed to stay. READ
Ingrid Sillen, a 68-year-old retired graphic designer, tells us about inviting 70 refugees to her home for dinner. READ
Newcomers to Sweden can struggle to settle in - but help is on hand in the form of a brand new online platform full of handy apps for language learners, job hunters, and anyone else trying to get by in their new home. READ
With much of the debate about asylum seekers in Sweden centred on young men, Göran Smith teamed up with five of his female friends to get girls off the sidelines and onto the football pitch. READ
Meet Roula al Naser, a 25-year-old accountant from Syria who arrived in Sweden on New Year’s Eve 2014, who wonders why, despite her qualifications, the only opportunity she had in Sweden is at a café. READ
Marketing manager Mouaddar Kouli had strong opinions about the way Sweden helped highly-qualified refugees into work. His ideas led to an innovative new programme to help people onto the right track. READ
Everyone at her asylum centre knows Reem Edlbi as “the genius kid” with a head for numbers and a knack for talking to adults. She tells The Local about her love for pretty much everything and everyone, especially her sick brother and her dad back in Lebanon. READ
64-year-old Hayat Ibrahim al-Sidawi turned to embroidery to battle boredom and horror during the Syrian civil war, and wants her work to offer a message of hope to others. READ
Being a Muslim hasn’t hampered Zain Elabdin’s attempts to integrate. In fact, this 26-year-old Syrian dentist sees lots of similarities between Islam and Swedish culture. READ
Syrian artist Racha Allababidi fell in love with her Swedish librarian. Now the couple are “like peas in a pod”, painting together and learning each others’ languages, as she builds a new life far from her war-torn homeland. READ
When Sweden struggled to cope last year with an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers Emil Julin felt he had to act. He tells The Local Voices why he started working at an accommodation centre for refugees, and why he thinks more Swedes should do what they can to help. READ
After two years in Sweden Mazen Albitar has shed layers of his old Syrian identity and feels he’s on his way to becoming more Swedish than the Swedes themselves. He tells The Local Voices why he thinks the country deserves more respect than it gets from some fellow newcomers. READ
She fled for her life after getting death threats in Syria. Now journalist Rowa Alkhatib has landed a plum job as a talk-show host with Sweden’s national radio broadcaster. She tells The Local Voices how she’s now helping quench Arabic speakers’ thirst for knowledge about their new home. READ
Anas Awad, from Damascus, has fallen in love with Sweden, its language and the people he now calls his 'Swedish family'. But he thinks Sweden could do more to capitalize on refugees' talents and desire to integrate. READ
Madeleine Racutanu works with refugees in Sweden, and says both newcomers and Swedes must do more to achieve effective integration. READ
Organizers and protestors told The Local Voices how the new laws will affect them. READ
Meet the Syrian bookworm who taught himself Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree after less than a year in the country. READ
Being Jewish in Syria was not easy, says Alanov, 25, who has been in Sweden since 2014, but he still dreams of returning home to help rebuild his country. READ
Volunteer Annica Ullhag loves meeting and talking to newcomers, but wonders why so many of her Swedish friends do not. READ