A voice for newcomers in Sweden

What do young newcomers think of Sweden – and themselves?


Published: 07.Apr.2016 09:51 hrs

Some of the answers might surprise you. And some are sure to make you smile.

Earlier this year, The Local Voices brought you the story of Järfälla Fotbollsplugg ('Football school'), an initiative that uses sports and teamwork to help enrich the lives of unaccompanied refugee children who love the sport.

Following our initial meeting and story, we got back in touch with several of the programme's young participants to see if they'd be interested in sharing more about themselves. To facilitate the process, we distributed a short questionnaire for them to fill in and return to us so we could literally see what they had to say about themselves, their dreams, and their new country.

And of course, you can't talk to young footballers without asking about their favourite players.

Among this group of 13 aspiring footballers, Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was by far the most popular player, amassing nine votes. Coming in a distant second was Spain and Barcelona star Lionel Messi, the favourite of two of the Fotbollsplugg participants.

Some even drew pictures to accompany their words. Scroll on to find out who they are and what they have to say.

Alireza, 16 – Afghanistan

"A beautiful country with friendly people [sic]"

 

Bezhan, 17 – Kurdistan

"Best"

 

Azizullah,16 – Afghanistan

"No. No I am not in love because I am small"

 

Ali, 16 – Afghanistan

 

Jamshid, 16 – Afghanistan

"Sweden is one of the five best countries and really nice people"

 

Ali, 14 – Afghanistan

"Sweden is the best country."

 

Sayedi, 16 – Afghanistan

 

Zia, 17 – Afghanistan

 

Mohsen, 17 – Afghanistan

"Best"

 

More Stories

Anas Awad with his "Swedish family" told his story to The Local Voices

Sharing the best of The Local Voices

We told a lot of great stories in 2016. Did you get to read and share them all? READ
Haitian-born Canadian Adonis Stevenson retained his World Boxing Council light-heavyweight title on Saturday after fighting Sweden's Badou Jack to a majority draw in which no judge scored him a winner. READ
Title-holders Sweden booked their place in the final of the world ice hockey championships Saturday with a 6-0 whitewash of the United States. READ
A technical problem at Stockholm Arlanda airport on Saturday caused the cancellation of a large number of flights in and out of the airport. READ
Things are looking good for Swedes’ beloved strawberries. READ
Photo: Erik Gerhardsson

'History will record how everyone reacted to the Syrian tragedy'

Erik, a 21-year-old Swedish volunteer, reflects on his experience helping refugees in Sweden and abroad. READ
Experts have linked four deaths in western Sweden to the listeria bacteria. READ
The man was arrested at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport. READ
The Local looks at some potential jobs in Sweden that don't require the Swedish language. READ
Swedes are the most likely to place a high importance in the news media, according to a new study of major European countries. READ

This Iranian teaches Swedish online to 10,000 followers

"I’m exporting Swedish to my homeland." READ