Sweden: Grappling with Iraqi refugees

In a recent news report about the Iraqi refugees in Malmö, a young Muslim women was quoted as saying the following:

"It feels like home. It feels like Iraq or another Arab land. I feel excellent in Malmö."

Many of the Iraqi refugees in Sweden come to cities that already have many immigrants. In Södertälje people can get around great with Arabic. It serves almost as well as Swedish by the dentist, residence association and the bank.

Record numbers of refugees have recently been coming to Sweden. Over 1000 refugees came to Södertälje just last year, mostly from Iraq. This year it's expected that over 2000 will come.

So many come here because there are so many Assyrians/Syrians and Iraqis already.

The new refugees feel secure but the municipality is uneasy. There's a risk that many will never learn Swedish.

Rober Halef, a politician in Södertälje says that if people don't know Swedish, they can't get a job and they then become a burden on society.

Ali Ahood, a new refugee in Söddertälje says that "people speak Swedish in Sweden." Ahood, an Iraqi, came to Söddertälje three months ago. He says he was amazed seeing the area and Stockholm and that you can find many Iraqis and Arabs here. But he says that even if people speak Arabic at first, they must learn Swedish as this is the only language that's really spoken in Sweden.

Sources: SVT 1 , 2 (Swedish)

See also: Sweden: Demanding help with Iraqi refugees, Sweden: Record for immigration

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