Ibrahim of Iraq: “Finland is a never-ending long dark tunnel without light”

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Do you remember the patient asylum seeker called Ibrahim*, who applied to hundreds of jobs in Finland and who finally got a job at Posti to deliver newspapers at homes? Well, Ibrahim is so fed up with Finland that he decided to move back to Iraq. 

“Even if you offered me a good-paying job, I would not stay in this country,” he said. “Finland is a never-ending long dark tunnel without light. For my own mental health, it is important I leave before it is too late.”

Having moved to Finland in October 2015, Ibrahim was always an exemplary person and has made many good friends during his stay in Finland. I have only seen him angry twice: When he got his application for asylum rejected the first time in 2016 and now.


Guidelines on what you can take back with you to Iraq. After almost three years, Ibrahim’s possessions must fit in two 23-kg pieces of luggage.

Ibrahim, a computer hardware and data centers specialist in Iraq, blames bad luck for his fate.

“For me, it was a big mistake coming to Finland,” he continued. “I was free from diseases. There is a lot of structural racism and as an asylum-seeker, you will always be a second-class citizen.”

Ibrahim adds that apart from being second-class members of society, asylum seekers aren’t even humans but considered as numbers by the Finnish government.

Apart from applying for hundreds of jobs, he alleges that he contracted Hepatitis B from a dentist who did not use clean tools, a viral infection that attacks the liver that causes both acute and chronic disease.

“With my bad luck,” he continued, “I even contracted this disease for which there is no cure.”

Ibrahim will return “voluntarily” to Iraq next week. His long journey and wait

Despite all the violence and problems in Iraq, he still believes that it is better than being an asylum seeker in Finland.

“This country eats you up as you wait for months on end without knowing if you will get a residence permit or any permits that will give you the right to stay, or not,” he said. “I have visited many asylum reception centers in this country and done a lot of voluntary work to help and make the lives of others easier. One fact I realized was that the mental health of asylum seekers got worse.”

He said that many did appear being asylum seekers but as “psychiatric patients.”

Ibrahim said that he plans to write about such topics after he gets settled in Iraq.

Migrant Tales hopes to publish them.

* The name of the asylum seeker was changed in order to protect his identity.

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