A 13-year-old former asylum seeker’s letter about her family’s new life in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales wrote back in January a moving story about a Turkmen Iraqi family of three who feared deportation. Their brave 13-year-old daughter, Ilayta S., who speaks five languages, got in touch with me this month. She gave me the good news: Her family was granted a residence permit to stay in Finland.

One of the matters I asked Ilayta to do, if she wanted, was to write a letter to Finland about this important moment in their lives.

For four years the family has lived in constant uncertainty and in the last stages with deportation hanging over their heads. After such an ordeal, it is revealing that Ilayta would write about the discrimination they’ve suffered and “don’t judge people based on their appearance because you can never know what they’ve gone through.”

“Voi olla hyvää jos noi ulkomaalaiset ei olisi täällä! Älä arvostele toisi niiten ulkonään perusteella, et voi ikinä tiedää ne on kokenut!” Translation: “It may be a good matter if those foreigners weren’t here. Don’ judge others based on their appearance since you can never know what they have gone through!

Finland needs people like Ilayta who can make Finland a better country for everyone irrespective of their background.

  1. intternetnetsi

    Too much literal finnish mixed with spoken finnish and clear errors you didnt see. Doesnt speak finnish and had semi-literate help.