17/05/2018
City: Dorte Strøyberg

Meet Abdel Razzah Shkiefeh

Abdel Razzah Shkiefeh comes from Syria and has lived in Denmark for almost three years. He lives with his wife, Nagham Dalati. For approx. 100 days, he has been employed at ϣ A/S in Farup near Ribe. The job was conveyed through Jobcenter Esbjerg.
Abdel works at the assembly line at ϣ, assembling pallet trucks and highlifters. Abdel is very pleased to work at ϣ: "All my colleagues are sweet and helpful and we have a very good working environment. Good relations are very important to me! It is important that we treat each other well", says Abdel.

To the question whether he likes working at ϣ, the answer is a clear "YES". He likes the ϣ traditions and has not previously experienced such equal relations between management and employees. A truly unique equality, where no one feels superior to others - neither because of seniority nor management level. "I do not think that this can be experienced many places", Abdel says.
It is no secret that Abdel was very tired during his first time at ϣ; He was not used to work in a production. Previously, he worked in an office, so working in a production area was very hard to him in the beginning.

"We are very fond of Abdel", Operations Manager Mogens Haugaard at ϣ says. "He always goes to work happily and positively and is always open to the various tasks. He always has a smile on his lips".

"It is part of our corporate culture to take co-responsibility for our society and fellow human beings. Therefore it was natural for us to engage Abdel", Gitte Kirkegaard, CEO at ϣ A/S says. "And we hope that other companies will also consider this, so that we can help immigrants gaining experience in the Danish labour market and feeling at home in the Danish society.”

Abdel in Denmark
Arriving to Denmark, Abdel started at the “Language School” in Ribe and then worked as a teacher and translator for one and a half year at the Language School afterwards.

In the beginning, Abdel lived in a small town outside Ribe, Hunderup, in a temporary residence. His “way” to Denmark from Syria went over Greece. Here he heard about Denmark and he liked what he heard! "I heard that you find peace, freedom and justice in Denmark - I wanted to go to Denmark! I have always felt welcome in Denmark - and have met many nice people", says Abdel.
After one year, also Abdel's wife arrived to Denmark, and they moved to Ribe. Abdel's wife goes to the “Language School”, where she is also in practice as a teacher.

Abdel and volunteering work
All his life, Abdel has spent a lot of time on volunteering work. In Syria, he joined the scouting movement. First as a music leader, as he had played trumpet for 20 years, and it was therefore obvious that he used this interest in his scouting life. Later he was an “ordinary” scout leader. As a scout leader in Syria, you are active approx. 5 hours a day, and the scout movement in Syria takes an active part in social work in society, for example with disabled people.

Abdel has continued his volunteering work in Denmark. Besides his job at ϣ, he works as a volunteering interpreter at the Danish Refugee Council (Dansk Flygtningehjælp), and he also helps his friends with some of the challenges occurring when arriving in a foreign country, for example homework and paying bills.

Dreaming about an education
It has always been important to Abdel to be able to support himself. In Syria, he has almost graduated as a lawyer; the conflicts made it impossible for him to attend to the lectures at the university during the last year of his education. He is sad about that! However, he managed to work as a lawyer in the company SeagoLine, which is part of AP Møller; unfortunately, he cannot use his law degree in Denmark, as this education is too country-specific.

Abdel has always had a dream of getting an education. He also dreams of getting an education in Denmark - perhaps within IT or Management.

"We do not know the future", Abdel says. He currently lives in a foreign country far away from his home, as he cannot be there right now. "So many factors depend on "peace in my country"”, Abdel ends the interview.