- For Teachers
Please, would you proofread my text.
If a curious tourist got a chance to ramble around and pass some constructing sites he would soon notice that all workers are blond and speak Swedish. If he had enough time and his feet were strong enough to carry him in his wanderings he would see the same scene from the South to the cold North; Vikings working hard, their muscular arms carrying bags of cement, sawing beams, pushing wheelbarrows, running on a scaffold...What a nice opportunity for a Japanese tourist and his camera to preserve it for ever, for an American lady to scream "great" in delight and for a Russian painter to make a quick sketch with his watercolour brush.
But if our tourist were a thinking person he would probably ask himself about the lack of other nationalities and races. He would remember other countries and similar places where he saw people from all parts of the world and heard Italian, Greek, Spanish and Turkish spoken at the same time.
However, as we all know tourists visit other countries with the purpose to enjoy their time and not to think of their domestic affairs and our thinking tourist suddenly noticing a long legged blond walking across the street would follow after her forgetting his all previous thoughts and instead submerged himself in his sexual fantasies.
When I came to this country I wanted to see all possible places to understand the "soul" of this place and its people and so I wandered to construction sites and watched workers doing their job. I noticed some black and Asian people but they spoke Swedish fluently and I understood that they were adopted as children. One could not see a single genuine immigrant, although unemployment among immigrants is high.
I have asked myself the reasons for this policy for years, but could not get a right answer until one day I met a Swedish man in his seventies. He was working in the Red Cross charity shop where he sorted out books. He loved books and we discussed about our favourite writers whenever I saw him. He was a very kind person, honest and talkative. When he told me that he worked as a foreman at a construction site I asked him why there are no immigrants working there. He patted me friendly on my shoulder, looked at me with his blue eyes, smiled and said, "Son, I understand you are still a greenhorn." Don't you understand that we do not want immigrants in this country? Even if you were the most skilful worker and went alone to the boss and asked him for a job he would tell you there is no job. The only possible way would be if I personally take you to him and tell him that I know you and vouch for you. Do you want my advice? Leave this damn country until you are still young!"
After that whenever I heard someone complaining that his all applications for a building work were unanswered I wanted to tell him what an old Swedish man explained to me, but I did not dare. Probably, he would not believe me because it is difficult to believe that such things happen in the 21. century.
Four years ago, I met a young Palestinian from Gaza. He was 25 years old and a very intelligent person. He told me that he worked as a bricklayer and a tiler. He also worked in Israel and spoke Hebrew fluently. He described for me his childhood in the crowded flat, he showed me the place were an Israeli bullet penetrated his leg during demonstrations, he told me how it feels to live behind the barbed wire and high walls. He was overjoyed to be here in Sweden, to walk the streets without fear and enjoy watching beautiful girls who proudly showed their body parts.
He was convinced that it would be easy for him to get a job at some construction company. He moved to another town to get all education he needed and when I saw him two weeks ago for the first time after two years I hardly recognized him. He was a broken man. He lost everything, even his flat. After completing his education he had sent dozens of his applications to all possible companies from the North to the South and they did not even bother to answer him. He chained- smoked and had dark rings around his eyes. He lived with his fellow country men in their flat and did not know what to do next. Four years in Sweden have more damaged him then 25 years in Gaza under Israeli occupation. I asked myself how many years was he going to wait to finally start working? And finally if he ever got a job how his physical situation was going to be? Where was he going to find motivation and energy? Where was the light in a cold and dark Swedish winter?
To be continued..
Last edited by Bassim; 14-May-2008 at 09:26.