Now I have to tell a good story.
Six months ago, 24-Year-old Najeb Albakar started to work as an intern with me as an image retouch artist. I sent out a request here on Facebook if anyone could imagine having him stay as a house guest during his internship when he was living in Hanover in Skåne. Very quickly I got reply from three wonderful people; Ka Widebeck and her husband Pelle, and Tulle Durling. They said that he was welcome to stay with them at home in their respective houses.
Already after only a week working with me, he got the chance to go to a meeting at the advertising agency Garbergs to see their Creative Director Petter Ödeen, thanks to Karin Roberts. The idea was that he might be able to continue his internship with them, after that he had been with me at my firm Mirage. Petter quickly realized what talent had walked through the door that day and nabbed him directly from me!
After the first paid month as an intern, Najeb got an extended five-month probationary period, and last week he signed a contract for a year as studio assistant at Garbergs- one of Sweden’s largest and most prestigious advertising agencies. I must say that it is quite a remarkable achievement! Najeb escaped the Syrian war only two years ago, and came to Sweden and a completely new country and culture. He has only been studying Swedish at SFI (Svenska för Invandare/ Swedish for Immigrants) for eight months, but he is already almost fluent in Swedish. Above all, he’s flying into one of the toughest competitive industries, and lands a very attractive job based on his own ability.
Najeb – I am very proud of you and your amazing accomplishment! Mabrouk Habibi and good luck – you will sail through this with flying colours! Congratulations also to Garbergs for building this fantastic team. Hold onto him tight now, it may happen that some competitors may open their eyes to him. A big giant thanks also to Ka & Pelle and Tulle for opening up your home. I get really warm in my heart when I think that there are people in this world as generous and kind as you.
This is surely what integration means – that it is up to us citizens to help newcomers to our country start the lives they choose – in the best possible way.