Foreigners in Slovakia: We did not feel welcomed at first

In the eyes of foreigners Slovaks are friendly when they overcome their first fears.

Azim, Naima and AmeerAzim, Naima and Ameer (Source: NF)

“We are Trnavans, all three of us,” said Naima Abdi in Slovak and her other two co-debaters smile and nod. Naima from Somalia has lived in Slovakia since 2009 and she speaks fluent Slovak, only making a few mistakes from time to time.

She and her colleague spoke at an event organised by the IOM Migration Information Centre Slovakia, which is supposed to connect foreigners with Slovaks.

“The first contact with Slovakia was not pleasant,” admits Naima, who moved to Slovakia when she was 16-years-old.

Her father was the first to come to Slovakia, found a job and then arranged a visa for his family. Slovakia is not a well-known country among migrants and Naima was shocked when she found out where she was supposed to live.

“Everyone was staring at us. Literally everyone,” she said, explaining that she has six brothers and when they decided to go somewhere as a family, it was even worse. Despite this, she has no negative experience towards her as a foreigner in Slovakia.

Ameer Mayyahi ended up in Slovakia when he and his father escaped from Iraq. His parents are artists and they were persecuted because of their opinions. Even though the majority of Ameer’s family lives in the US, he decided to stay in Slovakia.

“I feel like at home in Slovakia, now,” he opined.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Foreigners in Slovakia

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

Meteorologists warn against low temperatures

In some areas the temperatures will drop to -8 degrees Celsius.

Illustrative stock photo

First details on potential postponement of instalments revealed

Limit on contactless payments may change as well.

Illustrative stock photo

PM wants Slovakia to be an island of hope for Europe, carmakers prolong halt (news digest)

Read your overview of news about the coronavirus in Slovakia and other news from politics and business on April 1.

Bratislava on April 1, 2020.

Coronavirus might prompt a reform Slovakia's schools have needed for a long time

Remote teaching is not just fancy conference calls. Teachers have to show their resourcefulness.

Peter Pallo while teaching his pupils.