Coming home. Feeling home. When is your home a true home? What if you were born somewhere else but you live in Belgium? Where is your home?
Katleen (42) Born in Burundi.
A couple lived temporarily in Burundi and gave birth to a girl, Katleen, 42 years ago. Katleen was born in Africa of two Belgian parents. Although she technically has no African blood running through her veins and only lived in Burundi for four years, the African lifestyle still feels like home. As you get older, that connection becomes even more important and she likes to return to Africa with her daughter to show her the African lifestyle.
Maria (67j) Born in Belgium
Maria was born in a small village called Arendonk. She grew up in Arendonk and then moved with her husband 15km further. Although she has never lived far from the ‘church tower’, she is very openminded. Tolerance is number one and she thinks it is important to welcome migrants to Belgium. She has a good home and likes to help other people to feel at home.
Muna (38) Born in Somalia
Without knowing where she would end up, Muna came to Belgium in 1997 as a refugee from Somalia. She was 16 years old at the time. Muna is a nurse now and lives in her own apartment with her teenage daughter Tasnim. She still finds it difficult to split between two countries and two identities. She struggles with feeling at home here, or in Somalia/djibouti.
Marina (49) Born in Armenië
In 1993, then 23 years old, Marina arrived in Belgium with her husband and 4-year-old son. Our family helped her here in Belgium. She overcame a divorce and created her own job as a translator. She now lives with her current boyfriend and dog just across the border in the Netherlands. For her, Belgium (and the Netherlands) is without a doubt her home. She feels Belgian though others sometimes point her to her Armenian origins.
Massimiliano (42) Born in Italy
Max emigrated as a 26-year-old to Belgium for love. Italy feels more like home, but he wouldn't want to live there anymore. He feels better here because he is surrounded by people he likes, not necessarily because he loves Belgium as a country. He misses the mountains the most and thinks that the Belgians eat dinner far too early…
Habibi (27) Born in Afghanistan
Habibi fled Afghanistan to Belgium. The refugee centre organised a rugby tournament and so he started at the local rugby club where my husband, Max was the coach. Habibi came to dinner once and he stayed for 7 months. He still longs for his homeland, his family and his girlfriend.
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