Originally from Somalia

Welder at ProLicht Hungary Ltd.

Samatar's Story

I fled from the capital of Somalia to Budapest several years ago. Earlier I was absolutely certain that I would travel further to England or return to Somalia, but now I think I’ll rather stay here and set up a business.

I speak four languages and completed my high school education in Somalia. I found this job at ProLicht Hungary Ltd with the help of the Hungarian NGO Menedék. Previously in Budapest, I worked in a drugstore (pharmacy) and also in an internet café run by a Somalian friend of mine. I know many people who arrived to Europe with me and now they have already started their own businesses. I’d love to open a shisha bar in the future.

I work with Hungarians well. If you reach a level of understanding, you can get along with anyone. But if someone doesn’t speak the language or doesn’t understand the cultural differences, then they will certainly fail to work together.

“I was the new guy, so all eyes were on me.”

At the beginning of my employment at ProLicht Hungary Ltd, I noticed that when a local employee made a mistake during his work, people just did not really bother. But when I made a mistake, everyone knew about it. I was the new guy, so all eyes were on me. When you are the only foreigner in a Hungarian company where more than hundred local staff are employed, then it’s not easy to break through the social barriers. I felt that I needed to work harder, to earn my position in the company. And my colleagues also needed time to get to know me as a person too.

Photo credit: Anna Györffy.

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