Hussein is a 26-year-old student from Iraq, living in Kutaisi since 2015.

Hussein moved to Georgia in 2015 and enrolled in Akaki Tsereteli State University as a medical student. He chose Georgia not only because of the relaxed immigration requirements, but also because of how close it is to his home country. Soon after his arrival in Georgia, his birthplace, Salah ad Din, became a civil conflict hotspot and now Hussein is afraid to return home. In addition, he is worried, he might face difficulties when crossing border to return to Georgia, as sometimes Iraqi citizens can be turned away at the border. Therefore, Hussein is currently trying hard to renew his Georgian residence permit. He misses his parents and sisters, and his biggest wish is to be able to visit his family in Iraq and return peacefully to his new life in Georgia.

Hussein remembers that his first days in Kutaisi were difficult because of the language barrier, but similarities in culture and traditions made adaptation easier. During the years he spent in Georgia, Hussein learned local language and is now able to easily communicate with Georgians. Hussein feels himself a member of local community as he knows all his neighbours, has Georgian friends and Georgian girlfriend, with whom Hussein dreams of creating a peaceful life and a happy family.

Hussein says that he has found a new home in Kutaisi and considers himself both Iraqi and Georgian. “I don’t miss my country as much as I would miss Georgia and Kutaisi if I were in Iraq”, says Hussein, who is trying to start his post-university life in Georgia and is looking for a job. Hussein would like to work in the medical field, but he is also open to other opportunities.

Photo by Eric Gourlan

SDG 4 - Quality Education
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities