1 in 10 Syrians that are in the process of coming to Norway decline offers to come according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), NRK reports.
“Those that choose not to come to Norway may have other ways of seeing the world. Norway doesn’t fit their worldview. Others fear that they may not be allowed to come back to Syria to see their families,” Nora Hidoussi, IOM information professional tells NRK.
Hidoussi also holds a course about Norwegian culture for quota refugees that are granted residence in Norway.
“Many of them think it’s a bit scary that boys and girls have swimming lessons together at school. It might have something to do with them having different religious values or a different worldview than Norwegians,” she tells NRK.
Some of the topics that are brought up in the course are what parenting techniques are appropriate in Norway and women’s role in society.
Hidoussi explains that some find it strange that women are expected to work.
“You have those that think it’s scary because they have never been outside of their homes and perhaps haven’t been in contact with men outside of their immediate family. But you also have those that are excited about coming to Norway and being active, contributing in the workplace, or completing studies,” she tells NRK.
1,500 Traveled Back From Norway
NRK reported last week that IOM help almost 1,500 people travel back from Norway voluntarily. They helped a total of 82,000 migrants in the European Union/European Economic Area travel back last year.
Steve Hamilton, leader of IOM is not surprised.
“They expect to be able to work, provide for their families and contribute to the societies they come to. But there aren’t a lot of jobs here and the qualifications are often not recognized,” He tells NRK.
Many families have reported difficulties adjusting to the climate in Norway, which is very different from that of Syria.
“The sun doesn’t rise. We haven’t seen the sun in months,” One Syrian family living in northern Norway tells NRK.
They go on to explain that they are very happy with the house that they have received but can’t stand the dark and the cold. They came so that their children could go to school. However, the children haven’t been able to learn the language and are therefore not able to learn anything in school.
“We thought we were coming to paradise when we were coming to Norway, and that everything would be good. But since we came, we haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep. The kids cry every day.”