Living in Austria

Non-White Realities

Hey, it’s just me. My name is Hamed and I’m a 26 year old guy from Iraq. I came to Vienna 3 years ago. And first of all I just want to say: peace! I came here for the peace, you know? My girlfriend was killed in Baghdad by a terrorist bombing while I was getting our car. She was killed 500 meters away from me. That’s why I couldn’t stand to live in Iraq any longer. Is this something you understand?

And do you know what one of the biggest opposites of peace is? Racism. What is racism? I tell you, it means to destroy a person while she or he is still alive, to destroy their minds and hearts based on looks and prejudice.

Since 3 years I’m living in Vienna, and I love the peace here. I was so in need of it. But I’m unable to forget all the people trying to destroy me because I look different. That guy who told me: don’t come to our party, you Arab men always want to rape ‘our’ girls. Who is going to stop him? Who’s going to end his prejudice? I try, but I’m tired. I never raped anyone, why do you think of me like this? I came here for the peace, I just want to live a normal live. But now it’s also normal for me to get stopped every day by the police because for them I look like a terrorist or a drug dealer. ‘Ausweis bitte’. I don’t like this kind of normal.

My English is pretty good because as a teenager I worked for the US-Army as a translator and later I also spent a short time in Texas as exchange-student (where there is also a lot of rape. Also from guys like Paul or John or Alex. Rape is caused mostly by men, not by ethnicity). So when I started a new job here in Vienna (which is always a struggle to find because of my name), I always tell my colleagues that I’m from the US. It makes things a lot easier. Then they tell me: “Okay, you’re an Arab guy from the US – you are not like the other guys, who come here directly from Iraq or Syria to take our jobs and rape our women.” And I fake a smile and nod because, what should I do about it? You will never believe me that I just came for the peace and that I just want to live a normal life.

And then I read in the newspapers, Krone or something: “Iraqi guy trys to rape an Austrian girl at Praterstern” and I’m like WTF: Why are you doing this? Stop it. All men need to stop this. All men, because when an Austrian guy is doing something bad, he is only a guy, not an Austrian guy. But it doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you have power use it for good, use it for peace. It doesn’t matter where you’re from and how you look. Danke.