‘’In Iraq, we dreamed of becoming what we wanted to become. Now I live in the Netherlands, these dreams became plans’’ Muqdad Hassoo
Iraq civil war
Muqdad Hassoo was born and raised up in Sinjar, a small town in the North East province Nineveh, Iraq. Muqdad lived there with his family. He and his family belongs a small ethnic religious minority with its origin from the ancient Mesopotamia, notably the Yazidis. Because of the civil war in Iraq, religious minorities as the Yazidis have witnessed a lot persecution and genocides. ‘’Life in Iraq was very hard for me and my family, for all Yazidis. But I survived and I hope to be able to represent my community, to be able to be what I have always dreamed of; becoming a football player’’ Muqdad Hassoo.
A refugee in the Netherlands
A couple of years ago, just like thousands of other Iraqis, Muqdad and his family fled up from Iraq. He came to the Netherlands with his family as a refugees or asylum seekers. After receiving sylume status, they got a lot of support from Dutch people which resulted into an immediate and successful integration processes. He attended the Dutch language school for almost two years. After that, Muqdad started with studying to become a hairstylist. After three years and been graduated. Currently he works in a barbershop in the Netherlands.
Only after 10 days of being in Netherlands, Muqdad started playing football. In the beginning, he played in an amateur football club in the Eastern part of the country. Quickly after that, he attracted the interests of Dutch football clubs. Among others, John van den Brom, former AZ Alkmaar trainer, said being interested in joining Muqdad to the club. Muqdad met Van den Brom during a football tournament organized by Dutch national team and ING bank. From around 400 football players from all parts of the country, Muqdad was selected as the winner.
Since that moment until now, Muqdad plays at highest level of semi-proof football in the Netherlands. ‘’when I was in Iraq, it was a dream to become a football player, but now I am in the Netherland, that dream became a goal. One day, I will play in the top European football clubs. Everything starts with believing in yourself, and I believe in myself as never before. I will be one of the best football players ever’’ Muqdad Hassoo.