I had to live my homeland Iraq when I was 26 years old. I started look for another home. I lived, visited and worked in lots of cities in different countries, but I never felt I was home, feeling safe and free, until I managed to get to Tampere, and more specifically Pispala.
Pispala reminded me of a small village of my childhood, embraced by mountains, called al-Tin al-aswad. The name means dark fig.
For me, Tampere is like a spare lung, that makes it possible for me to breathe, when lot of other places, as beautiful as they were, made me feel more like an outsider. Pispala has been engraved on my mind as a magical, beautiful dream.
Hassan Blasim is an author, screen writer and a film director.