Khalil fled the war in Syria – now runs a cinema in Sveg

The Rashid family came to Sweden as refugees eight years ago.
Eldest son Khalil has learned the language, goes to school and now opened the closed cinema in Sveg.
– I want to do something for society, says Khalil Rashid.

Khalil Rashid came to Sweden in 2015 from war-torn Syria. His father Sarbest had traveled alone 2.5 years earlier in order not to let the family take the long route through the Middle East and Europe.

– We had heard on the news how dangerous it was. Dad couldn’t live with running away with us and the risk of us getting into trouble, so he fled to Sweden himself, then we came after him in a safer way, says Khalil

When the family was reunited at Arlanda in 2015, he was so happy and Khalil barely remembers how he got to his father at the airport.

– There were so many people there, but when I saw dad – it was like 20 meters and the distance just disappeared and I could hug my dad. And I cried, says Khalil.

Time in Sweden

The Rashid family lived in different places before they landed in Sveg where they live today. Now both parents work, and brothers Kahlil and Mohammed go to school. But Khalil has always dreamed of being his own boss, he has entrepreneurial dreams.

So when the politicians started debating who should take over the shuttered cinema, Khalil accepted the challenge.

– In Sveg there is no cinema and I want to do something for society, everyone loves cinema and this is a challenge for me too, says Khalil.

The municipality has lowered the rent and will raise it again when they see that Khalil is on stable financial footing. The cinema already had the technology to operate a cinema in the form of a sound system and projector, which made it easier for Khalil.

– Micke, who previously ran the cinema here for many years, has taught me everything, says Khalil.

But snacks, cleaning and much else is handled by Khalil himself. Money to buy organic candy comes from his own pocket, money he earned through summer jobs.

– I have not received any grant or help from the state, it is only the municipality that lowered the rent, concludes Khalil.