The Möllevången neighbourhood is a place where the growing diversity of Europe can be both critiqued and celebrated
“Hajji”, the man bellows jovially to his colleague at a fruit and vegetable stall, using a name generally given to Muslims who have made the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The stall is one of many that line the market place in Möllevången, a diverse neighbourhood near the centre of Malmö, in southern Sweden.
I had not heard of Möllevången before, but was fascinated by the area from the moment I stepped off the train from Denmark with my Scottish mother and Iraqi father, to meet with my dad’s cousin and family living there. After spending seven years in Abu Dhabi as a writer and editor, I thought that I had left the Middle East behind me when I moved to Copenhagen in September. But my first impression of Möllevången, especially its market square, was that it could well have been in the Middle East – aside from the grey skies and cold March weather, that is.
Sweden is the EU state that took in the largest number of refugees per capita in 2015, at the peak of the crisis