File - Zuhir, a Syrian refugee who came to Sweden 10 months ago, has coffee and cake after a dinner at Sigurs and Soederman’s house.
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In war-torn Syria, where Mikhail Zuhir comes from, a nighttime knock on the door can mean death, but when he rings the bell at a Swedish home on a dark night he comes bearing flowers.Instead of fear, a warm dinner and welcome await the 29-year-old refugee who fled the violence that has claimed more than 195,000 lives since Syria's war began more than three years ago.For Sweden, mass immigration is a recent and growing phenomenon, with a 2013 survey showing 20.1 percent of the population has roots outside the country.Akerman got the idea early this year when she started as a substitute teacher for foreigners making new lives in Sweden.Immigrants who study Swedish as a foreign language meet with Swedes over dinner.To make the immigrants feel more at home in Sweden and with the Swedish language, and help accustom Swedes to their new compatriots.Zuhir said he heard other students from his Swedish class talk about the dinners.Even so, Zuhir is convinced that the future is in Sweden, and he has everything planned.
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