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migrationtothecentre › Shaggy, the Master of Sheesha from Israel

Shaggy, the Master of Sheesha from Israel

11. 2. 13
Shaggy Hamdan is 40 years old, comes from Israel and lives in Poland for 13 years. In the short article he shares his experience with coming to Poland, starting his own business, bureaucratic procedures and difficulty to obtain citizenship.

My name is Emad, but everybody calls me Shaggy. I came to Poland from Jerusalem 13 years ago. My wife is Polish, we have three kids and my wife is pregnant with the fourth one. In Poland I work in the gastronomy sector – I sell water pipes. In fact, I was the one who brought first water pipes to Poland. My company is called The Master of Sheesha. Now I am about to open a new shop with oriental products and water pipes. From the very beginning I had problems with legalizing my stay here. My wife is Polish, and even so the governor of the Voivodeship did not want to issue me a residency permit. I had to answer over and over very embarrassing questions. In my opinion, officers in the Office for Foreigners ask too many useless and very personal questions, which can be very offensive to the honorable people like Muslims.

On top of that – if you wait all the time for a decision from the Office you cannot plan your life and the future of your family. Bureaucracy certainly does not encourage you to stay here. If I can give an advice to the friends from abroad – I would say – „do not settle down in Poland”. I have my family here, therefore I will stay for sure, but I still think Poland is a very inhospitable country. It really surprises me that even my wife is Polish and I have worked here for 13 years, I speak Polish well, my kids go to school here – I still cannot obtain Polish citizenship. What is more, the President’s Office didn’t justify the decision. Is that how the democratic country should work? Most of my friends have the same problems here – they pay, for example, a lot of money to the lawyers (sometimes up 4.000, 5.000 PLN), and even though they get a negative decision. Many times I was a victim of racist attacks. People on the street say: “Go home!” and they stare at me. It is undoubtly not a welcoming attitude. I am happy that my kids do not suffer from things like that. Kids are different, kids don’t judge that fast. Well, at least for now…

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Photo by Maria Sternicka

This article is one of the migrants’ contributions to the project Migration to the Centre and was created with the cooperation of the Institute of Public Affairs.

The article has been written with support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union and the International Visegrad Fund. The article reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


The project has been generously supported by the European Commission The "Europe for citizens" programme, International Visegrad Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
Funded by the Europe for
Citizens Programme
of the European Union
Visegrad Fund. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Daniela Pěničková, project coordinator
Phone: (+420) 296 325 345, E-mail:

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