Dzhuli Dzhamil Tatuz is a 40-year-old Syrian Kurd from Aleppo who arrived in Bulgaria in 1988 together with her family when her father won a scholarship. She decided to stay and now has Bulgarian citizenship. She is a translator from Kurdish and Arabic at the State Agency for Refugees as well as some NGOs.

Have you been discriminated against as a woman?

I have been living here since I was very young and I am completely integrated, so I have hardly felt anything negative. On the contrary, the general attitudes are positive. People are very warm, make us feel at home. They are interested in Syria, and ask questions about life there.

You chose to be photographed with a rose in front of Vasil Levski's monument. Why?

Because the rose is the symbol of Bulgaria and the oil bearing rose was imported here from Syria, from Damascus. And for me, Levski is the symbol of freedom.

Have you beed discriminated against as a woman?

In Bulgaria – never. Bulgarians respect women.

Can you tell a typical Bulgarian character trait?

Bulgarians wear their hearts on their sleeves. They cannot fake it. They are transparent. When they are nervous or happy, they cannot hide it. Our people are different – even when we are not in the mood, we try to conceal it.

Do you have Bulgarian friends?

A lot. I met them first at school, then at work. I have a lot of good friends.

Do you celebrate Bulgarian feasts?

Yes, I like a lot 8 March, the International Women's Day. Baba Marta, Christmas, New Year. I like Baba Marta a lot, because we have similar rites. The Yazidis put white and red on their wrists, for good luck.

Did Bulgaria surprise you?

Yes, with the complete freedom of women.

Do you plan to stay in Bulgaria?

Yes. Because I like it and it is my second homeland. I am used to Bulgaria, I am integrated completely. I know the traditions, the language, I have many friends.