Qanie Nazari is a stateless asylum seeker living in Denmark. Nazari's Kurdish family fled Iran for Iraq, where Qanie was born. He never received Iraqi citizenship or went to school. Three years ago, he was smuggled into Denmark. Since then, he lived at the Sandholm Asylum Center, though the Danish government has been trying to force him to leave the country. He has no passport or official nationality, so there is no place to send him, Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari, a stateless asylum seeker living in Denmark, rides a commuting train in Sandholm. Jan. 2016.Hawre Khalid
Qanie Nazari is a stateless asylum seeker living in Denmark. Nazari's Kurdish family fled Iran for Iraq, where Qanie was born. He never received Iraqi citizenship or went to school. Three years ago, he was smuggled into Denmark. Since then, he lived at the Sandholm Asylum Center, though the Danish government has been trying to force him to leave the country. He has no passport or official nationality, so there is no place to send him, Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari at an asylum center in Sandholm, Denmark. Phones provide a link to family far away, Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari checks Facebook on the computer inside his room at the Sandholm Asylum Center. Though he can't read or write , he navigates the site by looking at pictures, Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari, a stateless asylum seeker, sits in his room at a camp in Sandholm, Denmark. He is often sad and bored and doesn't leave his room, Jan. 2016.
Outside the window of Qanie Nazari's room at the Sandholm Asylum Center in Denmark, January 2016.
Qanie Nazari, a stateless asylum seeker was smuggled into Denmark three years ago, and has been living in limbo, He says 'I don't care about anything anymore," Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari, a Kurdish asylum seeker living at a camp in Denmark, gets a ration of meat and salad once in a week. The rest of the week, he eats rice and soup, Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari travels to Copenhagen from the Sandholm Asylum Center, north of the city, Jan. 2016.
A map shows the distance Qanie Nazari has traveled from where he was born in the Altash refugee camp in Anbar, Iraq, to the Barika camp where he later lived in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq to the camp for asylum seekers in Denmark, Jan. 2016
Qanie Nazari, a stateless asylum seeker in Denmark, walks with his friends in Copenhagen, Jan. 2016
Qanie Nazari takes a walk on a quiet road near the Sandholm Asylum Center, Denmark, Jan. 2016.
Qanie Nazari, a stateless asylum seeker living in Denmark, rides a commuting train in Sandholm. Jan. 2016.
Hawre Khalid
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One Refugee's Life in Diplomatic Limbo

May 04, 2016

Qanie Nazari has no country. The 24-year-old man was born in a refugee camp in Anbar, Iraq, after his family fled Iran to escape political persecution. Now, Nazari lives in Denmark, to which he immigrated in 2013 in the hopes of a new life – one that would bring a sense of identity for the stateless man.

Instead, Nazari traded one camp for another, as Denmark now prepares for his deportation.

Metal band in KirkukFamily Pictures: Left: Anbar, Iraq -- Qanie and his sister "Shno" at the Barika camp in Sulaimaniyah Iraqi Kurdistan, Qanie center. Right: Qanie's parents with a relative.  

Hawre Khalid, a Kurdish photographer, felt a connection with Nazari. “I was only four when my family, terrified of Saddam Hussein’s regime, immigrated into Iran,” he tells TIME. “I know how it feels when you don’t have a country.”

Nazari lived in the Sandholm Asylum Center for refugees in Denmark for three years, though he has now been transferred to another camp to await his deportation. He was not allowed to work, says Khalid, but received monthly benefits from the Danish government. “He does not have any friends, does not go out very often," the photographer says. "He hardly sleeps or eat, and spends most of his time smoking and drinking tea that other people in the camp buy for him.” Denmark has asked both Iraq and Iran to take him back, but neither country recognizes him as a citizen – condemning Nazari to live in a diplomatic limbo.

Khalid is under no illusion that his photographs will help Nazari, but he hopes they can put a face on the current humanitarian crisis. “There shouldn’t be people without country," he says, "and without the right to live somewhere."

Hawre Khalid is a documentary photographer based in Iraq.

Alice Gabriner, who edited this photo essay, is TIME's International Photo Editor.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

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