Back to Africa: an economic migrant's tale

This BBC website gives us the story of Abdelaziz Mohammed, a Somali gentleman resident in my own burg, Tottenham.

Now, I was born here, so I have an excuse! But what's his?

Abdelaziz tells us: It cost me $2100 to come to this country. I saved for two years. Going to Europe was a dream come true – it was where I was going to start a new life.

When I first arrived in Tottenham I looked around and all I see are black faces and I say “Am I still in Africa?”

But, as thousands have found before him, life in N17 isn't all roses. "I was dreaming of something better than Bruce Grove. I dreamed of Sunset Boulevard."

Abdelaziz may not have the fast car and fancy clothes he dreamed of, but he does have a job (running the international telephone centre on Bruce Grove where people of different nationalities call those they left back home) and is able to send support to his family back home.

Seems like a nice chap! And refreshingly candid about his reasons for coming here. But, don't you suspect that, if written up in The Guardian, he would be described as 'fleeing from war-torn Somalia….'. And how interesting that despite having a wife and children to support, he is still able to send money to Somalia. I expect that's the 'Family Tax Credits from Gordon!


David Allen said...

"Am I still in Africa?" _ hilarious! Well he certainly wouldn't mistake it for Hollywood. The other personal stories of life in Tottenham on that site are also interesting. I particularly liked Cllr. Sheila Peacock's story of seeing her first black man.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

And she's never looked back!