The British Library

Aoife’s Story

I am 15 years old and I was born in Dubai but I moved to England in the summer of 2017.

From the ages of 3-13, I was in an international school system with a British curriculum. That means that I was thrown into the deep end at an extremely young age and mixed in with a melting pot of other children from all over the world.

I am fully British. Both of my parents are from England but they moved to Dubai in 1998 for my dad’s job. My oldest sister was 6 weeks old and at the time, Dubai was just a desert with Sheikh Zayed Road and a few landmarks. Two years later, my other sister was born and then fastforward another four years and I was born.

I think growing up in such a variety of culture and diversity of religions, it built my foundations and has made me who I am today.

When I moved here two years ago, it was definitely a massive culture shock and it opened up my eyes to how different life is here in the UK. I found that, living in rural south east England, there was a lack of age range ethnicities. I had gone from being so used to having friends from all over the world and being exposed to such a range of people of different heritage with stories to tell to being in an all white school of 400 pupils aged 4-16. Even now, two years on, I still struggle with the lack of diversity but I know I will eventually get used to it.

-Aoife, England

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