The British Library

Shazia’s Story

My parents and I immigrated to London fleeing the persecution of Saddam Hussein. Though back in Iraq we had wealth in terms of money and stability, in the UK my parents applied for income support. I wish that pride was not so dear to them, because I realise now how much this economic dependence on the state affected their confidence. I feel blessed to have spent my childhood growing up in a multicultural London. The racism here didn’t compare to what experienced back in Iraq. Yet I feel for my parents, their home will always exist solely in the nostalgic memories they share. Sometimes freedom, and one of the world’s greatest cities is just not enough.

-Shazia, London

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