Nostalgia is the Immigrant’s foe
We spent seconds, minutes, hours, days and nights thinking whether to come back to Morocco and start a new life from scratch or just stay in London and bear the unbearable life. We used to sing Ya li sortak bin Ainaya of the phenomenal Moroccan singer Brahim al Alami. We, however, changed the song’s lyrics and transformed it into a patriotic song. My parents knew nothing about the situation I was going through, the food starvation I suffered, and the number of people with whom I was sharing the room. I was determined not to bother my parents with something they literally won’t accept. I was going through a paradox. In our shared-flat, I was behaving as a typical Moroccan: Praying, Reading the Quran, watching Moroccan channels and speaking Darija (Vernacular language) all the time. Yet, as soon as I stepped outside of my room, I behaved like a British, though my accent was not quite British.
In the U.K., I felt like an Alien who just landed on planet earth. I felt that I did not belong to London. I felt so lonely and so eager to return back home. At first, I thought it might be just a matter of integration but later on, I noticed that it was the yearning for my homeland that was the real obstacle to my integration into the British society. My homesickness grew up when my friend Mourad, who was the only person with whom I was sharing the Morocco nostalgia, decided to return back home once for all.
I wandered lonely like a lost person in a desert land until I found myself in front of our shared-flat. While climbing up the stairs, I heard the catchy Moroccan song “Give Me The Visa and The Passport” of the phenomenal Moroccan Star Abdul-Aziz Stati. I leaned against the wooden door and started asking myself why did I came to this country, and then, I suddenly started shedding tears. At that moment, while still hearing Stati’s song, I was telling myself, in the back of my mind, I wish I could give Stati my passport, my visa, my work permit and everything against one sole thing: convince my parents to return back, once for all, to Morocco. Back in Morocco, I remember I was thinking about the way I would broach the subject of going to England with my parents, and today, sarcastically, it is just quite the opposite! This said, rather than thinking of how I am going to deal and look for another job in London to try and make my situation better, I spent time thinking of arguments which I could use to convince my parents to head back to the kingdom of sun.
I went to our “secret bathroom” in the apartment, where I used to tell Mourad about my plans and about my secrets. It took me around one month of phone calls to bring up the subject of my return to Morocco to my mother. At the beginning, she was shocked when hearing my decision. I said to her that I was not feeling good at all and that they [my mother and my dad] were just pouring their money into sand. I felt that she was all but happy with my decision. I changed the topic of discussion and comforted her saying that I would do my best to stay in London.
I sipped from my Moroccan cup of tea, trying to think of something else to do in order to forget my sadness…
The series “Diaries of a Moroccan in London” is part of a diary written by a Moroccan student during his stay in London. He evokes his everyday’s adventures, the difficulties he faced and the funny moments he went through during his stay.