Somalia meets Bulgaria in Coventry. And hopefully a film is made. People to People.

An extraordinary thing happened to me.

A bit of context: In my first week in Coventry, I met a black guy in the city centre who was looking for directions, and I helped him. We chatted briefly. Then, a couple of weeks later, I saw him again, near the library. He told me he was new in town, coming from London. I told him I was Bulgarian, just came to study here. After a quick chat, we parted again. I had totally forgotten about him.

Until this week. On Wednesday, I was walking around town, trying to figure out what my People to People project could be about. And then I met him again. Waiting for the bus, going to work. He recognised me and smiled at me. I remembered who he was. We started talking. About being a foreigner in the UK (he came from Somalia when he was little), about having one God, just calling Him different names (he is a Muslim), and so on.

Then it struck me. I quickly ripped off a piece of paper and wrote down my name and phone number (good I know it by heart). And asked him if he’d be interested to talk about his life in front of a camera for a short documentary.

He said he’d call me some time in the weekend. I now realise I was a bit too direct. Focused on asking my questions before the bus comes.

And then it came and we parted.

I don’t have his number. It’s up to him. Even if he decides not to do the film, I hope he does call so we can at least meet and talk. I would like to know him. He looks like he has a good heart. I can read it in his eyes. They tell a story.

Which leaves me with the 100 word outline of what my People to People would (hopefully) be about:

Abdul comes from Somalia. He came in the UK when he was little, trying to get away from a country ‘destroyed by politics’. He has lived in London and currently lives and works in Coventry. And he misses his homeland. No matter how good your receiving country is, it is not home. It feels different. It smells different. The only thing that is the same are the people. As he says: ‘We’re all people’.

Now I’m waiting for a call.


3 thoughts on “Somalia meets Bulgaria in Coventry. And hopefully a film is made. People to People.

  1. ……..From the DNCs .. AP caption Transitional Federal Government soldiers sit on a truck in Burhakaba Somalia Tuesday Dec. Islamic fighters were in a tactical retreat Tuesday a senior Islamic leader said as government and Ethiopian troops advanced on three fronts in a decisive turnaround in the battle for control of Somalia..African Union orders Ethiopia out .WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 27 2006.The African Union has demanded that all foreign players including Ethiopia immediately withdraw their forces from Somalia..The call followed witness reports that Somali transitional government forces had seized a strategic southern town in the closest battle yet to the Mogadishu stronghold of the Union of Islamic Courts UIC . .Alpha Omar Konare the African Union AU chairman said in a statement We appeal for urgent support for the transitional government and the withdrawal of all troops and foreign elements..Konare said that an AU mission would visit Somalia soon.The AU appeal comes after the UN Security Council on Tuesday failed to agree on a statement calling for ending the war and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Somalia..Several council members objected to the Qatari-circulated statements naming of Ethiopian forces in particular..Meanwhile Francois Lonseny Fall the UN secretary-generals special representative to Somalia said the fighting had forced the UN to evacuate and halt assistance to two million people.The UN World Food Programme has suspended air operations in Somalia and pulled out its air-support staff officials said on Wednesday.The government has taken over Jowhar.


  2. Pingback: People to People. Time for Plan B « Rumena Zlatkova’s Blog

  3. Pingback: People to People – stories I considered « Rumena Zlatkova’s Blog

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