I was born and raised in Italy, Rome. My mum is Moroccan, and my dad is Egyptian, and they met and got married in Rome. It is always difficult for me to answer the question “Where are you from?” and it depends on who is asking.
I moved to the UK 5 years ago at the age of 20. I moved because my family wanted to get more opportunities for work. I moved with my dad, brother, and sister at the start and the rest of my family – my mum and siblings moved after 6/7 months.
In the first 6 months it was very difficult. My English wasn’t good, I wasn’t working or attending college. But after college, I met lots of people that shared the same experience as me like moving from a different country to the UK and they had this language barrier so it was really nice to meet them, share our experience and help each other with work.
The weather in Italy is different. Here it feels like winter lasts longer. I miss the food in Italy a lot. In Nottingham where I live, I only go to three restaurants, mainly Indian, Turkish, and Italian.
I have an Italian passport but I feel that my name, the way I dress, the language I speak... I am not Italian enough. Even though I was born there, the society makes me feel like I don’t belong. I was made to feel like the “other”. It affected the way I see myself and the way I see home. I feel like Italy, even though I was born, raised and lived there for 20 years, it’s not really home. I don’t see Egypt as home even though I lived there for 2 years. I was born in another country, my accent is different, my mum is Moroccan, people see me in a different way so it doesn’t really feel like home. It’s been 18 years since I went to Morocco so I can’t say that I am Moroccan or I see Moroccan as my home.
Since I moved here, I have realised that it doesn’t matter the country, wherever my family is, that is home. I don’t think home is a country or a place. When you have family around in one place, that makes home. Wherever your family is, that is where I call home.
I am a proud migrant. It’s not easy to decide to leave a place you call home and move to a new place. I’ve grown a lot mentally. Moving here made me confident, dependable, and taking that step has put me in a better place to help my parents.