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Eddie O’Reily

Eddie is the eldest of three siblings to Irish parents who came to the area during WWII. He describes living in the Paddington area in the 1950’s and 60’s.  

In this extract, Eddie talks about his family’s overcrowded living conditions, having no electricity, and sharing toilet facilities with other families.

Hasna Kahlalech

Hasna grew up in France and moved to London in 1994 to work as an au-pair. Hasna has since become heavily involved in the local community, delivering women-only exercise classes for community groups, and becoming a Trustee with PDT. 

Here, Hasna talks about the dual identity of her children and the diversity amongst their friends. 

Ibrahim Youseff

Ibrahim came to the UK from Egypt 40 years ago. He trained as a Silver Service Waiter, working across many hotels in Mayfair and the Natural History Museum Kitchen, and served dignitaries such as the Queen and celebrity, Elton John, at the Guildhall. 

Ibrahim talks about his first night in London, sleeping on a bench in Green Park, because he had no family or social networks. 

Lina Alchami

Lina grew up in a town called Hamma, around 4 hours’ drive from Damascus, Syria. She moved to London in 1999 to live with her husband; initially settling in Edgware Road. 

In this extract Lina talks about adjusting to the unpredictable British weather, and the importance of living in a multicultural community. 

Michael Dipple

Here, Michael talks about the different events and activities PDT has been providing to people new to the area and country, offering support and forming organic connections through food, dance, and music.

Sonia Grant

Sonia was born in Fulham in the 1960s to Windrush generation parents. She recalls how challenging it was growing up as the only Black girl in her community. 

Sonia tells the story of her two sisters arriving in the UK from Jamaica on a cold winter’s day, dressed in summer clothes, feeling frightened and overwhelmed. 

“It is most necessary to avoid rusticity in any way, whether in material, design, or execution.”

George Edmund Street