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Libyan
Paul Adesoye

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I’m originally from Libya and both my parents are from there as well. I have two brothers and one sister and then my sister moved here when she was seven and then my brother would have been five and I was one when we came here. But my baby brother was born here. I’ve been here for about sixteen years.

My family didn’t know anyone (before coming to Ireland). They kind of latched to the Libyan community after they came here a bit. Well, you see like, there’s the Libyan culture and there’s Muslim culture as well so its religion is a big part of it as well cause like you can’t drink in Islam and stuff. There wasn’t many outlets for them to socialize so you know in any kind of way...so I suppose that I never had that.

No I have had some negative experiences yeah in terms of racism...it was when I was in primary school in fact I never actually felt different at all, I actually felt like I was Irish completely because that issue of race never came up.

I find that I have the same misconceptions as people here though...I don’t like to say it but I will go up to someone and say ‘Where are you from?’ and they would be like ‘England’ and then I would say ‘No, where are you actually from?’ I don’t if that’s just because I’m so used to it myself so I kinda feel like...well I’m gonna get back and get the same thing to other people.

Its been fine really...apart from the weather is sh*t; I still haven’t aclimatized as its just aweful. But we go back every summer so I do know Arabic, I speak fluent Arabic. I speak a bit of French but not to say fluently at all. At home I would be speaking with my family more in Arabic definitely...like I’ve grown up here so I’ve had more Irish traits and stuff in like personality but I’ve never really felt Irish in that kind of way. Because whenever somebody meets me like outside its like ‘Where are you from?’ and I’d say Sligo and they would say, ‘Where are you actually from?’

I suppose that everybody has different experiences. I mean I just always try to live my life like not thinking about that as much as possible...just to not heed it because you have to get on with your life I suppose even if you are ethnically different if doesn’t matter. Everybody lives the same life a lot...you just have to try and get on with it and not think about it!

Paul

 

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