I have faced hostility from my community since helping refugees

Tell Me About It: I’m fed up with the intolerance and considering moving to a different city

My fiancé is incredibly supportive and says she will move anywhere with me, but she does think that I am over-reacting. Photograph: iStock

My fiancé is incredibly supportive and says she will move anywhere with me, but she does think that I am over-reacting. Photograph: iStock

I was born in a war-torn part of the Middle East to an Irish mother and Arabic father. In my early teens, after witnessing a series of traumatic events in the neighbourhood, my parents sent me to live with my grandparents in a rural Irish village. I was familiar with the area as throughout my childhood I had visited at least once a year. I knew most of the local kids, and because I am a good footballer, I was popular, and they accepted me very quickly.

I never really thought that I experienced racism. I allowed my friends to shorten my first name so that it sounded Irish and my grandparents encouraged me to adopt their surname when introducing myself to people in the surrounding region.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.