‘I make myself small and stay quiet’: Experiences of racism in Ireland
Black Irish Lives: The Irish Times asked black people and people of colour to share their stories
Youssef Khalifa: ‘I make myself small and I stay quiet’
I don’t often speak up about these things. I learned from an early age that it was less uncomfortable to stay quiet, and play along.
I was born in 1983 to a Libyan father and an Irish mother, in the Coombe Hospital in Dublin. I grew-up in Tallaght. Until you hear my name or look at my passport, no-one notices me. It’s easier to not be noticed and to get on with it - this is the big lesson I have taken from primary school, and carry with me to this day. I have passing privilege if I keep my life small. So I do. No-one should have to do this.