For the past two weeks, I have been working on a MRCF project called Moroccan Memories in Britain, An Oran and Visual History
Moroccan Memories was set up by Dr. Myriam Cherti as a way to bridge the historical gap between past and post 1960 Moroccan migration to the UK. As a fieldworker, my job will be to capture three generations worth or oral and visual histories, targeting the areas of Trowbridge, Crawley, and St. Albans. What is brilliant about this project is how it incorporates intergenerational ties among those in the Moroccan community. As is mentioned in the Moroccan Memories pamphlet, by examining the “intergenerational ties amongst members of the Moroccan community [can create] platforms for discussion and dialogue between the three generations, is an additional desired project output.” The oral testimonies gathered will be kept in archive at the British Library Sound Archives, HISTORYtalk in North Kensington, Mass-Observational Archive at the University of Sussex, and the Living Memory Association in Edinburgh. This will ensure that future generations of British-Moroccans and the wider public will have access to the rich history within this diaspora
I am really excited by what this project is promoting and looking forward to my first interview experience. I have to complete eight interviews before April, so if you are British Moroccan and live in the three listed areas, please feel free to get in touch with me or Dr. Cherti (see contact info below) if you would like to share your story.
Dr. Myriam Cherti
Tel: 020 8962 3045
Through the MRCF, I have also come across another interesting group called Persian Adult-Day Care. It was set up by Roohy Shahin as a way for her mother to socialize with other older adults within the Persian community in London. Roohy does address an important but often neglected theme in diaspora studies– how to care for the needs of elder relatives, many of which may have not entirely assimilated or only have come recently to the host country to settle with their children. Persian Adult-Day Care meets every Thursday from 11am-4pm, and provides elder Iranians (between the ages of 65-80?) a chance to meet others in their peer group. The psychological impact is priceless because it allows elder Iranians not to feel so marginalized, alone and neglected. It gives them an outlet to feel part of a community, a home.
I’m going to comment more about these two projects in the coming months. I’ve already been asked by Roohy’s mom to be a regular volunteer for Persian Adult-Day Care.