Ramiz Abbawi was born in 1979; his family is Iraqi but he grew up in Syria. He describes coming to Britain alone aged 19, how much he missed his mum, and seeing his parents again after four years.
Listen to Ramiz (mp3, 480kb)
'Well, you know, I would, I would be lying if I said it was easy - it wasn’t easy, obviously. Because you, you know, I was like my mum’s boy, I was very, like, well took care of back home. So I came here and I had to rely on myself in doing everything, cooking, cleaning, you know, things I never used to do. Then I had a period with no money, I had to find a job, I had to start learning the language.
'Obviously my family supported me, and the social services here, obviously, they did help me as well. But being 19 years old, coming from a different country, from a different culture, it wasn’t easy…
'My mum and dad are in Baghdad. They did come over three years ago. For the first four years I never saw them, but after the fall of Saddam they went back to Baghdad and they worked with the government, so it was easier for them to come over here. And yeah, they came and visited me. My dad was with me, actually, just last week, so, yeah, I did, reunited with them.
'It was emotional. At the beginning. Obviously it was. My mum, my dad, I never saw them for four years. It was really hard at the beginning. And yeah, we all started crying and everything, you know. But yeah, now, with the new telecommunication, everything, you can communicate easily, you literally call them every day.'
Copyright Evelyn Oldfield Unit