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Minority stories X: The challenges of discrimination

Liva (Latvia), Sanni (Finland) and Zlatina (Bulgaria) met Nasreddin Boulahya, a 24 year old moroccon-belgian man, at his house in Anderlecht to talk about the challenges of discrimination and the life of an immigrant, from a young mans point of view:

We were immediatley  treated with the generous moroccan hospitality, as we admired the beautiful, very moroccan influenced house of his family.

Nasreddin was only ten years old as he arrived in Brussels with his mother and siblings in search of a better future. His childhood wasn’t very easy; not knowing any french made it hard for him to find new friends and get good grades in school.

The two turning points in his life, he describes was when he decided to learn French which opened a lot of opportunities for his future and helped him integrate a lot better. The second one, was when he nearly escaped a violent riot between football hooligans and a gang of young immigrants in Anderlecht. Totally being ignored by the Belgian police standing nearby while getting attacked, Nasreddin describes the incident as a moment of rejection. From that moment on, he lost his confidence and trust in the belgian police and society, which just recently was regained again.

After the incident in Anderlecht he got contacted by Comac, a left-wing political organisation which works with the problems the young immigrates are facing, which truly changed his visions. By seeing other Belgians from different origins working for the same goals as he, finally restored his trust in the Belgian society.

The interview with Nasreddin was truly interesting and opened our eyes for the discrimination problems Brussels is facing. We admire his passion and determination to keep on helping the troubled youth of minorities in Brussels and hope he will inspire other to do the same.

Nasreddin; «I’m determined to stay in Brussels and finish my mission, because if all the qualified young people would leave, who is there left to help the youth?»