My name is Samy, I am 22 years old and I come from Algeria.
I came to Malta as a student, I graduated a few months ago and now I work in a tourism company. I’ve been here for almost four years now. Coming here specifically to study helped me a lot to integrate. In the beginning, at least, you are here with that purpose, you have somewhere to go, you get to interact with locals and other foreigners alike and you learn things about the country in an easier way too.
Before coming to Malta, I wanted to make a career in tourism, but when I got here I discovered my huge passion for music and it developed into a big part of my life. I became more motivated to do more things, my goals changed over time… I met a lot of people who have inspired me and made me discover things, even about myself, that I did not know before.
I feel like this is a very welcoming island, even though it is true that sometimes I did face some little problems, nothing big. The biggest difficulty has been finding a job, not just because I am not from here but also because I am Muslim. In some places, even my name would be a problem. And even when you do find a job, you still must have the company, hotel, or restaurant apply for your permit. And still the government can decide not to accept. They will say “what is the plus you are bringing, what is so special about you?”
I miss my country a lot. I miss the landscapes… I miss wide spaces and green areas. Most of all, I miss family and friends, of course. And the food, oh my God I really miss the food! Yet, sometimes I do feel like Malta is a second home to me. With time things became easier. I am a very sociable person, I easily adapt to things that are different, and when people see that you are really trying to belong, they start accepting you more and opening up to you too. All these dimensions are part of who I am now. After all, I think identity is the person you become with both your values and the many things and places and people you come into contact with.
Interview by Ana Ferreira