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Somali Oral Histories

In March 2013 Tower Hamlets hosted the first exhibition examining the history of Somali migration to the borough. Produced by Idea Store in partnership with KAYD Somali Arts Culture, the exhibition drew on oral histories of influential and inspirational residents as well as the collections of Tower Hamlets Local History Library Archives to tell the story of the borough’s Somali history. Simeera Hassan gathered these oral histories and new archives in 2012-2013 as part of her heritage skills traineeship supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The National Archives.

Oxford House hosted the exhibition between 8-31 March 2013.


Oral histories of the Somali East End

From the collection of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives


What are you first impressions of Tower Hamlets?

Ahmed Esa [01:16]


Ahmed Esa [01:25]


Ahmed Yusuf [00:58]


Abdi Hassan [00:44]


Yurub Farah [01:18]


Ruqiya Egeh [01:42]


Zahra Hassan [01:38]


Amal Dahir [00:54]


What changes have you seen in Tower Hamlets since moving here?

Ahmed Yusuf [00:43]


Ahmed Esa [00:53]


Ishmail Ali [02:30]


Ishmail Ibrahim [01:11]


Amal Dahir [01:20]


Abdi Hassan [00:35]


Zahra Hassan [00:41]



What are your impressions of housing in Tower Hamlets?

Amal Dahir [01:30]


Yurub Qalib Farah [00:56]


Zahra Hassan [00:32]


Did you have trouble finding employment? Did you have to change your carreer moving here?

Ismail Ali [00:39]


Ahmed Yusef [02:03]


Abdilahi Adan Guiled [01:55]


Ruqiya Egeh [01:08]


Abdi Hassan [01:27]


Saynab Farah [01:43]


Yurub Qalib Farah [04:30]



What education did you have in Tower Hamlets?

Abdilahi Adan Guiled [01:00]


Saynab Farah [01:35]


Ruqiya Egeh [00:52]


Amal Dahir [01:11]



How is the social life in Tower Hamlets?

Ismail Ibrahim [00:47]


Ahmed Yusef [00:19]


Yurub Qalib Farah [00:20]


Amal Dahir [01:20]



Did you experience problems because of the language barrier?

Saynab Farah [00:52]


Abdi Hassan [00:50]


Ruqiya Egeh [01:30]



How do you maintain your Somali culture living in London?

Saynab Farah [00:41]


Amal Dahir [03:20]


Abdi Hassan [00:46]


Ruqiya Egeh [01:05]



What was life like in Somalia?

Adbi Hassan [02:32]


Ruqiya Egeh [00:27]


Ahmed Awad Yusuf [02:01]


Zahra Hassan [01:19]