Sanaa, originally from Sudan and a mum of three, fled her home in Khartoum in 2005, following years of persecution by the authorities for her political beliefs.

“I was politically active in my country and experienced many problems from the regime in Sudan.

I was investigated and harassed a number of times by the state because of my appearance and refusal to wear a hijab in public. Then I was arrested. 

After this, life became almost unbearable. I had to leave. I left my country with my children but left behind my husband, parents, brothers and sisters. It was extremely difficult. 

When we arrived in the UK, I asked for asylum, and my application was granted few years later.

At first I lived in England, then we were told that the Home Office was moving us to Glasgow. I remember at the time someone I knew said, ‘Don’t worry about what you hear about Glasgow, it’s all just rumours.’

Communication was a problem at first because I found Scots people spoke differently to the English I’d been taught.

We have lived and worked in Glasgow for ten years now, and my husband has since joined our family from Sudan.”

These days, Sanaa works full time for a Scottish charity that supports people living with HIV and Hepatitis C in Scotland. 


Author: chris.pettigrew