Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Hassan Akkad: ‘For someone from Syria, the creeping authoritarianism is vivid in Britain’

‘When do the British get out and protest?’ Hassan Akkad photographed in London last month. Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Observer
’Ẃn d ɖ Britiś gt ǎt n protest?’ Hasan Acad foṭgraft in Lundn last munʈ. Foṭgraf: Sŭci Danda/Ɖ Obzrvr

Hasan Acad: ‘Fr smwn fṛm Siria, ɖ crīpñ oʈoṛterịnizm z vivid in Britn’

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 2 August 2020)

Hasan Acad fled Dmasc̣s aftr h wz torćrd bî Asad’z reźīm. Bt nʈñ priperd him fr hiz job az a clīnr on a Covid-19 word in Lundn…

Tim Adams

Tim Admz, Súnde, 2 Ōġst 2020

Ɖr hv bn tîmz in ɖ past 10 yirz, Hasan Acad sz, ɖt hiz lîf hz flt mor lîc a muvi. Ʈncñ ɖt oceźṇli cept him sen – n, mor importnt, cept him gwñ.

Acad’z wōc-on part in wrld ivnts bgan in 2011, ẃn az a yuñ Ñgliś tīćr h pt himslf in ɖ frunt-lîn v Aṛb sprñ dmocṛsiprotests in hiz netiv Siria. H wz bìtn n impriznd bî ɖ reźīm – n at wn pônt gvn a fes-t-fes ōdịns wɖ Baśar al-Asad, hiz torćrr, t plīd hiz ces. Hvñ fled Dmasc̣s in fir v hiz lîf jrñ ɖ sivl wor, Acad bcem fr ʈri yirz wn v ɖoz 12 mił̣n “dsplest prsnz” srćñ fr a hom on ɖ six o’cloc nyz. Unflinćñ camṛfon clips v hiz loñ jrni t Britn – clññ t a sncñ ppl-smuglr dngi of ɖ cǒst v Trci, en route t ɖ “Jungl” in Calais – md ɖ most vivid n afctñ ftij v ɖ BBC’s Bafta-winñ X’ds: Ǎr Jrni t Yṛp siriz.

Acad’z impṛvîzd spīć wz instṛmntl in anɖr v ɖ prîm̦inistr’z mumbld U-trnz ɖ folowñ de

Ɖ lêtist act in Acad’z Odisịn lîf involvd anɖr slf-md vidio. Hvñ tecn a job az a clīnr in a Covid-19 word at hiz locl hospitl, Wips Cros in īst Lundn, at ɖ start v ɖ pandemic, in Me, Acad md a hart-flt filmd adres t Boris Jonsn. H spouc, clos t tirz, intu hiz camṛfon at ɖ end v anɖr drenñ śift. Ɖ impṛvîzd spīć, md on bhaf v ɖoz imigṛnt NHS wrcrz śemf̣li xcludd fṛm ɖ guvnmnt’s b’rivmntcompnseśn scīm n forst t pe a prīmịm t yz ɖ hospitlz ɖe wr riscñ ɖer lîvz t cīp aflot, wz d’recli instṛmntl in anɖr v ɖ prîm̦inistr’z mumbld U-trnz ɖ folowñ de.

Sitñ in ɖ śerd gardn v hiz flat last wīc, Acad wz wunḍrñ ẃt ɖ script v hiz lîf mt involv nxt. H lafs abt ɖ mor sriyl aspects v hiz rīsnt profîl: ɖ fact ɖt ɖ pop star Dua Lipa hd ćozn him az hr naśnl hiro in GQ in Jūn; hiz imośnl apiṛns bfr Pírz Morgn on Gd Mornñ Britn ɖt nt onli hlpt t fyl ɖ £35,000 h rezd fr ɖ St Barʈoḷmy’z hospitl ćaṛti, bt sīmd instṛmntl in Morgn’z rīsnt incongrụs soulsrćñ (“W cn ol b betr ppl aftr ɖs, Hasan. I d nt xclud mslf. I ʈnc it’s bròt so mć pspctiv, I riyli d”). F Captin Tom hd bn Morgn’z gost v Crisṃs Past, Acad, ejd 32, sīmd t repriznt t him a viźn v a cîndr, mor inclūsiv fyćr.

Ɖ de bfr w met, Acad hd postd a picćr on Twitr v hiz śîni ny membrśp-card fr ɖ Lebr parti. H hz bn ʈncñ, h sz, abt yzñ hiz ynīc vantij on ɖs cuntri – n hiz ingejñ eḷqns in hiz secnd lanḡj – t d smʈñ in poḷtics. Spend an aur or tū in hiz cumṗni, n I wd dfî y nt t fīl lîc printñ līflits n nocñ dorz on hiz bhaf. Acad arîvd in Britn in 2015 in tîm t witnis – n dsper v – Nîjl Farāj’z “Brecñpônt” ref̣rendmpostr. Ɖ imajinri d’rectr v hiz bîopic wd d wel t rzrv ɖt sem spes fr a campenbilbōrd in a fyćr ilex́n: vot Hasan Acad fr a Britn y mt b prǎd v agn.

Hassan Akkad in the BBC documentary Exodus – much of the footage was shot on his phone. Photograph: Hassan Akkad
Hasan Acad in ɖ BBC dokmntri X’ds – mć v ɖ ftij wz śot on hiz fon. Foṭgraf: Hasan Acad

It gz wɖt seyñ ɖt h wontd nn v ɖs drama. W tōc frst in ɖ súnśîn – acrs a gardntebl on tū nacrd ćerz, srǎndd bî ɖ stīp rir eḷveśnz v Edwordịn teṛsz – abt ɖ importns v gd nebrz. Growñ p in Dmasc̣s, ẃr hiz faɖr hd a pītṣresṭront, Acad ń evrwn on hiz strīt. In Leiṭnston, h hz onli riyli got t ćat t hiz nebrz sins Covid-19. Evrwn mîndd ɖer ǒn biznis hir, h sz, bt, haṗli, post clap-fr-cerrz, ɖt hz ćenjd. “I ʈnc it z importnt t hv nebrz az frendz,” h sz. H hz frɖr xtndd ɖt hand v hosṗtaḷti bî voḷntirñ at hiz locl fūdbanc, ẃr nīd hz tripld, dwñ drop-ofs fr ɖoz hu sudnli hv no incm or r śīldñ.

Ɖ sośl-îṣleśn Scîp-habits v locdǎn hv loñ bn hiz riaḷti. Hiz imīɉt faṃli ol left Siria – hiz peṛnts fećt p in ɖ YAE, hiz bruɖr hz bn in Yemn wrcñ fr ɖ Wrld Fūdprogram – n ɖe hv’nt bn undr ɖ sem rūf fr et yirz. Unclz n cuznz rmen in Dmasc̣s, ẃr ɖ icoṇmi hz c’lapst n ɖr z an ǎtbrec v c’roṇvîṛs, ẃć ɖ guvnmnt ignorz. A cupl v dez ago Acad wz on ɖ fon wɖ a frend bac hom huz dad hd daid v ɖ vîṛs. “N in ɖ deʈs’tifc̣t, ɖe sd ‘luñ dziz’, nt Covid. Īvn in tîmz v pandemic, az w nǒ, propganda plez a big rǒl.”

Acad iniṣ́li rspondd t ɖ rcrūtmntdrîv fr clīnñ n porṭrñ staf at Wips Cros hospitl, 10 minits p ɖ rod, bcz h flt h nīdd t ple hiz part in ɖ imrjnsi. Ɖr wz a śortij v staf bcz so mni NHS wrcrz wr fōlñ il. Ẃn h bgan, 90% v ɖ admiśnz wr Covid-19 peśnts. H hz bn dtend in Sirịn jelz, bt īvn so, h sz: “I d’nt ʈnc I hv evr bn az scerd wōcñ intu a bildñ az I wz ɖt frst de in Epril. Bac ɖen ɖ levl v unsrtnti wz vri hî.”

Hiz Britiś Gāneyn bos, Alḅt, hu hd wrct ɖ word fr 15 yirz, bcem hiz mêt. Ɖe wd arîv at sevn in ɖ mornñ, gt intu ɖer scrubz n ɖen gt t wrc disinfctñ evrʈñ y cd si, “ol ɖ hotspots, ɖ lît swićz, ɖ tôḷts n ɖ bedfremz v ɖ peśnts, sm v hūm wr dayñ”. H wz dwñ et aurz a de, fîv dez a wīc, ɖen cmñ hom t hiz flat hir n steyñ pt, nt īvn riscñ gwñ t ɖ śops.

In ɖ cors v hiz wrc, Acad startd t tec picćrz v hiz colīgz, ẃć apird in an articl h rout fr P’liṭco maġzīn. Hiz frendśp md ɖ nrsz n ɖ clīnrz cm alîv on ɖ pej. “W wr 18 ppl on ɖ wordz, n w cem fṛm 12 cuntriz,” h sz. Ẃt sstend ɖm wz ɖ ćats ɖt ɖe wd hv jrñ brecs. Hiz frend n colīg Gimba, ɖ wordhost, wd mc hr sigṇćr Nîjirịn jolof rîs n bost abt it ovr lunć; Acad wd mc ɖ cǎnṭarğmnt fr hŭṃs n faḷfél.

Wn v hiz colīgz ‘bustd hiz śoldr’ wɖ ɖ intnṣti v ɖ clīnñdmandz on ɖ Covid-19 word

“W wr trayñ t dstract ǎrslvz fṛm ẃt w wr siyñ, bcz ɖ riaḷti wz qt horid,” h sz. Gimba cntractd Covid-19; Alḅt, hu z 52, “bustd hiz śoldr” wɖ ɖ intnṣti v ɖ clīnñ dmandz. Ɖ stres fr ol v ɖm wz md wrs bî wîdr p’liticl fṛstreśn. Acad rmembrz gwñ t wrc ɖ mornñ ɖt ɖ guvnmnt dsîdd t xclud ɖ faṃliz v NHS clīnrz n portrz fṛm its b’rivmntcompnseśn scīm, n ɖ prîm̦inistr, rīsntli ǎt v hospitl, argyd ɖt ɖ minimm-wej imigṛnt wrcrz hu wr cīpñ ɖ Covid-19 wordz gwñ wd cntiny t pe a £400 srćarj t yz ɖ NHS ɖmslvz. “Ẃn I arîvd ɖt de, evrwn flt cmplitli btreid, stabd in ɖ bac,” Acad sz. H spent hiz śift unebl t ʈnc v enʈñ bt ɖ injustis v ɖt poḷsi. Ẃn h sat in hiz car lêtr, n tōct intu hiz foncamra, h let ɖoz fṛstreśnz ǎt. “Ɖr wz ɖs fīlñ, tù: I hv cm fṛm Siria; ɖz r nt ʈñz I wd xpct t incǎntr hir.”

Akkad was one of a team of 14 cleaners disinfecting Covid wards at Whipps Cross hospital in east London – 10 of whom were immigrants. Photograph: Twitter @hassan_akkad
Acad wz wn v a tīm v 14 clīnrz disinfctñ Covid wordz at Wips Cros hospitl in īst Lundn – 10 v hūm wr imigṛnts. Foṭgraf: Twitr @Hasan_Acad

I wundr ẃ h ʈncs hiz inṭvnśn pruvd so ifctiv; ɖ prîm̦inistr nvr hd ɖ gres t rspond t him d’recli – “I’m nt Marc̣s Raśf̣d” – bt ɖ poḷsi wz olmst imīɉ̣tli rvrst.

“I ʈnc partli bcz yẓ́li refyjīz – Sirịnz – r at ɖ rsivñ end v hymaṇterịn ax́n. So ẃn I am dwñ ɖs, n rezñ £35,000 fr Barts trust, ɖe ʈnc it’s ɖ roñ we rnd.” H rjcts ɖt psivd contṛdix́n. H spouc p fr hymn rîts in Siria. Ẃ gv p nǎ h hz faund a hom hir? “In mî xpirịns ɖ ppl ɖt gt xcludd fṛm hlp r olwz ɖ most vulnṛbl,” h sz. “In ɖs ces ɖ clīnrz n portrz.”

Acad tld Pírz Morgn, wɖ sm oʈoṛti, ɖt eni propr hymn biyñ z ćenjd bî crîsis. Lcñ bac, h îdnṭfîz ɖ Aṛb sprñ az ɖ momnt ɖt riyli śept him. F hiz faṃli hd p’liticl dscuśnz bfr ɖt, it wz olwz bhnd clozd dorz. “F y md a prîṿt joc abt ɖ reźīm n it got ǎt, ɖr wd b consiqnsz.” At ɖ ej v 12, Acad hd bn forst t jôn ɖ rūlñ Baaʈ parti, wer its militri yṇform t scūl, rsît its slognz “yṇti, frīdm n soṣ́lizm” n t crs “Zaynizm n impirịlizm” – ɖo h dd nt unḍstand ẃt eni v ɖz wrdz mnt. “Ɖ sem yir w wr tecn t a fīld n tòt t śūt a rîfl,” h sz. “Siria wz a rić cuntri bt ol v ɖ muni wnt t ɖ Asad reźīm n ɖer alîz.”

H studid Ñgliś bt most bcs wr bánd. A trnñpônt fr him wz rīdñ a memwar cōld Ɖ Śel, ritn bî a Sirịn Crisćn cōld Mstafa Calīfa. Ɖ bc dscrîbd hǎ Calīfa hd bn roñf̣li arestd n torćrd in ɖ ntorịs sīcrit srvis prizn in Palmira. “Mî cuzn wz in ɖt prizn at ɖ sem tîm,” Acad sz. “Ɖt memwar bcem mî Bîbl. Wns I hd réd it I cd nt hv mî saṇti n liv wɖ a reźīm lîc ɖt.”

Unlîc mni v ɖ dmocṛsipṛtstrz, left wɖ nʈñ t lūz in 2011, Acad wz dwñ wel fr himslf. H wz tīćñ Ñgliś n dwñ fotgrafic asînmnts in hiz sper tîm, rnñ £2,000 a munʈ, mor ɖn hiz faɖr wz wɖ hiz resṭront. H hd a car n wz abt t pt dǎn a dpozit on a flat. Ol ɖt ćenjd wɖ ɖ arest n torćr v 15 ćildṛn in ɖ siti v Daṛā, hu hd alejidli ritn anti-Asad slognz on a wōl, ɖ ivnt ɖt trigrd ɖ sivl wor in Siria. “Y cd nt hír ɖt stori n nt gt involvd,” h sz. “Ɖe cd hv bn mî stydnts, 13, 14 yirz old. N ɖ sīcrit p’līs hd pld ǎt ɖer fngrnêlz. Ɖt wz ɖ start fr m.”

Protest wz liḅretñ fr a ẃl, bt ɖ rspons wz brūtl. Acad filmd ɖ demnstreśnz n postd ɖm onlîn. Ɖ frst tîm h wz dtend n bìtn bî ɖ s’kṛtisrṿsz, bʈ v Acad’z armz wr brocn wɖ ayn barz az h traid t pṛtct hiz fes; hiz ribz n legz wr smaśt. Nt loñ aftr h wz rlist fṛm cusṭdi, h wz cōld in t mīt Asad.

I wnt t Asad’z palis oṇstli ʈncñ I wz ɖ prsn hu cd ćenj hiz mînd

“Apaṛntli h hd hŕd mî stori – I wrct in a scūl wɖ sm qt ilit cidz. So h asct m t mīt him at hiz palis.” H smîlz, śecs hiz hed. “I wnt ɖr oṇstli ʈncñ I wz ɖ prsn hu cd ćenj hiz mînd. I sd: ‘F I spīc oṇstli wl I b alaud t g bac hom tde?’ n h sd yes. So I tld him bluntli abt ɖ sstemic torćr v hiz reźīm, n ɖt I hd livd ɖt xpirịns. I tld him abt hǎ h wz mcñ eṇmiz v a jeṇreśn. I ʈnc y śd olwz spīc truʈ t pǎr. Bt I asym ɖt wz ẃt léd t mî secnd pirịd v dtnśn…”

Ɖr r parts v ɖt xpirịns ɖt Acad fîndz tù hard t ʈnc abt. H wz plest in an unḍgrǎnd sél tū mītrz sqer, n tld h wd b ɖr fr evr. Ɖr wr scraćz n marcs on ɖ wōlz fṛm priznrz hu hd bn ɖr bfr him. H wz rlist aftr tū wīcs, bt ɖ ifct wz wrs ɖn ɖ fizicl bìtñz. “Ẃn y r on a jrni t gt smẃr, az I wz, y hold a lot insd; bt ẃn y gt t ɖ ples, ɖ imośnl scarz, undr ɖ scarz v ɖ torćr, ɖe srfis.” In Britn h wz dạgnozd wɖ complex PTSD, bt mntl hlʈ hd nt bn tōct abt mć at hom. “Y r sudnli stuc wɖ ɖs ʈñ y hv no vcabyḷri fr,” h sz. “I litṛli hd t Gūgl stuf t fînd ǎt ẃt wz gwñ on in mî hed.”
 In a selfie with his Bafta for best factual series or strand, for Exodus.
In a slfi wɖ hiz Bafta fr bst facćl siriz or strand, fr X’ds.

Wrcñ in ɖ NHS in ɖ past munʈs hz, h sjsts, hlpt him t axes sm v ɖt trōma proprli fr ɖ frst tîm – “ɖ hospitl wz intiṃdetñ bt olso odli impǎrñ in sm wez,” h sz. Hvñ sìn ɖ wrst v hymaṇti, h nǎ sw sm v ɖ bst amñ hiz colīgz. “I witnist a lot v ppl dî, bt olso a lot rcuvr n g hom t ɖer luvd wnz, n I pleid a smōl rǒl in mcñ ɖt hapn.” Ɖt smōl sns v ejnsi, īvn in ɖ crîsis, cntrastd wɖ a deced in ẃć ɖ xtrim srcmstansz v hiz lîf hd ofn bn bynd hiz cntrol. “I cem ǎt v wrcñ at ɖ hospitl ebl t tel ppl ɖt I am nt a victim,” h sz.

H hz, lîc ol refyjīz, bn asct t cari ɖt lebl wɖ him acrs Yṛp. “Ppl olwz wont t si y az sm simbl v pen,” h sz. “Fr xampl, it boɖrd m ɖt mî frendz wd’nt tel m t pis of f I wz biyñ iṛtetñ, or ẃtvr.” Ppl wd îɖr piti him, or pijnhoul him, or bʈ. H dz nt fīl h wz proprli creḍtd or compnsetd fr ɖ BBC X’ds film – h sz h rsivd no pemnt fr ɖ fîv aurz v ftij h handd ovr – n hz bn dtrmind t lrn fṛm ɖt xpirịns.

H wonts oṗtyṇti, nt simṗʈi. “Ẃn I postd ɖt hospitlvidio, evri pṛdux́ncumṗni on ɖ fes v ɖ Rʈ cntactd m, ascñ m t b involvd in ɖer Covid dokmntri,” h sz, “bt olwz az a cntribytr, nvr az a c’laḅretr.” Instd h aproćt ɖ hospitltrust t asc f h cd d sm filmñ, aftr hiz śift wz ovr, n h z nǎ mcñ a film v hiz ǒn, “Nt abt peśnts bt abt [hiz] tīm ɖt wrct fr ɖ NHS.”

H hz, in ɖ sem spirit, olso startd raitñ a memwar, n hz a contract wɖ Pan Mcmiḷn. “I wont ppl hu rīd it nt t crî bt t campen,” h sz.

Ɖt wz part v ɖ impuls ɖt léd him t rcord ɖ dītel v hiz xpirịns v mîgreśn, īvn az h cem clos t drǎnñ. Dd ɖt storitelr’z instñt olso hlp t cīp him wn step rmuvd fṛm ɖ madnis?

“I cd oṗret a camra, I cd spīc Ñgliś, so I hd priṿlijz ovr most v ɖ ppl,” h sz. “Bt īvn ẃn ǎr bot wz tecñ in wōtr n abt t snc, ɖ camra pṛtctd m in a we.” Biyñ an obzrvr gev him smʈñ t ʈnc abt, tc him ǎt v ɖ riaḷti jst a litl.

Phps az a rzult h sīmz rmarcbli slf’wer. Hǎ mć dz h ʈnc h wz ćenjd bî ɖ xpirịnsz h hd on ɖ rod?

“I vy ɖ wrld we mor sinicli, in sm wez,” h sz, “bt I am olso gretfl fr aspects v ẃt hapnd. I wz ɖs cid in Dmasc̣s wɖ qt a nîs lîf, bt I wz’nt olwz nîs. I wz a bit resist smtmz, a bit clasist. So it hz bn an edyceśn. I svîvd on fūdparslz in Calais, so I nǒ ẃt ɖt z lîc. I slept in a parc fr 10 dez wɖ no tnt or slīpñbag, biyñ atact bî sìgulz. I riyli het sìgulz.” Aftr mbi 50 feld atmts t gt on a lori acrs ɖ Ćanl, h ivnć̣li manijd t gt on a flît t Hīʈro wɖ a fec pasport, n t clem asîḷm.

F h hz rgrets, ɖe r larjli abt ɖ añzaytiz h hz cōzd hiz muɖr. Ẃl h wz jrniyñ acrs Yṛp, ɖr wd b loñ gaps in contact, ptiklrli aftr h lost ol hiz b’loññz in ɖ sìcrosñ. “I olwz apoḷjîz t mî mum fr ẃt I hv pt hr ʈru,” h sz. Ẃn h got ɖ job at Wips Cros h snt hr a foto in fl PPI, xplenñ h hd startd t wrc in ɖ Covid-19 word. “V cors y hv,” ś rout in rplî. Hiz peṛnts r prǎd v hiz campenñ, bt ɖe r nt ebl t gt a vīza t vizit him. Ẃt h strugld wɖ most in ɖ hospitl, h sz, “wz woćñ ppl se gdbî t ɖer luvd wnz on Scîp – nwn śd hv t dî on ɖer ǒn”.

Ẃ, I wundr, lcñ bac, wz h so stubnli dtrmind t cm hir n nt elsẃr in Yṛp? H smîlz. “I hd studid Ñgliś litṛćr n I ʈt v Lundn az ɖ sntr v dmocṛsi n hymn rîts,” h sz. “Hvñ livd in a ttaḷterịn cuntri fr tū decedz v mî lîf, I wontd t liv smẃr ɖt I cd b fri.” H woćt ɖ film Brevhart 10 tîmz bac in Siria; ɖt Wiłm Wolis crî v “Frīdm!” steid wɖ him.

Ɖs z a dluźnl dmocṛsi, ẃr ppl r laid t, n vot fr ɖ layrz

H mt, h admits nǎ, hv bn cerfl ẃt h wśt fr – t ɖ xtnt ɖt h z no longr srtn h īvn wonts t ste hir bynd nxt yir. “Fr smwn fṛm Siria, ɖ crīpñ oʈoṛterịnizm z qt vivid hir nǎ,” h sjsts. “Contracts gwñ t guvnmntcroniz; poḷtiśnz brecñ ɖ rūlz n nt fesñ consiqnsz; ɖs dluźnl dmocṛsi ẃr ppl r laid t, n vot fr ɖ layrz.”

Ẃn h md hiz stand abt ɖ NHS, h dd so in ɖ nolij ɖt in Marć v nxt yir hiz vīza xpîrz n h hz t aplî fr indefiṇt līv t rmen. “I wz wurid abt ptñ mslf ǎt ɖr. Evrwn z añśs ɖt ɖe wl ćenj ol ɖ sitiznśp rūlz agn aftr Brexit.” N ɖen, wɖ krioṣti: “I’m an ǎtsîdr hir. I woć ẃt z haṗnñ, n I’m lîc: z ɖr evr a tîm ẃn ɖ Britiś gt ǎt n protest?”
With Noel Fielding, Jamie Byng, Stephen Daldry, Jude Law and fellow refugee Ahmad Al-Rashid, delivering a letter to the PM about the treatment of child refugees. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian
Wɖ Nol Fīldñ, Jemi Bñ, Stìvn Daldri, Jūd Lw n felo refyjī Ahmad Al-Raśid, dliṿrñ a letr t ɖ PM abt ɖ trītmnt v ćîld refyjīz. Foṭgraf: Linda Nîlind/Ɖ Gardịn

Nt ol Acad’z incǎntrz hv rflectd a hostîl invîrnmnt. H livd fr ɖ frst tū munʈs aftr arîvl in Hićin, Hartfdśr, on ɖ cǎć v a voḷntir h hd met in Calais. Ɖen h wz tecn in bî a faṃli wɖ a sper rūm in Brixtn. H got a job dwñ marc̣tñ wɖ a ćaṛti cōld ĆūzLuv (fr ẃć h olso rezd £50,000), n a ftogṛfr dwñ sm wrc fr ɖm hŕd hiz stori n gev him a camra, so h cd psy hiz ćozn ambiśn. “Ɖoz acts v jeṇroṣti r ẃt y nīd,” h sz, “n ɖe r ẃ I d ɖ wrc I d nǎ.”

Slǒli, wɖ ɖt hlp n ʈru hiz ǒn streñʈ v mînd, Lundn hz startd t fīl lîc hom. H hz a mntl map v feṿrit plesz – Brixtn, ɖ cnalz, Epñ Forist, Primroz Hil – n a tît netwrc v frendz. F ɖ imajinri d’rectr v hiz muvilîf hd a r’mantic endñ in mînd, hvr, ɖt ʈred hz bn ʈwortd bî locdǎn. Acad’z grlfrend z a felo eṃgre fṛm Siria, Farā, orijiṇli hir az a stydnt, huz faṃli hom in Dmasc̣s wz dstroid bî bomñ. Ɖe wr mnt t gt marid last munʈ in ɖ rejistr ofis in Leitnston, n hd hopt t ɖen gt ɖ faṃliz tgɖr in Jordn fr a seḷbreśn. F enwn z yst t upendd hops n unsrtnti, ɖo, it z Acad. “It wl hapn,” h sz, v ɖ lîf ɖe hv pland. “Bt v cors agn w wl hv t wêt.”

Instroduction to Ñspel

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