Hassan is a Moroccan trader. As many other Moroccans, he exports spices and cosmetic products around West Africa. He arrived in Mauritania in November 2012 with the idea of opening a boutique with his family.
“Before taking the decision to migrate, I visited Mauritania to conduct a market survey. What I have found is a virgin country where still a lot can be done. On the other side, Morocco is a country rich in resources, most of which are lacking in Mauritania, so what I do is promoting the exchange between the two countries.”
After his arrival, it took Hassan one year to open his first shop. “I know a lot of people from Morocco, Tunisia, or Turkey who started an activity here and after one year had to leave the country.”
Although he had some problems at the beginning as well, Hassan did well enough for his business to flourish and managed to open a new and bigger shop.
“It is a chance that my family is here. In the morning we open at 7 a.m. and then close at midnight, I could never have done this alone. When you are not in your country, you don’t know anybody at the beginning; so it is good to have someone close to you, someone who can make you feel home.”
In the future Hassan would like to do something for his country, something to improve its economy.
“The positive aspect of migration is that you get to know other countries, cultures, expertise, people, their way of eating, thinking, living, etc.; so many things from which something special can rise. You get to know the world!”
“I gave what I could to this country, but I have also learnt a lot from it. I know how to cope with solitude and that we do not need much to be happy.”