Photo credit: IOM/ F.GIORDANI
Abdelmajid comes from Amizmiz, a small town about fifty kilometers south of Marrakech, where he is known as Majid. He has been an electrician for 15 years without ever really having thought what he should become, as he quickly learned the trade by watching his father work.
When he talks about his city, and Morocco in general, his eyes sparkle and his smile widened. He misses his country, his wife and children too.
He was technical manager at a hotel 400 kilometers from his home. Every 3 months, he would return to Amizmiz for a week. "It was tiring but I was used to. So when I was asked to go and work in Mauritania to earn a higher salary I accepted immediately because, despite the greater distance, my future boss had assured me that I will keep the same rhythm back to house before, "says Majid.
Khadija, his wife, remained in Morocco with their two children. For her, Majid’s decision to leave was obvious; three of her brothers are in Italy, as well as her uncles and aunts. In the family, migration is almost natural.
Majid went to Nouakchott 18 months ago, full of enthusiasm and dreams in his suitcase, but the promises of his generous boss quickly vanished, as did his plan to save enough money quickly to start his own business.
"I spent a whole year in Mauritania without being able to go home. I work seven days a week and the money I put aside, I spend it in phone cards to talk to my children every day. I do not want to lose my family, " said Majid.
He lives in Nouakchott but his heart remained in Amizmiz. “I had never been afraid of working with electricity but here I don’t take risks because I don’t want to die away from home," he said.
Majid sends as much money to his wife and children as he can. His salary pays for mathematics courses for his little sister who is in high school, and it help his mother and brother. These remittances are his way of investing in his country.
"I want my sister to learn English, and my children to get a good education. If it works, I will have succeeded. That's Majid’s life. I am a father. I want nothing for myself; I do this for my children and for my country."