There’s no such thing as integration for immigrants and their descendants.
Growing up in rural Britain – Wales, to be precise – I was the poster child for immigration.
My teachers liked me, I was a prefect, I captained my team in the Eisteddfod – an annual traditional Welsh competition. I won ribbons on Sports Day, attained high grades and did after school activities. I did everything they tell young brown kids to do.
It never occurred to me that I was the only one who considered myself just like everyone else.
But once I was far enough away, several years later, somewhere between Cairo and Gaza, after a Facebook exchange with an old classmate who told me magnanimously that he knows I’m a good person so I don’t need to apologise for whatever it was that some Muslim had done, a file opened in the back of my mind.
For months it began to fill with memories I’d shrugged off, pooh-poohed or not given a second thought to at the time.