man waiting in an airport

Joining your family in the UK​

I arrived in the UK in 2009 in autumn. It was a sad day for me and my heart was filled with sorrow. That day is etched in my mind and my memories of it now rush like a waterfall. 

I felt as though I was standing completely naked in the airport, because everything around was unrelated to me and I cried inside. I was very afraid because I had to adjust, and I worried that all these new things and new places imposed upon me would force me to lose part of my personality which was formed years ago elsewhere. 

My wife and my children had arrived in London over a year a before I came. I embraced my family and my joy was great when they told me that the next day was the start of the weekend, because I was in need of anything to remind me that I was not a stranger here in order to recover my self-confidence. 

My first appointment was to register with a GP, and that was an opportunity which made me feel the warmth of human emotions. I received good treatment and my human dignity was respected. Later, I had other appointments with my children’s schools, which made me feel comfortable about the future of my sons. 


Task 1 - read the text

In this first activity, you will read some statements based on the Abdulwahhab’s story.

Task 2 - matching activity

In this second activity, you will look at some words and phrases from Abdullwahhab’s story, and match them to their meanings.



  • How does your story of moving to the UK compare to Abdulwahhab’s?
  • Did you have similar feelings and experiences, or was your story very different?
  • Are you, like Abdulwahhab, optimistic about the future?
  • What advice would you give to someone who has just moved to the UK? You could post your responses below.