The Blundstone boots, he says, gave me away. Another of Morocco´s rapacious handcraft vendors had found his mark; but Abdellah Fahmi, an engaging 31 year old, does retain a genuine affection for all things Australian, in spite of his unceremonious deportation.
Abdellah Fahmi's story is the story of how a cross-cultural relationship can disintegrate. When I met him, Fahmi had not come to grips with the enforced end of his Australian dream, a bright future in the First World. Nothing in his Muslim upbringing prepared him for a social system which gives his former wife the right to raise his infant daughter without him. Nor, it seems, can his family come to terms with the collapse of Abdellah´s marriage.
As a former Australian vice-consul in another Middle Eastern country, I'm better qualified than many to write on this topic.