Hello!

This is a project that Owen Powell and Alex Horne started on October 24th, 2006 (United Nations Day), and finished on October 24th, 2007. Our aim was to prove that London is the most cosmopolitan city in the world, by endeavouring to meet and chat to a citizen from every country in the world who currently lives and works in London.

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We managed to meet people from 189 countries. According to the UN, there are 192 countries in the world, so we've proved that at the very least, London contains over 98.4% of the nations of the world!

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We are still looking for people from three countries:

Marshall Islands; Palau; Tuvalu.

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The final encounters during our year appear below, but to follow our story from the start please click on the links under 'How we're doing' on the left-hand side.  The countries appear in the order in which we found their representative. (Any country with an asterisk * next to it has a brief account of the interview - longer versions will appear in the future!)

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To find out more about the project, including our self-imposed rules, then click here.

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Follow this link if you have the urge to see us looking awkward on Channel 4 news.  Or just below you can see us when we were half-way through the project being interviewed by George Alagiah on BBC World.

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Please email us on worldinonecity@hotmail.com if you want to get in touch, or if you know any shy Londoners who are also Tuvaluan, Palauan or Marshallese.

George Alagiah interviews us on the BBC

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The End of the World (in One City)?


Alex Horne - October 24th 2007

So, we've got less than ten hours left till our year long search comes to an end and there are still five countries to find. Why am I wasting time writing this then? Good question.

Well, first of all, Happy United Nations Day! Good.

And second, I'm afraid we've almost exhausted both our options and ourselves. Here's a quick breakdown of the current situation:

  • Qatar: We are meeting a Qatari gentleman (a former ambassador in fact), at six o'clock this evening. If this falls through we will feel extremely foolish.
  • Tuvalu: We can confirm that there are absolutely no Tuvaluans living in London. I have, however, met the closest Tuvaluan to London, a lady called Suliana whose house I visited yesterday - more details to follow.
  • Palau: Again, we are as sure as sure can be (is that a phrase? It sounds like one but doesn't seem to make any sense) that there are no Palauans in London. We've looked everywhere. The Mayor's office have looked everywhere. People from Fiji, New Zealand, Kiribati and Tuvalu have looked everywhere. In fact, we don't even think there's a Palauan in the whole of the UK. An interesting if frustrating fact if true.
  • Marshall Islands: No - no Marshallese people in London I'm afraid. But we have had an email from someone who is half Marshallese, half Nauruan (see below) who lives in Gravesend. We were hoping to pay her a visit but unfortunately we're still waiting for her to get back in touch. Also, we were contacted yesterday evening by...
  • Nauru: A nurse from Nauru works in the Royal Brompton Hospital! She emailed us, we emailed back - incredibly excitedly - then nothing... Obviously we paid the hospital a visit this morning only to be told that our one Pacific lead was on night shifts. She's almost certainly asleep as I write this. But we've left messages for her at the hospital and on her email so are hoping to meet her some time before midnight tonight.

Also before midnight tonight we're going to have a drink. In fact, we're hoping to have a drink with a lot of the people we've met over the last twelve months. And even some of the people we haven't met. So if you fancy coming along, we'll be at the Globe* Pub opposite Baker Street tube from 7.30pm tonight.

Again, Happy United Nations Day!

*Globe, by the way, is clearly a deliberate pun - but a multilayered one at that, being as it is an anagram of e-blog. Thank you.

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