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.

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!


We are still looking for people from three countries:

Marshall Islands; Palau; Tuvalu.

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!)

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


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.


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

Tuesday 11 September 2007

No.134: Yemen

Full story to follow...

Alex Horne - 11th September 2007

On my birthday entry I mentioned that I was following up a lead for a friend of a friend I'd met at that friend's wedding. I finally tied up that loose end today. And actually, that original, now married friend is a guy called Day (yes, Day) who actually inspired this whole thing and who Owen and I are incredibly grateful to. And that friend of his is a guy called James who I would now count as a friend too. Good. He works for the foreign office (usually in Syria) and gave me the number of someone who works for a charity called the Amal Trust, whom he'd met at the British Embassy some time ago.

Unfortunately I didn't say all that when I first spoke to Samia on the phone. I just said, 'Hello. I'm a friend of James. Can I meet you?' after which she was justifiably suspicious. Thankfully when I phoned back later with more details of my alleged friendship she kindly agreed to meet me outside Bayswater station after her work the next day.

Samia has been in London for twelve years now and is a lot more streetwise than me. Keen not to take up too much of her time I started our chat on the street by the station entrance. 'Shall we sit down somewhere?' she suggested sensibly. 'Erm... well... I don't want to hold you up...' I spluttered. 'Let's just go to MacDonalds', she said. So we did, and sat down at a table downstairs WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING. 'Brilliant', I thought. 'Good decision'.

'I consider London my home now', she said during the very comfortable conversation that followed. Her family all came over together in 1995, her parents to work, herself to learn English, and after studying in Eastbourne she's been in London ever since.

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