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

Wednesday 26 September 2007

No.153: Burundi

Full story to follow...

Alex Horne - 26th September 2007

I met Berenice with Jim, her Glaswegian future father-in-law, outside a Cafe Nero in Enfield. Neither Jim nor I had ever been to Enfield before.

After her obligatory military service in 1998, Berenice went to university in Burundi's capital Bujumburu. A year and a half into the course the university was closed down on account of the massacres taking place across the country. After being sent to a private university she then joined the socialist party, attended various demonstrations and was eventually jailed for two weeks. At this point her parents became extremely worried about her future and sent her to Europe.

Unfortunately for Berenice, she first went to Belgium, Burundi's former coloniser. 'I didn't like the Burundi community there', she told me. 'They stick so closely together. Many people don't even speak French. I didn't feel comfortable'.

She therefore spent a thousand euros (my old computer doesn't seem to have the symbol for euros), bought some papers ('it was really quite dodgy', she said) and made her way to Calais where the authorities looked at these dodgy papers and sent her right back to Brussels.

A month later she managed to persuade a Burundian friend of hers who'd been born in Belgium to lend her her Belgian passort and tried again. This time it worked. She was waved through and finally found refuge and a fiancee in Glasgow.

She recently finished her teacher training degree at Middlesex University and is applying for British citizenship in December.

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