Search

New book reveals villagers in Afghanistan think Neasden is the “Wizard of Oz”

PUBLISHED: 19:26 02 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:24 03 February 2016

The author claims to have found

The author claims to have found "beds in sheds" in Neasden (Pic: Ben Judah)

Archant

An author who delved into the lives of poor migrants in Brent for his new book has revealed there is a whole valley in Afghanistan that dreams of Neasden as the “Wizard of Oz”.

Writer and journalist Ben Judah set out to provide a Writer and journalist Ben Judah set out to provide a "snapshot" of life in London for migrant workers in his new book (Pic: Ben Judah)

Writer and journalist Ben Judah, 27, spent two years living amongst the capital’s rough-sleeping migrants for “This is London: Life and death in the world city”.

He claims young men are making the journey from remote Afghanistan to Neasden expecting to find the fabled yellow brick road but wind up in squalid “beds in sheds”.

In the book released today, Mr Judah tells how two men running a butcher’s shop in Neasden made their dangerous voyage from Afghanistan aged 16 and 17.

An impoverished Romanian sets out from his hovel to scout for work in Cricklewood (Pic: Ben Judah)An impoverished Romanian sets out from his hovel to scout for work in Cricklewood (Pic: Ben Judah)

Captivated by stories of an “emerald city of comfort, health, and everything they have glimpsed of the West”,bound up with the cash and pictures sent by their village’s “London son” who has already made it here, the pair set out for Neasden, braving people traffickers, gunfire and drugs smugglers.

The author also produced a video of his research following the lives of migrants, some of whom live in Neasden and Cricklewood, for the BBC’s Newsnight programme, available to view here.

A full interview with Mr Judah will be in the Brent & Kilburn Times.

An Afghan butcher in Neasden tells the author how he expcted to find a An Afghan butcher in Neasden tells the author how he expcted to find a "yellow brick road" of opportunity in Neasden for new book 'This is London' (Pic: Ben Judah)

Most Read

Latest from the Kilburn Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists