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

A Tiny Update


So Near...

On October 4th I wrote this to show where we stood with our last nationalities and we've been updating it ever since. It's now a bit confusing but does say something about how we're getting on and is quite useful for us to see where we've been looking and what we should be doing next. So don't worry too much if it doesn't make much sense but do let us know if you think there's a stone we haven't yet turned.

"We've got twenty days left so I thought I'd start a bit of a countdown to show how we're getting on with the remaining countries. I can't speak for Owen but I'm starting to become entirely consumed by this thing. I've dreamt twice about meeting a Marshall Islander and woken up distraught that it hadn't actually happened.

After 345 days of searching, the end is in sight. But will we succeed? Will we prove that people have come to this tiny corner of the world from every other corner of the world (accepting that there are 192 corners in the world)? I hope so. Or at least I hope we do everything in our power to prove that they haven't...

So here's where we are with TWENTY days to go (4-10-7) (Owen - please correct my mistakes):"

  • ANDORRA: After a postponement yesterday and a close call with an Andorran who actually lived in Manchester the day before that, Owen is hopefully meeting Kim this afternoon. COMPLETED 4-10-7!
  • BARBADOS: Owen is all set to meet a Bajan pupil at a school in Croydon tomorrow (as well as discussing the project in an entertaining and educational way with the other kids. Well done and good luck Owen). COMPLETED 5-10-7!
  • BOTSWANA: After spending yesterday evening going to a gig by a Botswanan band that never actually showed up, I was today contacted by a man called Kabelo to whom I am immensely grateful and whom I should be meeting on Monday. COMPLETED 8-10-7!
  • CAMBODIA: After two time-consuming trips to the Vietnam Laos and Cambodia Refugee Centre in Kingsland I finally met Mr Gak (from Vietnam) who gave me the phone number for a Mrs Owen (the head of a Cambodian society based in Southampton) who is now trying to find me someone from Cambodia who lives in London. There are also unconfirmed rumours about a Cambodian restaurant in Camden. Day 19 update: Mrs Owen has given my number to a Cambodian refugee who lives in London and should be calling me soon... Day 17 update: she phoned! And I'm going to meet her in Hackney on Sunday!COMPLETED 14-10-7!
  • CHAD: Owen has found someone on a London socialising website. This is a tenuous lead. Day 16 update: Alex has a new email address. We might be getting somewhere. COMPLETED 11-10-7!
  • CONGO (Republic of the): My dad has found me a very nice guy called Mr Padzhou whom I was meant to meet yesterday but who had to postpone and so whom I will hopefully be meeting next Monday or Tuesday in Walthamstow. Day 16 update: I should now be meeting Mr Padzhou next Monday. Fingers crossed.COMPLETED 15-10-7!
  • COTE D'IVOIRE: A friend of my brother's has given me the phone number of a guy he calls Drogba who I have spoken to and whom I should be meeting on Monday. I have also been chatting to Kolo Toure's agent but we don't know if he actually lives in London yet. COMPLETED 8-10-7!
  • DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Owen and I have planned a trip to New Malden next Wednesday. Day 15 update: Owen and I did indeed spend this afternoon in New Malden and spoke to ten South Koreans but zero North Koreans. We did, however, find three leads which Owen is going to chase vigorously. TRIPLE COMPLETED 19-10-7!
  • DJIBOUTI: We have nothing. Day 14 update: We have someone!COMPLETED 11-10-7!
  • DOMINICA: Owen is hopefully meeting a Dominican this evening. COMPLETED 4-10-7!
  • FIJI: A friend of a friend of my wife's is Fijian and returning from a holiday in the middle of next week. Owen may also find one watching their team play South Africa at the rugby world cup on Sunday. Day 17 update: Owen didn't find a Fijian at the rugby and South Africa won. His Samoan did, however, provide us with another lead. Day 14 update: We've also got a lead through Facebook. Day 12 update: Alex went to the Fiji Day celebrations in Aldershot, and met a Fijian. COMPLETED 13-10-7!
  • GABON: Oscar from Equatorial Guinea has invited us to the Equatorial Guinea Independence Day next Friday. I can't go unfortunately, but hopefully Owen and someone from Gabon will. Day 13 update: Oscar introduced Owen to the deputy ambassador for Gabon, but meeting him was breaking the rules. Day 10 update: Owen has met someone on Facebook who he is hopefully meeting on the final Monday. COMPLETED 22-10-7!
  • GUINEA-BISSAU: Owen's friend Andy might know someone. Day 8 update: we've now been contacted by two more people that may have leads so are starting to feel confident. COMPLETED 23-10-7!
  • HAITI: We have nothing. Day 12 update: An email has come in ... COMPLETED 16-10-7!
  • KIRIBATI: Tonga from Tonga might know someone from Kiribati. Day 12 update: A lead for Alex from the Fiji day celebrations - hopefully meeting Mr Burentarawa on Tuesday. COMPLETED 16-10-7!
  • LAO: Jessica from the last live show has given us an email address whom we are waiting to hear back from. Day 9 update: we still haven't heard back from this contact so are now scouring restaurants. Day 8 update: we have confirmation of a chef from Laos working in a pub in Richmond. I'm going to pay them a visit tomorrow. COMPLETED 18-10-7!
  • LESOTHO: We have been trying to find a convenient time to meet lovely Likeng in South London for the last three months. Hopefully it will happen soon. Day 10 update: unfortunately Likeng is now out of the UK until after our deadline. However, I do have a friend from university from Lesotho who lives outside London but whose brother lives in Finsbury Park and who I'm hoping to meet. Day 10 update: Owen has also found someone on Facebook. DOUBLE COMPLETED 17-10-7!
  • LIBYA: A friend of a friend of my brother's has located a Libyan whom I emailed today. Owen also might know someone called Molly. Day 17 update: Owen met Molly but Molly lives in Sunningdale - outside of London! I have meanwhile been corresponding with another Libyan lady called Sara whom I hope to meet in the next day or two. COMPLETED 10-10-07!
  • MALDIVES: We have nothing. Day 15 update: my elder brother's fiancee has a friend who has a friend from the Maldives who's in the Maldives at the moment but whose brother is in London and who we might be able to meet.COMPLETED 12-10-7!
  • MARSHALL ISLANDS: We have nothing. Day 3 update: Somebody living in Gravesend (just outside London) is half-Nauruan, half-Marshallese. We're going to try to speak to her before our deadline.
  • MAURITANIA: A very nice person called Fatima (from Sierra Leone) has put me in touch with her aunt's husband Gibril whom I am meeting on Tuesday. COMPLETED 9-10-07!
  • MICRONESIA: One of our previous finds has set up a secret meeting... COMPLETED 20-10-7!
  • NAURU: We have nothing. Day 2 update: A Nauruan nurse (IN LONDON!) emailed us. We're going to go looking for her on our last day. COMPLETED 24-10-7!
  • NICARAGUA: Owen's contact has had to pull out due to poor health. We are back to square one. Day 16 update: Alex appeared on LBC Radio and now we have a new lead. COMPLETED 10-10-7!
  • NIGER: Doundosy from Burkina Faso may be able to help. Day 6 update: Ibrat from Uzbekistan phoned - he's found us a man from Niger who works at the World Service, and Owen is meeting him on Monday.COMPLETED 22-10-7!
  • PALAU: We have nothing.
  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Nick, a contact whom we had almost give up on, phoned Owen today and they're hopefully meeting next Tuesday. COMPLETED 9-10-7!
  • QATAR: Surprisingly, we have nothing. Day 15 update: Sara, our Libyan, may know someone. Fingers crossed. Day 1 update: We should be meeting our Qatari this evening .... COMPLETED 24-10-7!
  • SAMOA: Owen is hopefully meeting a lady called Pele tomorrow. COMPLETED 5-10-7!
  • SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: See Gabon. Day 13 update: Unfortunately, there were no Sao Tome and Principians at the party... Day 9 update: a very nice BBC World journalist put us in touch with someone called Sao whom I am meeting tomorrow! COMPLETED 19-10-7!
  • SOLOMON ISLANDS: A very nice Priest gave me another Priest's (from the Solomon Islands) phone number but so far there's been no reply. Day 19 update: Ben, the Solomon Islander Priest has called! We are hopefully meeting on Tuesday... COMPLETED 8-10-7!
  • SURINAME - Very nice Fatima put me in touch with someone called Rachel from Suriname who's on holiday but returns next week. Day 17 update: Rachel has been in touch and we're trying to meet tomorrow. COMPLETED 9-10-07!
  • SWAZILAND - My other brother has tried to help but as yet there's been no reply from his contact so we are still pinning our hopes on Richard E. Grant whose agent says he's too busy. Day 16 update: we've been emailed by a Swazilander! And we're arranging a meeting.COMPLETED 11-10-7!
  • TUVALU - Owen's friend Zane has put us in contact with someone called Joshua who put us in touch with the wife of a guy called Avau whom we're waiting to hear back from. Day 11 update: I also got a couple of contacts from people I met through Patrick and Philomena at the Fiji Independence Day Party in Aldershot. Day 6 update: we are now being told by everyone who might know that there are categorically no Tuvaluans in London. I have been emailing a kind and patient lawyer/author called Philip Ells who doesn't know any, Owen has visited the Honorary Consul who lives in Tuvalu House down in Merton but is actually from Tanzania, and I've just spoken to a Mrs McNaughton who is from Tuvalu but lives in Ayrshire, Scotland. She told me she knows all four of the other Tuvaluans in the UK and they live in Exeter, York, Carlisle and Alton respectively. Still, we have not given up yet... Day 1 update: By now, we're pretty sure there are no Tuvaluans in London.

That's it. It's tangible. But time is running out.

If you can help with ANY of these countries please get in touch.

As always it's worldinonecity@hotmail.com.

We would love to hear from you.

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