'I believe my girls will live secure lives in Ireland and find themselves here' – The Irish Times

When Hamad Arshad first arrived in Ireland in 2002, he spent most of his free time in one specific spot – a phone box in Blanchardstown. Feeling homesick and lonely, the young Pakistani would walk from the house where he was staying in Castleknock into Blanchardstown village with an international calling card tucked carefully inside his wallet.

“I still remember I used the phone booth out on the public road, it was a special smart booth where we could use our cards. I’d spend a long time on that phone, more than 30 minutes.”

Arshad, who grew up in the city of Sialkot in the Punjab province of Pakistan, had come to Ireland to work in a friend’s Indian takeaway and restaurant in Laytown, Co Meath.

‘I found Ireland really peaceful and I had a good life here so I spent nine years working in that Indian takeaway’


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