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The Phenomenon of Immigration in Hope and Other Dangerous Activities by Laila Lalami

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Immigration is an important component of the history of the world. It is enough to ask how citizens came from one continent to another and how language, religion and all the components of a culture were diversified to other parts of the world regardless of where they were established. Over the years the language, religion have become globalized. These events have a lot to do with the common sense of the human being of living where he feels safe and has the necessary security to survive and prosper.

The novel Hope And Other Dangerous Activities of the literary writer Laila Lalami is about the phenomenon of immigration. The novel implies an experience of unknown immigrant that the writer has chosen to tell, it is about the history of the Moroccans who war towards Spain. The writer focuses on the hope of showing the nature of immigration and the factors that motivate the characters to make this decision to leave their country. The characters of this novel are desperate emigrants who decide to undertake a dangerous illegal journey from Morocco through the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain through a ship due to the attraction and attraction factors of Morocco and Spain, respectively. These emigrants were fervently waiting for them to enter safely into what they called “land of milk and honey.” There are many people in Africa, third world countries that see Western countries as a land of opportunities.

This way of thinking was the reason why Aziz one of the characters decided to emigrate and, I could verify on my trip to Morocco where most of the young people I had the opportunity to meet had as their objective to undertake their future in Europe or more developed countries like the United States. and this dream had motivated them to learn the language of English, for me this thought is not unknown since I am also an emigrant from Ecuador who, in search of new opportunities, also decided to undertake my studies and my life far from the country where I was born.

In the book we see that in the Muslim countries a true secularization is needed, in the image and likeness of the one that has been given in the West since the Enlightenment. We realize, however, that this secularization was already found in many Muslim countries. Perhaps not as we understand it in the West, but certainly in what refers to a moderate coexistence between religion and State. A coexistence that interested the international community, but that in the long run began to degenerate into corrupt and democratic-looking governments.

In the book we see that this secularization can also be seen as the trigger for Islamic fundamentalist movements. “The injustice that was seen every day is proof enough of the corruption of King Hassan, the government and the political parties. And one of the phrases that most was recorded to me was “But if we had been better Muslims, maybe those problems would not have fallen on our country or on our brothers anywhere else.” This is how one of the characters in the novel is shown clearly, Faten, when she goes to a friend of the university, who little by little is getting to follow with greater fervor the precepts of Islam.

Halima is one of the characters in this story, she travels with her three children to Spain after a failed divorce from her alcoholic husband. The lack of credentials with his name is an impediment for Halima to find work. So she decides to look for a new future in Spain. But the Spanish guard stops them. However Halima is the description of the frustration of many migrants around the world, that in their desperation to seek a good future does not take into account the other contradictions that exist to be able to exercise a position to work in another state. I could observe in my visit to Morocco that there is a great increase in labor force and that nowadays to decide to take the decision to undertake a better future in another country people prepare academically and compete for high positions but not for service charges.

These problems can also be identified in the book. Since all the characters that migrate with the great hope of finding better lies on the other side of Spain, most of them face several challenges mainly because none of them has credentials in their name and second because they migrate to Spain, illegally and therefore cannot secure official jobs. After the deportation to Spain, most of the characters are negatively affected, this is as a result of frustrations to what seemed to be their only hope for a better life. For example, after being deported back to Morocco, Halima is forced to borrow money from her friend. The sand rents a room in the city; she cannot go back to her husband since she went to Spain on bad terms with her husband who refused to give her a divorce.

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The Phenomenon of Immigration in Hope and Other Dangerous Activities by Laila Lalami. (2019, March 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
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