Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds In the 1961 archive film, Moslems in Britain, we are introduced to the Cairo Cafe, run by Ali Salaman from Yemen, and his wife, Olive, from the Rhondda. The following video brings us up to date, and features Ali and Olive’s son, Daoud, who is now an important figure in Cardiff’s Muslim community. Daoud reflects on the footage of times gone by, and shares his thoughts on the changes and challenges that his community faces.
Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds [VIDEO PLAYBACK ARABIC SPEECH]
Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds That’s the old Cafe. 00:00:57.600 –> 00:00:59.420 align:middle line:90% [VIDEO PLAYBACK ARABIC SPEECH]
Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds That brings some memories. [VIDEO PLAYBACK ARABIC SPEECH] That’s my mother. [SPEAKING ARABIC]
Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds That’s Audey teaching the kids.
Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds [SPEAKING ARABIC]
Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds He’s asking my mother if she’s Welsh– if she’s a Muslim. [SPEAKING ARABIC]
Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds He said, you were a Christian and you converted. Why? [SPEAKING ARABIC] She said, because Islam is the true religion.
Skip to 1 minute and 59 seconds That’s old-fashioned way of teaching.
Skip to 2 minutes and 3 seconds [SPEAKING ARABIC]
Skip to 2 minutes and 7 seconds He’s saying how this is a beautiful capital city. [SPEAKING ARABIC] It brings some memories.
Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds [SPEAKING ARABIC] [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] Oh, it’s brought back some very, very old memories of the good old days, you know. And some of the people, the elders in that in those clips, they were the nicest people you could ever meet. There was a beautiful sense of community, spirit– people were all together, one. If you had a problem, everybody would run to help. When that film was made, we had a good relationship with the community at the time. Everybody got on with each other. And here, this area was unique. There were people from all countries of the world living in this area. We all lived together, and we got on as one.
Skip to 3 minutes and 15 seconds The mosque is a community centre, because if anybody wants to meet one of their friends or anything, they’ll know that at a certain prayer time or something, come here and they’ll find them here. And also, we look out for the elders. If somebody doesn’t turn up for prayer, somebody will ask the question, where is so-and-so today? Could be home, health or something. Somebody will call to the house to check on them. So it’s a community centre. Well now the Muslim community are a big part of the UK. And the country has to accept the Muslim community, and the Muslim community must accept the country as well. “Islam” means peace.
Skip to 4 minutes and 10 seconds As the name says, it means peace, and Islam is a peaceful religion.
Reflection on Moslems in Britain
In step 2.8, we looked at some aspects of the Life of Muslims living in Cardiff in the 1960’s through the lens of the archive film. That was obviously aimed at encouraging Muslims to come to the UK to live and work.
The Cairo Café was run by Ali Salaman from Yemen and his wife, Olive from the Rhondda. In this video we are able to experience a piece of living history as we see Daoud Salaman watching the video of his mother, Olive being interviewed. We hear his reactions to happy times and hear some of his views of the changes he has witnessed.
When you watch the video, you might reflect upon the contrast between the community Daoud was brought up in and the Butetown of today. Much of the infrastructure of what was ‘Tiger Bay’ has disappeared, including the Cairo Café, yet the communities are still there. What differences to you see between the challenges faced by Daoud and his community today compared to those of his parents’ generations.
If you find this aspect interesting there are some more archive films about old Butetown below that you might enjoy:
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