The Christian Science Monitor

For some migrants in Spain, hope springs from a soccer field

While watching the 1998 World Cup on TV, Issa Abdou took his geography book and started planning to leave Cameroon. At the age of 8, Issa’s goal was to go to Spain and play in the best soccer league in the world.

Two years later, this son of nomadic shepherds said goodbye to his parents and headed north. He says he lived in Nigeria, Niger, and Algeria, saving money to reach Morocco. At each leg of the journey, he colored the maps in his geography book with his eye on the goal. In 2007 he climbed the 20-foot fence in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco, and waited until the Red Cross and the police came to help.

“It wasn’t Madrid or Barcelona, but when I saw the Spanish flag in Melilla, I was okay – I had made it to Spain,” Mr. Abdou says, his eyes displaying a nostalgic

The discipline of a game Pressure for a government plan

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor2 min readPolitics
Saving Dignity Of Equality In Hong Kong
If the territory’s officials can punish the pro-China thugs who attacked peaceful protesters on Sunday, it will show rule of law can be applied equally, unlike in the mainland’s version of justice.
The Christian Science Monitor3 min read
He Knew About Climate Change In 1799. What Can We Learn?
Andrea Wulf and Lillian Melcher’s “The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt” follows a prescient naturalist’s voyages in South America.
The Christian Science Monitor6 min readPolitics
‘Hostage Diplomacy’ Spat Between China And Canada Hits Home
China’s arrests of two Canadians, which followed the arrest of a Huawei executive in Vancouver, have some people rethinking their dealings in China.