PLAYLIST 01

MUSIC

PLAYLIST 01

Joseph from Yemen

Text: Ryu Takahashi / Photo: Ports Bishop

In our recurring series of “Playlist,” we interview people from all walks of life and find out what’s on their playlist.  The first person interviewed is Josef,  who currently works at a Bodega in Williamsburg.

Name: Joseph
Age: 25
Birthplace: Yemen
Place of Residency: By Dekalb Ave. and Central Ave. in Brooklyn
Place of Work: A bodega in Williamsburg

Q. What is your family situation?
I have family in both the United States and in Yemen.
I have two kids.  Ages 7 and 2. Boy and a girl.  One of them was born here, and one of them in Yemen.  My wife is originally from Yemen, but she has an American citizenship because her father is an American citizen.
Q. When did you come to the States?
In 2006.
Q. What brought you here?
To work.  
Q. Did you know anybody here?
Some of my family including my uncle live here. They’ve been here for over 30 years.
Q. How often do you go home?
It's been three years since I went back. Hopefully, I can go back soon and see my father and my mother.
Q. Do you consider the U.S. or Yemen “home”?
My country.
Q. Do you plan to go back home to live again at some point?
No, it's hard for me because I have a family back home to help too. I have 4 brothers, 3 sisters and my father and mother there. I have a wife and two kids here too, and I have to help all of them. And I'm the oldest son, too.
Q. Did the demonstrations in Yemen (from Arab Spring) affect you and your family at all?
A little bit, but it's not like what the news says, you know. It's getting better. But the news makes everything a big deal, but it's not a big deal for me. Everything is fine.
It's only in 2 or 3 big cities, but it's quiet where my family is.
Q. What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to music from my country.
Q. Where do you get the information about the music?
I got some old tapes. Cassette tapes.
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04.20.2012

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