Edgware Road: Home of London’s Morocco World Cup celebrations


Famous for its Middle Eastern restaurants and Arab community, London’s Edgware Road has been erupting into lively scenes as Morocco continues to make World Cup history.

Morocco supporters took to the streets last week with flares and flags as the team knocked Spain out on penalties.

Jubilant fans danced in the street again on Saturday as Morocco sent Portugal home in the quarter-finals.

Morocco is the first Arab team to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

They now face current holders France in the last four in Qatar on Wednesday.

Following the north African team’s two landmark World Cup wins, celebrating fans gathered in spots across the capital, such as Piccadilly Circus and Edgware Road.

Videos also showed fans driving down Oxford Street, waving their flags outside of car windows, revving their car engines and tooting horns.

Hundreds of supporters from across the African continent also came out to show their support on Saturday and mark Morocco’s win.

With police vans in tow, bikers drove down Edgware Road with flags, only stopping to perform burnouts.

Youssef Asri, a restaurant manager on Edgware Road, moved from Tangier in Morocco to Edgware Road last May.

He joined in with the celebrations on Edgware Road last week, describing the post-match events as “very special”, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

‘There’s so much life here’

“It was amazing, we were jumping and hugging people. It was like we were all from the same family. It was like a wedding.

“Edgware Road is a mix of people from different countries. You have Arabic and Asian people as well as Brits. It’s always active, there’s so much life here. The area is so busy.”

Arabic communities first arrived in Edgware Road in the 19th Century and the area has always been a melting pot of different cultures.

London’s first Indian restaurant opened there in 1810 and many Middle Eastern immigrants started putting down their roots in the 1970s.

Muhammad Farah, originally from Syria, has been working in Farah supermarket in Edgware Road for 12 years. He also joined in the celebrations.

He said: “At the end of the day, we are all Arabic. We speak the same language and have the same religion. We are the same so we celebrate with them.

“It’s an Arabic area. I enjoy it because it’s a different community. You are in London and not at the same time. It’s very rare to serve English people in the shop – 90% of people here have Arabic backgrounds or are from Asia.

“You are in a completely different atmosphere.”

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