London’s Edgware Road, famous for its Middle Eastern restaurants and Arab community, erupts in vibrant scenes as Morocco continues to make World Cup history.
Morocco supporters took to the streets with flares and flags last week as the team knocked Spain out on penalties.
Cheering fans once again danced in the streets on Saturday as Morocco sent Portugal home in the quarter-finals.
Morocco is the first Arab team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
They now face current holders France in the final four in Qatar on Wednesday.
Following the North African team’s two historic World Cup victories, revelers gathered in spots around the capital such as Piccadilly Circus and Edgware Road.
Videos also showed fans driving down Oxford Street waving their flags outside car windows, honking their car engines and honking.
Hundreds of supporters from across the African continent also came out on Saturday to show their support and mark Morocco’s victory.
With police vans in tow, bikers waving flags down Edgware Road, stopping only to perform burnouts.
Youssef Asri, a restaurant manager on Edgware Road, moved from Tangiers, Morocco, to Edgware Road last May.
He took part in celebrations at Edgware Road last week and described the post-match events as “very special,” the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.
‘There is so much life here’
“It was great, we were jumping and cuddling with 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 Arab and Asian people, but also British. It’s always active, there’s so much life here. The area is so busy.”
Arab 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 began to put down 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: “Ultimately we are all Arab. We speak the same language and have the same religion. We are the same so we celebrate with them.
“It’s an Arab area. I enjoy it because it’s a different community. You’re in London and not at the same time. It’s very rare to have English people served in the shop – 90% of the people here have an Arab background or are from from Asia.
“You’re in a completely different atmosphere.”
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