How is the life in Paradise? -An Interview to Muhammad Longey

Many people always dream to move to a breathtaking place, with crystal sea, sun and beautiful beaches, and that is what Maldives islands are, a paradise on earth, but have you ever wondered how life would be there?

To answer this question, I decided to interview my Maldivian friend Longey that is working as Maître Assistant at Palm Beach Resort & Spa on the Madhiriguraidhoo island located in Lhaviyani atoll.

Muhammed LongeyMuhammad Longey was born on the fishermen island of Keyodhoo ,in the Baa Atoll, in a very large family with three brothers and two sisters. When he was a child he started to helps his father that he was fisherman, Longey helped him to fishing and to selling the caught fish to restaurants and hotels scattered to the nearby islands. At the age of 18 he decided to leave the family business and to start to work in one of the many hotels and resorts disseminated around the Maldives.

After a few email to arrange the interview and despite the 4 hour of time zone we can finally get in touch on Skype and we can start our interview.

As first thing I decided to ask him some the explanations on the name Muhammad, since it is an Arabic name and I find it unusual since the Maldives islands are very close to India and thus I thought that Maldivians were of Hindu religion, he revealed to me to be a Muslim and that is reason of the name Muhammad and also told me that the Maldivians are almost all Muslim with some Hindu exception, even if they are exclusively but Indian immigrants came to work in hotels and resorts.

I based my next question on what he told me about of his previous work experience so I decide asked him what are the job opportunities for a young Maldivian, he explained that regarding the job opportunities, Maldivians have three options: the first option is to continue the traditional activity of fishing, instead the second option is to work in the tourism sector which is an important sector for the economy of the Maldives, the last option is related to migration, namely leave the Maldives to looking for work in Sri Lanka as many people have already done, including some of his cousins.

As we approach the end of the interview we analyzed the changes that have occurred in recent years in Maldivian politics, and especially we focused on the coup d’état of February 7, 2012 that led to the resignation of the former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and the following period of politics instability which lasted until the election of the Maldivian Parliament in March of this year.

Longey explained to me that before the coup there were already many demonstrations and protests to demand the resignation of former President Nasheed, indeed according to what he told me, Maldivians were tired of the continuous increase of the prices and living costs, but President Nasheed resigned only when the police have made the coup, and then began a period of political turmoil with a series of canceled elections that have overheated the situation that begin to resolve only with the election of the President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in November 2013 and the parliamentary elections in March 2014.

I really enjoyed doing the interview that also gave me the opportunity to get back in touch with an old friend whom I really thank for his availability, besides at this point I hope I was able to answer to the question at the beginning of the interview.

Simone Pianeselli


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