The Tall Family- Polygamy in the Banlieux of Paris

Tall Abdou who had come to France from Mali in the 70's leaving his wife Tall Feinda in Africa. He legally married Tall Hamssatou after a few years living in Paris, who had already been married and had 8 children. A few years later his original wife Tall Feinda joined them in Paris and together they now have 15 children.

Three years ago Abdou and Feinda were obliged to divorce in order to keep their work permits as a result of the government's new Pasqua laws. The two women now live 10 minutes walk from each other in the Paris suburb of Clichy-Sous-Bois. Their husband now spends three nights at a time with each. The children, grandchildren and the rest of the extended family also move between the mothers and regard both apartments as home.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister, cited polygamy as the cause of the 2005 riots famously stating ‘Have you had enough of this scum? We are going to get rid of them for you.’

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