All of us are jugglers. We straddle different identities and worlds every day.
My parents were born and bred in Pakistan and moved over to England in the 1970s. I was born and bred in North London, am a second-generation Pakistani, speak broken Urdu as well as I speak broken French, am Muslim, am a qualified accountant (for my sins), studied History at Cambridge University, work as an Assistant Director here in HCC, have lived in Hertfordshire for the last 5 years, am married, have an increasingly rambunctious litter of 3 children (aged 8, 4 and 2) and support Manchester United.
The less said about the last point the better. On the earlier points:
- I’m very grateful for the efforts and support that my parents gave me, uprooting themselves – without any family alongside them – to get me and my brother a good education;
- I’m very privileged, having experienced only a few isolated incidents of racism throughout my life to date. As a society I think we have moved forward a great deal on anti-racism over recent decades – although much work still needs to be done;
- Aspiration matters – I used to teach English at a voluntary Saturday school in West London, and briefly set up a similar venture in my time living in Enfield. The biggest lesson I learnt from those years is that having high ambitions is critical to moving forward in – or from – any walk of life.
Enjoy your juggling and aim high.