Ayesha Kazmi

Posts Tagged ‘Remona Aly’

Reflections from a Cairo cab

In The Political on 08/06/2012 at 16:05

I wait for less than a minute before a white taxi pulls up by my side. ‘Masr al-Gedīdah min fadlak,’ I tell the driver, sliding into the sun-warmed leather seat. I roll down the window, swig a thick gulp of air swollen with heat and smog, and sit in anticipation of the eight mile jaunt from the ex-pat haven of Zamalek to the buzzing district of Heliopolis.

I’m in Cairo on a work project, and I brace myself for the daily commute in the notorious Cairene traffic. We begin well. To my right sprawls the Opera House with its seven theatres built in the late 1980s. The city’s former nineteenth century opera house, which staged the first ever performance of Verdi’s Aida, was entirely destroyed in a fire. I imagine the ghostly soprano voices resonating within its former grandeur – the building was intended to be an enduring symbol of the arts. Egypt continues to lead the Arab world in a spectrum of arts and culture, Read the rest of this entry »


From Freshie to British Muslim

In The Personal on 13/10/2011 at 23:59

Fresh off the boat with £3 in his pocket. That’s how my dad arrived in the UK back in the summer of ’65, leaving his home, country and family five thousand miles behind him to start a new life on British soil.

My father’s story is not unique. It’s the story of thousands of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis migrating to the UK in the 1960s, many responding to the call of the British government which sent employment vouchers to tackle the severe shortage of doctors and teachers in Britain at the time. My father took up a teaching post in a rural Kent village, where I live to this day. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hijab and I

In The Personal on 01/08/2011 at 22:34

Me and my hijab have had an interesting journey together. It started when I was eighteen and about to enter a new phase of my life in two respects: embracing an existence as a ‘raghead’ as well as beginning university.

I had enjoyed all the freedoms I could ever have wished for at home, but living away on a university campus offered me the opportunity of real independence and self-development. Read the rest of this entry »

My First Paki

In The Personal on 18/04/2011 at 22:21

I’ll never forget the first time I got called ‘Paki’. I was five years old, and the sun was smiling down on me and my family as we made our way to a country fair, not far from home.
We were the only brown people in the village. My parents had left their big Indian city (population three hundred and seventy thousand) to settle in a little English village in Kent (population circa two thousand), in the late 60s, early 70s. Read the rest of this entry »


In The Personal on 16/03/2011 at 05:25

Welcome to AmericanPaki… Stay tuned ….