Mashkura

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I have an eight year old son and a four and a half year old daughter. I make it a point to take them around Birmingham and show them the history, so they have the same passion for Birmingham as I have.

Originally my family is from Bangladesh, I was three and a half years old when I came to Birmingham, on June 11th 1982. I don?t remember living in Bangladesh.

My dad was based in England from 1961. He came as a labourer. He worked in numerous factories around Birmingham. He came here through economic migration. The voucher scheme at that time invited the workers from the sub continent. Initially he came to Sheffield and then he moved to Birmingham because of the availability of good work. His skills were factory work and obviously Birmingham was an industrial place, a lot of factories.

Also, Birmingham was seen as a welcoming place, it was really friendly, even back then. It was quite multicultural and he felt welcomed in Birmingham.

In 1968 he went back to Bangladesh again and it was an arranged marriage. Mom and Dad got married and then he used to go back every holidays and spend 6 to 8 weeks in Bangladesh a year and that?s how he went on for 12 or 13 years up until he brought her over in 1982.

We came to Perry Barr and we lived in a terrible, terrible private house. It was just really run down. I can remember every night Mom used to send us to bed and start killing the rats, that?s how bad it was. This is 1982 and we lived six to eight months in that house in the freezing cold. We went to another private house which was slightly better, and then eventually we went to a Midland Heart house.

We lived in London for a couple of years. London was too hectic for us, we didn?t find that friendly family feel. We used to live in flats. There was no community feeling, everybody was just getting on with their lives. We missed life in Birmingham and also having gardens as well helped. We just couldn?t adjust.

I?ve got two younger sisters who were born at Dudley Road Hospital. I went to school, Sixth Form College, University, more or less worked in the West Midlands. I live in Perry Barr now. I?ve come back to my roots. I travel quite a bit. I always feel Birmingham is home. I miss it. It?s such a cosmopolitan multicultural place, you can be yourself, you will be accepted wherever you go. It?s quite important for a place to have that kind of a vibe.

I am married. I have an eight year old son and a four and a half year old daughter. I make it a point to take them around Birmingham and show them the history. I?ve taken them to the canals whenever we have time, to the museum; so they have the same passion for Birmingham as I have.

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