Mrs Rashida Sharif


 

 

 

 

 

Rashida Sharif was married in 1967 and came to England 8 months later. She travelled to the UK with four other members of her family and some other people. Rashida’s husband had booked a bus to take them to Rawalpindi where she would take a plane to Karachi where she boarded an Air France plane the next day to bring her to London Heathrow.  Rashida stated that “It was the first time I travelled on a bus I had seen one before but never experienced the ride”. Rashida remembers it was evening when she landed, but her husband’s friends were waiting to accompany her to her new home.

Rashida found it “very weird at first”, as she had never experienced electricity or toilets before, and having finished eating thought it strange when they threw the leftover bread on the open fire, which was something they would never do in Pakistan. Rashida and her husband were sharing a house with two other families and they stayed there for a while before moving to Stoke on Trent where her uncle had a house, they stayed for five months until they moved to Birmingham to stay with a cousin. Rashida then bought her first house in Parkfield Road, staying there for the next ten years, reflecting that Alum Rock was much more peaceful and safe when she first came to live, and children were able to play outside in safety. She also reflects the older people were much nicer to her than the younger generation. Rashida also remembers that people who had passed away were returned to Pakistan to be buried.

When Rashida was asked to reflect on her time in the UK she said that “our life has improved a lot, my children are happy here but love Pakistan as they have visited it regularly when they were young”.