Story by Arusa Jaan age 16


My grandfather Hajji Kurshid Ahmed was born in India in 1930 before the partition of India and Pakistan.

He grew up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. My grandmother, Fazilat Begum Ahmed was born in lerigudaar, a village in Pakistan in 1940.

She has 1 brother and 1 sister. When her mother died her father re-married and had 3 sons and 3 daughters. In 1955 they married at the age of 25 and 15.

22 days after the wedding my grandfather came to England my grandmother joined those 4 years later.

My grandfather took on some construction work and also took part in building the Ghamgol Sharif Mosque in Rochdale.

Together they had 6 daughters and 1 son.

Sadly my grandfather died of a heart attack in 1996.

It was really interesting to see the traditional costumes, and all the beautiful handwork. They must have spent a lot of time doing that type of embroidery.

Those skills should not be lost; it’s nice that there are projects like this, because we can appreciate all the hard work from those days.

Arusa and her sister Aminah jaan with their cousin khadijah took part in this project. They attended all the sessions at Touchstones and at Sparth community centre.

They created beautiful flowers for the lantern using many techniques. They started from simple stitch work, and then developed their skills for sequin application, fabric painting, glitter work, cutwork and batik using hot wax as a resist.

They have enjoyed being creative had fun and learnt new skills. Whilst sharing stories about their parents and grandparents.