By Adeeba Malik (CBE) 

Quite often when we talk about the contributions the Asian community have made to Bradford, we will talk about the men who worked in the textile mills, like my father who came in 1958. We forget the wives who joined them, like my mother, Fahmeeda Malik who left her home in Lahore in 1966. She, like so many of them, were home makers. They believed this was their only duty, to serve their husbands, children and other family members. They felt extreme loneliness and longed for their loved ones back home. Imagine living in a completely alien environment.

My mother spoke little English, but both her and my father made sure their children were educated. She gave us love, support, wise words and unconditional commitment no matter what we did -good or bad. She lived her dreams, her aspirations and her life through her children.

I had the honour of being the daughter who lived with Fahmeeda Malik. She was beautiful inside and out and I am eternally grateful to her. She recently passed away peacefully, without pain and with her children around her. I am so grateful to the staff at the Bradford Royal Infirmary and all the wonderful health professionals who supported my mum over many years. They became my family. I canít have a tribute without acknowledging my QED family.

Never let us forget the contributions women like my mum made to our beautiful district - quietly, with compassion and grace. She was my soul, my rock, my heroine. There is so much to learn from women like her.

Please take care and I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful, happy Christmas holidays and all good things in the new year.

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