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.