International Women's Day: My Story

08 Mar 2020


My Story

This is the story of my mum, your mum, our mums
Married young. Just 18 years young
Naïve, yet so grown up.
Tearful goodbyes at a port
Mumbai, Aden, Karachi, Latakia, Chittagong and more
So many final hugs from parents
Who clutched their daughters,
As they prayed for all to be well.
“Write soon. Be happy”

The big ships sailed, for weeks
Until they docked.
It was cold and grey
The rooms were small. Shared houses
Friends to be made.
New language to learn, new foods.
And soon the community came
And it became home, so the blue letters sent home said.

Found jobs, Cadburys, hospitals, sewing and corner shops
She did all she could, to support, to lead and to empower.
She found a new way of mothering. Her way.
A working mother just doing her best.
Everything was quick, quick, quick.
“Be strong, my girls.
Fight your battles

And learn, work hard and own your World”.
My mum, your mum, our mums
They came, they worked, they learnt, they fought.
But mostly they sacrificed.
So our World, our Lives. We could own
This is our story.

This is the story of the many brave women who left their homes, to live in England. They came in search of a better life. It is due to their courage that we have the life that we have. It is due to them that we tell our stories. It is due to the courage of women arriving now that future daughters will share their stories.

Hafsha D. Shaikh