I came from Karachi, Pakistan. I lived and was educated in Karachi before I got married and came to live in London. My husband is an engineer and I am a teacher. We have two daughters who are married and have their own families .
I have been teaching in various mainstream schools in London since 1974. At present I am working as a co-ordinator of Community Languages in Archbishop Lanfranc School in Croydon and teaching Urdu in the same school also in Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for girls.
I had been a visiting tutor for Urdu PGCE for few years in the Goldsmiths University of London. While I was working there , I wrote a Curriculum Guide for the teaching of Urdu language which is being used by a number of schools in England who offer the teaching of Urdu Language in their school.
I have written another book , Aeena-e-Hayat in 2007 which is a collection of 8 Urdu dramas. It is about the life of Asian communities living in the UK, particularly about the difficulties of earlier settlers and the more traditional families who follow their traditions very rigidly regarding the marriages, sometimes with tragic consequences.
My passion is to promote the teaching of all home languages of our communities in the UK, so that the future generation of the community can be sure of their identity through their language. I have also been a member for more than twelve years of the Association of Language Learning (ALL), the largest association of language teachers, and have organised conferences in Archbishop Lanfranc School for community language teachers where I set up workshops for adopting new methods for teaching community languages. It is my sincere desire that children of our communities should be able to learn their mother tongues, particularly Urdu, which is a beautiful and popular language of the subcontinent and the national language of Pakistan.
Pakistan is a beautiful country, particularly the northern areas, from where I got the inspiration to write my two stories set in those parts (The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Hare and the Tortoise) . Lahore is a historical city enriched by thousands of years of history, culture and traditions. There is a saying about Lahore in the Punjabi language that the “person who has not seen Lahore has not been born”. This great city has inspired me to write Basant Festival, one of the many traditional occasions celebrated annually in Lahore. Pakistan is an agricultural country. The Story Of The Hidden Treasure throws light on the hard life of the ordinary farmers but also shows how one can reap the rewards of having discipline, working hard and helping each other. The Washerman’s Donkey shows that there is much cruelty to animals in the world. It was good to show that the children can learn to be kind to animals.
World Stories, in my opinion, is a very unique project which will be really exciting for the children and will give them much information from the different parts of the world. They will be able to learn by reading, listening, dramatising and visualising about various cultures of many countries. As a result of this project the children will be much more knowledgeable about the wider world and will play their part as global citizens. Hopefully, these stories will teach the children that good things also exist in the world rather than bad, which is usually portrayed in the media most of the time. I congratulate KidsOut and the people who worked to promote this project by their hard work.
My name is Amir Hussein Shah and I’m an Accountant. While I enjoy my day job, I also like to have an outlet to my creative side. If it’s going to benefit a good cause then all the better and I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to work with KidsOut in their aim to foster a common understanding and appreciation between the nations and peoples of the world.