July 12, 2020

The humble beginnings of Tamara Alvi Chapter 4

I want to tell you more about Tamara Alvi this fictitious character.

Let me start with where she was born and a little bit about her parents.

Tamara was born in 1965

She arrived in London with her mother and brother in 1970.

Her parents as this is common in Muslim families are first cousins. Tamara’s parental and maternal grandmothers were sisters.

Tamara’s mother was born and brought up in Delhi India and her father although he was born in Delhi too came to live in Karachi after 1947 due to the Partition with his father, mother and two sisters.

Tamara’s father family settled in Nazimabad Karachi and when Tamara’s mother was 18, he somehow despite the tensions between the two countries (India and Pakistan) arrived back in Delhi to wed Tamara’s mother in 1960.

After a week long wedding and this is typically short when it comes to Indian weddings, took his bride (Tamara’s mother) back to Karachi.

Tamara’s mothers first few years in Karachi were full of wonderful memories with her husband and his family. It helped her mother in law was her maternal aunt but she still acted as her mother in law and being only a Teenager herself when she got married, Tamara’s mother who we will call Seema in her immaturity begged her husband that they move out of their home with the in laws and have a life by themselves.

Tamara’s father Suleiman conceded and they moved to another house in Nazimabad near his parents in January 1965.

9 months later Tamara was born on 11th September 1965.

A year later Tamara’s brother Abdul Kareem was born again on 11th September but 1966.

In 1967 Tamara’s father left Karachi as he got a place to study Economics at London School of Economics.

Although just graduated and landing his first job as an Accountant, he sent for Tamara, her mother and her brother the rest of his family.

Tamara arrived at Heathrow airport aged five years old a doll in her hand.

It was February 1st a cold winters day and she recalls the grey clouds in the sky but the warmth of the Terminal One building inside.

If anything in this blog has really resonated with you and you would like to discuss the subject further with Taniya privately then use this link.



The view from the Plane!




Having qualified as a Social Worker in July 1991 from Coventry University, it has been over two decades that I have been on the front line working with children and young people who are traumatized and on the margins of society. Although I studied Psycho-dynamic counselling for two years at Goldsmiths College (1991-1993), I decided to integrate Psycho-dynamic theories and skills into my Social work practice and flirt with and immerse myself in studying Islam as well as interfaith dialogue and friendships. For the last 20 years, I have been working in a multi-disciplinary Youth Offending Team in South London, comprised of Professional colleagues from different faiths and cultural backgrounds trying to support young people in the criminal justice system. I am married and mother to three sons, and juggle Social Work and interfaith dialogue with my writing, studying and the needs of home and family.


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