The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Category: News

11 June 2014: a short statement from The British Asian Blog

I fight on.

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The Apprentice 2013 on BBC One Starts 9pm Tuesday 7 May

The Apprentice 2013

Are you ready…?  I know I am.  The Worlds UK’s best business minded people are ready to fight for Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment.  If you’re clever enough – the banks would probably give you more with a good-sound business plan and save you a life-time of embarrassment but then again Series 9 kicks off today BBC One (Tuesday 7 May at 9pm) and can be viewed later on BBC iPlayer.  There are no The Apprentice 2013 spoiler here but only a quick shout out to everyone “that you’re Wednesday evenings won’t be the same again – well not at least for the next few months”.

The Apprentice is one of my favourite TV show (if I can call it a show or should I use the words side-splitting entertainment) and I find it extremely…erm what’s the word(s) “I can’t believe I’m watching this stuff” while I grit my teeth and remain calm at the TV, especially when the UK’s best, sorry Worlds best candidates fight their hearts out in each task climbing to the top, get hired then decide to take Lord Sugar to court.

Let me introduce you to the candidates, starting with my favourite first:

Zeeshaan Shah, Age: 27, Career: CEO of Property Investment Company, Location: London

Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Age: 32, Career: Dance and Entertainment Entrepreneur Location: Leeds

Jaz Ampaw-Farr, Age: 41, Career: Literacy and Education Company Director, Location: Milton Keynes

Leah Totton, Age: 24, Career: Doctor, Location: London

Luisa Zissman, Age: 25, Career: Retail Entrepreneur, Location: St Albans

Natalie Panayi, Age: 30, Career: Recruitment Manager, Location: Rickmansworth

Rebecca Slater, Age: 35, Career: Medical Rep, Location: Wigan

Sophie Lau, Age: 22, Career: Restaurateur, Location: Bristol

Uzma Yakoob, Age: 32, Career: Entrepreneur and Make-Up Brand Owner, Location: London

Alex Mills, Age: 22, Career: Company Director, Location: Cardiff

Jason Leech, Age: 29, Career: Historian and Property Entrepreneur, Location: London

Jordan Poulton, Age: 26, Career: Business Analyst, Location: London

Kurt Wilson, Age: 26, Career: Health Drink Entrepreneur and Health & Safety Manager, Location: Liverpool

Myles Mordaunt, Age: 39, Career: Marketing Company Co-Founder, Location: Monaco

Neil Clough, Age: 32, Career: Regional Manager – Soccer Centres, Location: Altrincham

Tim Stillwell, Age: 23, Career: Mexican Food Entrepreneur, Location: Birmingham

Bring it on…

2012: Year in Review ‘no end’

It wasn’t so long ago, that I was reviewing year 2011 – and for the life of me I can’t work out where a whole year has gone.  I now write a review (in the shortest way possible) for year 2012.

Firstly and most importantly:  All praise is to the Lord above, who has yet again blessed me and continues to do so.  Not only do I remember ‘you my Lord’ for when times are hard and for when in trouble or for when evil surrounds me, but for when you bestow upon me happiness and success in wherever my focus goes, and for this, ‘I am ever indebted to you my Lord’.

With all new chapters and new starting points in life, I like to start with a little prayer.  The previous paragraph is my attempt to say thank you to my Lord.  In my view, words cannot express the humbleness, gratitude and appreciation that I have for everything in my life.  It’s easy to fall into a habit of calling upon the Lord in hardship and when in trouble, but it’s hard to remain focused and thank the Lord for when we are happy, successful and trouble free, and this, in my view, is key.

As I write this post on my iPad, the time is 7:50pm here in Mumbai.  I’m, alone, in probably the highest building which has an open top roof bar.  I’m sat in Aer Lounge, in what is known as ‘Sunset Happy Hour’ at the 34th floor open air lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai.  I’ve made this a place which I visit regularly; at least every 2nd or 3rd day – and I love this place.  In fact, I am in love with India, with Mumbai, and with the hustle and bustle of the city (but not the crazy traffic during peak hours, honestly, I thought the traffic in Leeds was bad).  More about India in future posts.

I’ve just witnessed the sunset from this jaw dropping view.  I’ve sat here on this very spot probably about 12 times in the past 4 weeks – but today I came here alone, without my acquaintance or with my new friends that I have made here in Mumbai.  Today’s sunset was a different one.  It reminded me of how 2012 came and went, and it’s given me an opportunity to reflect on the highs and lows of 2012.

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my highs and lows for 2012, but what I will say is this:

2012 has been a year of great challenges.  I have deliberately made some tough decisions in pretty much all aspects of my life.  You could say, I deliberately and consciously decided to walk on a path that has been less treaded on, knowing that the journey via this route is unpredictable, more stressful and more dangerous, but I know the reward and satisfaction in the end is invaluable against the grave risks I have decided to take.

As for 2013, well, I know for sure that this year will be more challenging than 2012 or 2011 ever was or double of what I experienced last year.  I accept that.  I am willing to accept the challenges for this year and do what I do best ‘fight on’.

This blog will be the gateway for me to echo what is happening, the challenges I am facing and what I get up to. This blog in itself is yet another challenge for 2013, as I’m sure most of you will agree with me that finding the time to blog is a challenge in our busy and bustling lifestyles.  What keeps me energised and enthusiastic to continue blogging is you guys.  I have met some great bloggers and some fantastic people from all around the world through blogging – it is you guys that fuel me in continuing to share my stories, experiences and views.  You may or may not agree with my views and opinions but we are a community and I’m glad to be part of it.

With that I’d like to wish all of you a happy New Year.

Good Bye 2012 and Welcome 2013.

Stephen Lawrence’s Murder – Gary Dobson and David Norris Found Guilty

The racist attack and murder of Stephen Lawrence has finally ended, finding both David Norris and Gary Dobson guilty of his murder.  It’s taken 18 long bloody years to finally bring justice to the Lawrence family.

A Chronology of events can be found here

Both Gary Dobson and David Norris were found quality today afternoon, bringing to an end (I hope) one of UK’s most unsolved murder case stretching over 18 years.  Not sure how many people are familiar with this case, especially those outside of the UK, but, I remember this case being a small kid.

The details of this conviction can be read here, here and here.

In my lifetime, pre-9/11 this was a one of those cases which brought to life many issues facing ethnic minorities in the UK (or even Europe for that matter).   Stephen Lawrence was a British Teenager, murdered back in 1993 in a racially motivated attack.

The pair were part of a wider gang, in this attack they were a group of 5 people.  They all escaped justice to a series of terrible police failings and where witnesses were intimidated and too scared to come forward.

In 1994, a secret recording of the pair made during a covert operation clearly showed them talking in racist and violent language.  This was, for everyone, now considered for sure a racist murder.  Failures in the original police investigation led to the McPherson report, which concluded that, the Metropolitan Police was “institutionally racist” and made 70 recommendations for ousting racism from society.

The other three suspects were named as Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight.  In 1997 daily mail named all five in an infamous front page as Lawrence’s murders.  To date, as far as I can recall, none have sued the paper.

Key Points for me:

The fact it taken 18 long years for this case to be concluded with convictions – shows the level of corruption and racism that has been inherent in the Metropolitan Police, and shows, how deep the problem expands.

Till date, from my recollection nobody has been made accountable for the appalling way the investigation into Stephen’s Murder was handled and executed by the very same Police, more so for the ill treatment of his parents and those who wanted justice and decided to made a stance physically.

Finally:

I am pleased to see the long winded battle for his parents and for those who were attached directly to this case (seeking justice) finally come to an end.  They spent 18 years fighting the very same institution which should have protected them.  At least now, the parents can really mourn the death of Stephen Lawrence.

That said, it does however raise the question of how and why the original police investigation failed, was corrupt and which showed deep levels of “institutional racism”?  Although, Stephen Lawrence case is now over, the case of police failings in this case is still wide open.

The governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world – Alessio Rastani

The governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world – Alessio Rastani:  By The British Asian Blog.

Alessio Rastani dropped a bombshell on BBC New Live.  The Jaws dropped of those in the studio and who were watching live feed.  His frank assessment of who’s really in charge of the global economy.  He further states 12 months from now everything will collapse and especially the Euro Market and that they are moving their money to safer assets – what hit me the most was this claim “This economic crisis is like a cancer … what I’d say to everybody is: get prepared … this is not a time right now [for] wishful thinking that government is gonna sort things out. The governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs does not care about this rescue package, neither [do] the big funds.” I feel as if I am watching the movie ‘Wall Street – Money never sleeps’ all over again.

If that wasn’t bad he further admits “If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that … Personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession, which is, I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession, I dream of another moment like this.

You need to watch this youtube footage of this.

So here we have it, an early warning from someone well connected, if after watching this video you are like me disorientated, nervous, livid and amused then consider this:  What ‘if’ he is right or partially right can we sit back and ignore the storm ahead of us?  No doubt the environment around us and especially in Europe seems to be heading for another double-dip recession, and to be fair I think worrying times lay ahead.

9/11 – 10th anniversary: Is the world a safe place now

9/11 – 10th anniversary:  Is the world a safe place now by The British Asian Blog

September 11 2001 – was the day when four planes were hi-jacked, two were flown into the twin towers New York, and two were flown into other sites.  Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of this awful and dire day in which 3000 people lost their lives.

Since this event took place, many more continue to lose their lives around the world; one thing for sure (in my view) is the world is less safe to live in after 9/11.  I wish this day never happened and a day I wish turned out to be different for everyone, but this definitely is a day which has turned the whole world into one big battle field.

10 years on and countless number of deaths later, I’m force to rethink whether or not the ‘the war on terror’ response from USA and its alliance actually achieved anything positive?

Over the last few weeks leading up to the 10th anniversary, I’m gradually reminded about this day by various information mediums.  Documentaries one after another on different aspects of 9/11 are aired targeting the times when TV is mostly watched, forcing the masses to relive and revive that moment when the planes struck the towers.   This day was a nightmare and everything that followed on from this day was even worse.  Why should we be forced to relive or stimulate these nightmares and be reminded of how society crumbled literally over night?

Nonetheless my thoughts and prayers go out to those innocent people who have lost their lives since 9/11.  10 years on I’m convinced that America could have taken a different route to bring whoever was behind 9/11 to justice.  As it stands there is so much discrepancies around 9/11 which casts a shadow on the official US government explanation and evidence.

After 9/11 there were many repercussions on people and communities around the world, British Asians were for sure a community and amongst others who experienced hostilities from a generally neutral society.  It caused problems for many people and in all sectors, racism rocketed since 9/11 against Muslims or anyone who appeared to look like a Muslim, and media-manufactured stories didn’t help.

Many British Asians may evoke hearing stories or evening experiencing racism in places where they lived for decades without any trouble, in places where they worked, studied or socialised.  For sure life for many British Asians became difficult and lived in fear of reprisals and punishments from society which they were very much part of.

10 years on, life has improved somewhat for British Asians but embedded deep inside the subconscious mind of the British Society there still lingers the antagonism and racism which has given rise to Islamaphobia.  Life for sure hasn’t been the same since 9/11. Asian society on the receiving end made numerous attempts to launch projects to help level out any issues and to educated people in to live together in harmony and better tolerance.  One such attempt was a Bollywood movie called “My Name is Khan” which addresses confusion that many people have.  It was a success but not reality.  We have got some way to go before we see living conditions improve in all areas for British Asians.

Shafilea Ahmed – Honour Killing Parents charged with her murder

Shafilea Ahmed – Honour Killing Parents charged with her murder – By The British Asian Blog

Interesting development around a case which I followed with interest few years ago.  The parents of Shafilea Ahmed have been charged over suspected honour killing.

Case Summary:  17 year old Shafilea went missing in 2003 from her home town Warrington Cheshire.  Later in 2004 her decomposed body was discovered on the banks of River Kent in Cumbria following a flood.  Her parents Iftikhar Ahmed and Farzana Ahmed were initially arrested on suspicions of kidnapping back in December 2003 but later in June 2004 they were released without charge, only to be arrested once again September 2010 but this time on the suspicion of murder.

This was a horrible and gruesome crime and very much an act of pure evil against a young British Asian, who simply wanted to live her life like everyone else.  What brought her ambitions and aspirations to a terrible end was the mindset of her parents, who favoured their status of family respect over anything else, including their religion and more importantly the freedom of their child.

Note:  If you don’t like what I write or disagree with my view, then you can vent your anger or frustration in the comments section.  I’m entitled to voice my opinion and since I own this blog, I’ll say exactly what I feel and believe.

The debate of honour killings is still very much alive in this country and no doubt it will be highlighted once again in the coming days.  When this news first broke out in 2003/2004 it was reported that honour killing was mainly ripe in Middle East and Asia and it was understood to claim the lives of 5000 women per year, these are recorded and identified deaths.  As it goes, UK has seen honour killing on many occasions and till date no effective measures have been put in place to prevent honour killings from happening in the future.

Honour killing of a woman is mainly carried out by family or relatives who ‘believe’ she has brought shame on the family.  In my opinion this is really a poor excuse in justifying a horrendous crime.  Shame is really brought on the family when such honour crime is committed, and it’s a shame on the wider extended family and community who fail to recognise this issue and address it, despite it being repeated on many occasions in the UK.

At the same time, I’m keen to underline that patriarchal violence does not belong to any religion and it’s wrong to perceive it to be a problem linked to any particular religion.

Many believe that Asian families are closely linked with one another, forming a close nit community.  This may have been the case 30 to 40 years ago but in the last 20 odd years in my view the truth could not be further apart.  Many families suppressed their internal issues in fear of reprisals from the larger Asian community, who may shut the door and isolate them.  Under such circumstances is when issues get out of control. In my view it’s also true that Asian migrants who arrived into this country and the current generation who have been born and bred in this country simply fail to agree on family values and perception of family respect.  What is important to their parents holds no value to the first and second generation of British Asians, and wise versa.

This is a cancer that’s embedded deep inside the Asian society within the UK.  The fear of bringing shame to the family needs to be assessed.  Having ambitions and aspirations some that are alien to the Asian culture doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong or bad for the community.  I fear the failure to prevent such crimes in future will be disastrous leading to a gradual Asian Community collapse.

I’m keen to hear your views are on this?

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