Umara has got a special interest in writing poetry and has had pieces published in the Gloucestershire Young Poets book “Look Out Look Vol.4”. A few of her articles have also been published in the local media and she worked as a volunteer with BBC Radio. Umara loves to listen to rock music and enjoys English food. She also plays table tennis.
She says: 'I am of Pakistani origin but a British Muslim girl. I go to Pakistan because all my relatives live there. I never realised what benefits I had until I saw Pakistan for the first time since the age of 14. Being with relatives was a great experience that I won't forget. I felt the love from all my family, which I had never felt before because I have no relatives in England. It gave me a sense of purpose and I felt like I was someone.'
'I had traveled from England in search of my identity. I found out that there is a part of me that has adapted to the English style of life and that I can never be as Pakistani as the people living there. The advantages of going to Pakistan, were that my mother tongue improved, my relationships grew stronger and I learnt more about my culture. I did not really feel at home though when I stayed with my relatives.'
'I also visited big cities like Karachi and Lahore and small towns and villages as well. I am able to compare the two different lifestyles people have there. Many places fascinated me. Museums taught me a lot about the history of Pakistan - how it was created and how culture has changed in Pakistan over the century. I made a speech at a women's postgraduate college on Independence Day, talking about the downfalls of our independence from the British Raja and the benefits of it. This won me a trophy that I am proud of.'
'I have decided that being British, I have more advantages than my parents and relatives had especially in that I have a better standard of education. English is my first language, but I can also communicate in Urdu, Hindi, Panjabi and German.'
'The disadvantage of living in England, is that I am far away from my
relatives and do not have much face-to-face contact with them. We must
learn that family life in England is very different to that in Pakistan.
A half of me is Pakistani and half of me is English. I have found out
that I must take the best from the Pakistani way of life and culture
and also of the English. When these fit together, they make me a British
Pakistani Muslim. I love England from the depth of my heart. It is my
country, my Birth Country.'
Our Untold Stories is a series of three award winning local history books - find out more...