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Introduction - 1978

Introduction - 1978

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Published by Khurram Siddiqi
a little background to my '1978' project
a little background to my '1978' project

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Published by: Khurram Siddiqi on Feb 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Statement of Purpose
In 1978, my father defended his PhD at the University of Sheffield in the UK, andprepared to move back with my mother to teach at Lahore’s University of Engineering &Technology, from where he had come to the UK on scholarship. My father was a breakout childin the sense that he was the only one of his siblings to finish university education. Scholarshipshave funded his academics from first grade through PhD, all made possible by publicinstitutions, in Pakistan.When they moved to England in 1974, they survived on a mere £50.00 a month, with a littleadditional income from my mother who began to work at a cutlery store and Avon cosmetics inSheffield. Whereas most fellow scholars from Pakistan worked to save money for life afterreturning to Pakistan, my parents chose to travel and explore Europe as much as possible.By 1977, my mother’s savings allowed them to purchase a used Toyota Corolla at a fifth of theprice listed, simply because that was all they had to offer the kind lady selling it. When the timeto return to Pakistan came in the summer of 1978, they realized that they could either sell thecar and finance the move back to Lahore by air, or keep the car and- use the rest of the moneyto drive the whole way to Lahore.The whole journey was risky and advised against because of the security issues at the time. Inaddition, my father had very little experience driving on international roads. 28 days of drivingthrough Europe and Asia, they found themselves back in he city where it had all started forthem: Lahore.Along the way they took lots of pictures, and lots of chances. Their initial itinerary planned outfor them by the AAA in London, they found themselves improvising driving routes and planswhen they entered Iran, as they drove right into the storm brewing into Khomeni’s revolution.After Iran, they experienced Afghanistan just before the Russians moved in.Throughout the journey, the Corolla gave them no major mechanical troubles, and my fatherdrove the whole way. What they did experience however, was the world in a way they couldnever have imagined. Growing up as poor descendants of immigrants from India, the chancesof them getting the kind of exposure they did through work and education, were very low.Despite this, the odds did work out for them. It was the public system that handed them all of 

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