Adeeba Malik CBE is one of Bradford’s most celebrated and well-respected women.
She is a pioneer in her field and has been instrumental in establishing links between the South Asian community and wider communities through the organisation QED as deputy chief executive.
Ms Malik sits on several boards and has been involved in national and global policy decisions.
Recently Ms Malik lost her mother and wanted to use the opportunity to pay tribute to her mum and all those women who came to the UK in the early ’60s. She believes their contribution should never be forgotten.
Here’s her special tribute to her mother Fahmeeda Malik.
Quite often when we talk about the contributions the Asian community have made to Bradford we will talk about the men who worked in the textile mills, like my father who came in 1958. We forget the wives who joined them, like my mother, Fahmeeda Malik who left her home in Lahore in 1966. She, like so many of them, were homemakers.
They believed this was their only duty, to serve their husbands, children and other family members. They felt extreme loneliness and longed for their loved ones back home. Imagine living in a completely alien environment.
My mother spoke little English, but both she and my father made sure their children were educated. She gave us love, support, wise words and unconditional commitment no matter what we did – good or bad. She lived her dreams, her aspirations, her life through her children.
I had the honour of being the daughter who lived with Fahmeeda Malik. She was beautiful inside and out and I am eternally grateful to her.
She recently passed away peacefully, without pain and with her children around her. I am so grateful to the staff at the BRI and all the wonderful health professionals, from cleaners to consultants, who supported my mum over many years. They became my family. I cannot have a tribute without acknowledging my QED family.
Never let us forget the contributions women like my mum made to this city/country, quietly, with compassion and grace. She was my soul, my rock, my heroine.
There is so much to learn from women like her, many of these women still exist. QED continues to help women who have come from the Asian subcontinent and settled here.
Please take care of the elders, they are treasures. I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful, happy Christmas and all good things in the new year.