South Asian Heritage Month: Urfan Faqir
Urfan is the Project Leader for the Graduate Workforce Bradford Project based within Career and Employability Services. The project aims to improve the prospects and career destinations for ethnic minority students and graduates. Previously he has worked with young people in school and colleges supporting them with work experience, job opportunities and apprenticeships. Urfan also has experience of working in the executive recruitment industry as a head-hunter specialising in management consulting.
He has not always worked in education and employability. Urfan has a passion for music, especially house music. He spent a number of years DJing in London around Brick Lane and Shoreditch. He could be seen at his residency at The Lane Bar or playing occasional spots at now closed Turnmills or The Rhythm Factory.
Urfan spent time living in Pakistan as a child. He has fond memories of the village and enjoyed the open living experience. Watching his grandmother cook on an open fire. Eating home grown vegetables and fruits from the crop fields and sleeping under the stars.
His grandparents lived in a small town called Mehsampur near to Nakodar in India but after the partition they fled to Lahore by foot. Once in Lahore they struggled to secure enough land to farm. They decided to move further out towards the villages and finally settled in a small village called Ganguwal near Dipalpur in Pakistan Punjab. His grandad first emigrated to Nelson, England in the 1960’s followed by his father and mother in the 70’s.
Urfan is proud of his Pakistani heritage, the history, struggles and accomplishments of his grandparents and parents. Rebuilding their lives after surviving partition must have been gruelling and traumatic for them. They lost everything including his grandmother losing two children due to malnourishment. As time moves on, we need to appreciate where we came from and who we are now. We must also realise cultures evolve over time and trying to hold onto something that does not exist in the motherland can be unhealthy. Now when he visits Pakistan it’s a modern, vibrant and full of energy and hopes to visit frequently in the future.