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Shazia Khan


Life on my grandfather's farm in Pakistan, 1980s

Colour photograph of Shazia Khan's hands holding a ring.
Shazia holding her grandfather's wedding ring. She was given the ring after his death, to remember his by. © Ingrid Hanson


Shazia Khan was born in the town of Attock in Pakistan in 1972. When she was in her teens she went to live with her grandparents on their farm in the Mia Valley. In the sound clip she describes what the area was like.

This sound clip lasts for 3 minutes and 40 seconds.

You know my grandparents live in far away area, Bhakar, Mianwali. People know about [it] in Pakistan, I don't know here people, but in Pakistan everybody knows about the area. So my elder sister was with my grandparents because they are my, they both are heart patient and they wants to be someone with them, and when I finish my matric, I went there to stay with them.

So how old were you then?

I'm not sure you know, it's mixed up but, it was about fourteen, fifteen, something like that and, when I, I used to go there, but just a few months and then come back with my mum and like that. But there was very different from our village because, there was like all sand and desert, but my grandfather's area was all oranges, orchard of oranges and mangoes and different kind of fruits. He went there in, I think sixties and he started there everything. He was in Pakistan navy and when he retired in sixties he went, he got some land there and after his retirement he bought some land and he went there and, he started to grow everything, there wasn't everything. He told me and when I went there it was everything green and nice. I like that very much and I miss it. When I go back to Pakistan, my village is same, you know the people are there, they don't know about anything, they are like poor people and my grandfather created jobs for them because he got lots of animals and he needs people to help them and, like, my grandmother and my grandfather, we three are there and my uncle, like my mum's brother, he lived nearby, city with his children, he come to visit us weekly, or sometime he alone come every day, but with his children weekly.

And he brought, bring us, he brought something like cooking and like that because there wasn't roads, no electricity and there was a water hand pump, but not electricity and... like, no transport like buses and everything. My father-in-law had got two tractors and a jeep and car, sometime he ride by horse, yeah. He go on his land and, he likes to, he has lots of birds like quoil, I don't know the small birds, quoil


Quails, yeah, and, about hundreds of quails he has and chickens and, dogs, you know the people hunting with dogs, ten, eleven fifteen dogs and, everything was very different.