Friday, November 11, 2011

One year on (15)


Two unknown security men
were killed in Orakzai and Mohmand tribal regions
on 11th Nov 2010

An unknown soldier
was killed in Goak area of Orakzai Agency
on 11th Nov 2010

Burials: Unknown


11th Day..

Today we remember those who lost their lives in World War I and II. I'm relisting the names of soldiers that were mentioned in a BBC programme a couple of years ago called Muslim Tommies:


Amir Khan - 129th Baluchis, France 1915
Subedar Muhammed Agia - 57th Rifles, May 1915
Havildar Abdul Rahman - 59th Rifles, France 1915
Juma Khan - 40th Pathans, France 1915
Sepoy Abdul Ghani - 125th Napier's Rifles, France 1915
Naubet Khan - 107th Pioneers, France 1915
Mohamed Ali Bey - 20th Deccan Horses, France 1915
Abdul Jabar Khan, Sep 1917
Mahomed Mazafar Khan - 19th Lancers, France, Oct 1917
Jemadar Shamsher Ali Khan - 34th Poona Horse, France, April 1917
Dafadar Fazi Khan - 19th Lancers, France Oct 1916
Havildar Ghufran Khan - 129th Baluchis, Aug 1915
Abdul Ali Khan - 6th Cavalry, France Aug 1917
Rajwali Khan - Brighton, Sep 1915 (at hospital)
Raja Khan - 38th CIH, France Oct 1917
Jemadar Hasan Shah - Hodson's Horse, France 1916
Kesu Shah - Rouen, May 1916
Rahimdad Khan - 19th Lancers, France, May 1916
Fateh Ullah - June 1916

Someone, somewhere will have known these men...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eid ul Adha 1432

Eid ul Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd al-’Aḍḥā) is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide as a commemoration of Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for Allah. It is one of two Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate. Like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba). It is also called the bigger Eid because it lasts a day longer than Eid ul-Fitr.

Eid al-Adha is four days long and starts on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. This is the day after the pilgrims in Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Happy Eid everyone.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What does your name mean?


If you're Pakistani, you're most likely to have an Arabic name and as such there will be a meaning too. Most would have been given their names by parents or uncles or aunts or grandparents. Sometimes even having hidden reasons or stories behind the name being used. Muslims are given names with good meanings behind them in order to provide a good influence on their life.

My full name means 'beautiful morning'.

If you're unsure of what your name means you can look it up on this Muslim names website, here. Or, if you don't have an Arabic name then you can choose your very own Arabic name by using the first initial of your first name and surname. For example, 'Thomas Jones' might become Tahir (meaning pure, clean, chaste, modest) Jalil (meaning great, revered).

So, go ahead and try it!




Monday, October 31, 2011

Why More Pakistanis Should Be Using 'Find A Grave'


Here is an online resource that should be on everyone's list:



Find A Grave is a website that helps genealogists locate their ancestor's graves. The above shows an example of a memorial and includes information such as death date and details about the person's life as well as the burial location. It has been added by myself (a volunteer) and can be viewed by anyone who visits the site.

Find A Grave, therefore, acts as a genealogy research tool as it holds some cemetery records that might not otherwise be available.

I've heard about a 'request a photo' button on the website but haven't actually seen one. If anyone could point it out to me that would be great. (yes, I can be dim sometimes -.-) Apparently, this is a way for researchers to ask a volunteer to take a picture of a grave stone/marker.

You can even search for specific burial locations for example, Pakistan and England. Unfortunately, Pakistan is only listed as having 21 records on the site whereas England has 4,104.

So, go forth all Pakistanis and explore this amazing website and perhaps even contribute!



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Abbas' trip to Pakistan

I'm back to blogging after a short break that was due to a trip to Pakistan (again!) and work. My trip consisted of another marriage, another new member being added to the family and another family celebration that will be remembered in years to come :)

Today we have a very special treat in the form of a guest blogger on My Pakistani Ancestry, a good friend of mine, who has been sharing with me his research story. His trip to Pakistan was his first and was exciting in terms of him visiting his ancestral country and learning about his family roots.

Here is his own account:

Both my ancestral lines – maternal as well as paternal – can be traced back to Pakistan. On my paternal side, my great-grandfather Bostan Khan had migrated from Campbellpur (present day Attock) to Singapore before the First World War. On my maternal side, it was my mother’s father who made the journey from Mansehra to Singapore. My maternal grandfather, Hayat Shah served in colonial police force like many other men from his country. He married my grandmother in 1950 – a second-generation Pakistani herself – and passed away in March 1969, when my mother was just thirteen.

This past June, more than 40 years since my grandfather passed away, I brought my mother to visit Pakistan, for the first time in all our lives!

Rekindling family ties

Years after he had somewhat established himself here, my grandfather was joined by his younger brother, Mohammed Younis Shah. Following in his elder brother’s footsteps, he too joined the police force and married a local here in Singapore. Yet three years after the death of my grandfather, my granduncle Younis Shah returned back to Pakistan, with his wife and four children. He used to correspond with my mother and her siblings until his death in 1994. After 17 years, we managed to renew correspondence.

It was a trip filled with much anticipation. For me, I had two very broad aims – to strengthen family ties and to learn as much as I could about our family history.

From the moment I head my name being called out by my uncle when exiting the airport in Islamabad, I just knew that the trip was worth the wait. It was a three-hour journey by road to Mansehra, and throughout the car ride, my aunt and uncles who had come to fetch us wasted no time in showering us with the warm Pakistani hospitality I had often read about. The cold night air was filled with warm chatter and laughter throughout.

Upon his return to Pakistan, my granduncle settled in Mansehra city, just a few kilometers away from his ancestral village of Hado Bandi. And it was in this house that my mother and I stayed in. On the first day, we were brought to visit numerous graveyards where we paid our respects to my granduncle, my great-grandparents as well as our forefathers who had first settled in Hado Bandi.

On the second day, we were brought to Oghi – a town about 30 kilometers away from Mansehra. Here, in the village of Bandi Sadiq, was the family of my grandfather’s only sister. She had been married off to a man from this village. Sadly, she passed away only last year. We were told that she often expressed hope that she would see the children of her eldest brother – my grandfather. It was a surreal feeling, to meet my cousins, who up to that point, had merely been an abstract idea in my thoughts. Again, like in Mansehra and Hado Bandi, we visited the graves of the departed and offered our prayers for them.

Love and lineage, the common languages between us

The only languages I speak are English and Malay. Over a hundred years of cultural assimilation had seen us lose the ability to speak in our native languages of Hindko and Urdu.

I suppose you can say we were truly fortunate, because even in Pakistan, we continued to speak English and Malay! My granduncle’s wife was a local from Singapore who spoke Malay. Thus, upon migrating to Pakistan, the language was still used within the family. The use of a language known only to us made my mother and I feel more attached to our family there. There is no doubt that despite the years of separation, there still was a level of cultural similarity between our families.

In Bandi Sadiq, we were also fortunate that many of our relatives there had gone through various degrees of education and could speak English proficiently. For those who were unable to communicate with us, they did so through my uncle who acted as an interpreter. And when he wasn’t around, we will attempt to speak in each other’s tongues anyway. I think we barely made it, but the smiles that resulted were priceless. When we left after three days in the village, tears were shed, as a testimony to the love that had been forged in that short period of time.

The research project – Pen, paper and photographs

It was a genealogical researcher’s dream come true. I had prepared myself with a notebook and a pen, as well as a camera if I needed it. Most of my uncles and aunts knew of my intention to research the family history and they were ever so patient to sit down with me to draw up the family tree and answer any queries that I had.

Additionally, my aunt who had known of my research project had brought me to visit an elderly 72-year-old man who knew the history of the people in the village, but also of Pakistani folk who had migrated to Singapore! In fact, his wife was born in Singapore and moved to Pakistan when she was 12. My aunt patiently acted as the translator and scribe as I asked questions about my late grandfather, his family as well as some other personalities who had migrated to Singapore.

I realised one of the best things I did was to have printed the pictures of my family, my grandparents, as well as other relatives and people of Pakistani origin in Singapore. Though not exactly comprehensive, it had helped me a lot in discovering information I had never expected to find.

A case in point was when one of my aunts saw the photograph of my mother’s maternal grandfather. She asked who the man in the picture was. And when we told her that it was the father-in-law of my late grandfather, she surprised us by informing us that she knew of his origin. She told us that he was from Tilli – the Black Mountain of Hazara (Tor Ghar). This was a golden nugget of information that not a single descendent of my great-grandfather knew, but was communicated by my late grandfather (his son-in-law) to his sister. This was a bonus I had never expected to discover.

Tips for genealogists visiting the ancestral land

Never leave behind any information back home. Though apparently painstaking, it may be worth to make copies, or back up of research you have done thus far, and bring the copy with you on your trip. You wouldn’t want to be in a situation where you stumbled upon a valuable lead, only that you cannot pursue it because some important information you require is sitting pretty at home, thousands of miles away from you. Even the most mundane of information can be frustrating to recall should you suddenly require it. It may be a name, an address, a relationship or a date.

Another tip is to strike a balance between research and recreation. Sometimes you may need to be firm and decline invitations, in order to pursue a particular lead – like visiting a place or interviewing a person. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to be completely immersed in research that you forget to enjoy the experience. Take the time to immerse yourself in the environment and imagine what it might have been like for your ancestor to live through it. After all, how often do we get to visit the ancestral land?


If you'd like to read more about Abbas' trip to Pakistan, then head over to his blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Remembering our shaheed .. 21

I'm posting more announcements of our shaheed (martyred) who are fighting for our country, our people and our freedom.

Tuesday July 19th 2011

'Four soldiers were killed when rockets fired from Afghanistan hit a security post in South Waziristan on Tuesday. Two other soldiers were injured...

Subaidar Shafiq, Lance Naik Shundi Gul and soldiers Irfan and Mohammad Ali were killed in the pre-dawn attack.' (Dawn)

Friday August 12th 2011

'An army man was killed and three others were injured when five rockets fired from nearby mountains landed in the Quetta Cantonment on Friday evening...

The injured were taken to the Quetta CMH, where Mohammad Shahid died.' (Dawn)

Sunday August 14th 2011

'Three soldiers were killed and 25 others injured in a rocket attack on Sunday on Tochi Scouts fort in Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.' (Dawn)



Note: I can only provide you with names if I find them in the news articles I browse. If you think something needs correcting, please do leave me a message. I try my best.

We should all pray for these men and their families and recognise their courage and sacrifice for their country.

Are you related to a soldier? Do you have memories of a loved one dying in a war? Do you have a message for the soldiers fighting? Leave me a comment.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Independence Day..



I'd like to wish a very
Happy Independence Day

to

everyone in Pakistan and Pakistanis worldwide

=)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who do you think you are? 2011

My favourite program is back on our screens August 10th and I can't wait to see what revealing information we get to see about famous people that we all know. Once again, Wiki is providing us with upcoming celebs that are to appear on the show..

Series 8
June Brown (Dot from Eastenders)
Richard Madeley
J.K. Rowling (Author of Harry Potter books)
Alan Carr
Sebastian Coe
Larry Lamb (Archie Mitchell from Eastenders, again)
Tracey Emin
Len Goodman
Emilia Fox
Robin Gibb

It's to be broadcast on Wednesday on BBC One at 9pm (probably will be stuffing my face full of food as I watch since it is immediately after Iftar). Or you can choose to watch it on Iplayer if you can't make it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadhan Mubarak: 2011


Ramadhan Mubarak to all =)
The holy month started on the 1st of August this year.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Remembering our shaheed .. 20

I'm posting more announcements of our shaheed (martyred) who are fighting for our country, our people and our freedom.

Sunday June 19th 2011

'At least 25 militants and four soldiers were killed in a clash in Wali Dad area of Mohmand tribal region on Sunday when troops, backed by military planes, helicopters and artillery, pushed in to take control of the militant stronghold of Soran Darra along the Afghan border. ' (Dawn)

Monday July 4th 2011

'Dozens of Taliban from Afghanistan launched a pre-dawn attack on a security post in Bajaur tribal region on Monday, killing one paramilitary soldier and injuring another. Three attackers died when Pakistani forces fired back.' (Dawn)

Tuesday July 5th 2011

'At least five Frontier Corps personnel were killed and six injured in a bomb attack in Mand town near the Iranian border on Tuesday.' (Dawn)

Thursday July 14th 2011

'At least eight security personnel and 15 militants were killed in fierce clashes in Chamalang area of Kohlu district on Thursday night and Friday.

According to sources, 12 security men were injured in the clashes which continued till late Friday night. Two ‘commanders’ were reported to be among the dead militants.

But a Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman disputed the casualty figure and said: “Four of our soldiers and eight militants have been killed.” He said the assailants had attacked FC personnel whom were on duty in the area and firing continued till evening...

Five of the FC men killed were identified as Ghulam Mohammad, Kashif, Faisal Tufail, Ahmed Nawaz and Rehmatullah.' (Dawn)

Monday July 18th 2011

'Militants slaughtered an official of Frontier Constabulary in Peshawar district and killed two hostages in Kurram Agency on Monday night, sources said.

“The body of FC man Taj Alam Khattak was found near Shaikhan police post,” sources said, adding that he went missing on Monday when he was on way to his post in Aziz Market area.

An official said that the FC man, a resident of Mian Wali, had been on leave since July 2. He was supposed to join his duty on 18 but he could not reach his post as militants kidnapped him in the limits of Badbher police station, he added.' (Dawn)


Note: I can only provide you with names if I find them in the news articles I browse. If you think something needs correcting, please do leave me a message. I try my best.

We should all pray for these men and their families and recognise their courage and sacrifice for their country.

Are you related to a soldier? Do you have memories of a loved one dying in a war? Do you have a message for the soldiers fighting? Leave me a comment.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One year on (14)

An unknown paramilitary soldier
was killed in Djabori
on 23rd June 2010

Burial: Unknown

Hazrat Nabi
was killed in Lower Dir
on 5th July 2010

Burial: Unknown

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Urdu word of the month - Post 12

Again for this week's Urdu word, I'm asking you guys to make up a sentence rather than me providing one as I'm not familiar with the word (yes, I'm learning too).

انتشار
n.m
confusion; dispersion; disorder

Please feel free to provide any feedback for this theme. You can even introduce your own Urdu words or even make up sentences with the above word and blog about them on your own blog. Remember to post your links.

Or email me if you're shy: pakistani_g[at]hotmail.co.uk

The next Urdu post will be on the 17th July.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Remembering our shaheed .. 19

Funerals take place in Upper Dir for Pakistani forces killed in clashes with Islamist militants. Photograph: Rohullah Shakir.


I'm posting more announcements of our shaheed (martyred) who are fighting for our country, our people and our freedom.

Sunday May 22nd 2011

'Armed militants stormed into a naval airbase here on Sunday night, destroyed three aircraft and killed at least five people — four navy personnel and a foreigner whose nationality could not be ascertained.' (Dawn)

Thursday June 2nd 2011

'Islamist militants believed to have come from Afghanistan have fought a second day of battles with Pakistani security forces..

The fighting began when militants crossed into Pakistan on Wednesday. By Thursday evening, 25 soldiers, 35 militants and three civilians had died in fighting, according to the regional police chief, Ghulam Mohammed.' (Guardian)

Thursday June 9th 2011

'Eight soldiers and 12 militants killed at security checkpoint in Waziristan, according to intelligence officials' (Guardian)


Note: I can only provide you with names if I find them in the news articles I browse. If you think something needs correcting, please do leave me a message. I try my best.

We should all pray for these men and their families and recognise their courage and sacrifice for their country.

Are you related to a soldier? Do you have memories of a loved one dying in a war? Do you have a message for the soldiers fighting? Leave me a comment.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Restoring Old Photographs and Documents

Have you got some old photographs that are in need of some TLC? Here's a website that may be able to help:

399Retouch

"We make people look good in photographs, and restore old, torn, damaged photos. We guarantee you will like your photo, or you pay nothing."

Sounds good doesn't it? I've actually seen the restoration examples on the website and I must say they are pretty good. However, in regards with prices, they appear to charge depending on what type of work that needs doing and don't include any idea of what that may be.

So, has anyone tried this service?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One year on (13)


Six soldiers
were killed in an area near Afghanistan
on 9th June 2010

Burials: Unknown

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Susan E. Pratt Attar (1948-1992)

Here I have another photograph from CM Fish on flickr for today's Tombstone Tuesday. Thank you once again for letting me use the photograph. It was taken at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.



'[Arabic script]
SUSAN E. PRATT
ATTAR
BORN IN SEATTLE
1948 - 1992'

Unfortunately, I can't translate everything but the top line translates as "In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate" and above the name written in English, its the name written in Arabic script. However, the Arabic name says 'Susan Elaine Attar' which tells me the middle name that's been abbreviated in the English translation.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Look for clues at home

My tip for today is:

Look through old pictures, letters, deeds, wills, military records, family data etc to find clues about your ancestors.

Whilst looking through an old photo album, I came across this:



Now, I already knew about this relative as I had met him and been told stories about him by my Mum, but it's nice to be able to see a photograph of him in his uniform. QH was the youngest of 7 siblings. I was told he worked in the Pakistan Army and went to fight in the war between Pakistan and India, where he was captured and kept prisoner for some time until he was returned.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Urdu word of the month - Post 11


For this week's Urdu word, I'm asking you guys to make up a sentence rather than me providing one as I'm not familiar with the word (yes, I'm learning too).

آ رد
n. m
flour; meal
'arad'

Please feel free to provide any feedback for this theme. You can even introduce your own Urdu words or even make up sentences with the above word and blog about them on your own blog. Remember to post your links.

Or email me if you're shy: pakistani_g[at]hotmail.co.uk

The next Urdu post will be on the 19th June.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Remembering our shaheed .. 18

I'm posting more announcements of our shaheed (martyred) who are fighting for our country, our people and our freedom.

Sunday May 8th 2011

'Two Frontier Corps personnel were killed in a blast in South Waziristan`s Asman Manza area on Sunday morning.
Sources said that the FC personnel were going from Kaniguram to Laddah when they were hit by an explosive device. The deceased were identified as Shan and Mashan.' (Dawn)

Tuesday May 17th 2011

'Two soldiers were killed and another received injuries in a landmine explosion in upper tehsil of Orakzai Agency on Tuesday...
Two soldiers identified as Basharat and Ajmal were killed in the blast, they added.' (Dawn)

Note: I can only provide you with names if I find them in the news articles I browse. If you think something needs correcting, please do leave me a message. I try my best.

We should all pray for these men and their families and recognise their courage and sacrifice for their country.

Are you related to a soldier? Do you have memories of a loved one dying in a war? Do you have a message for the soldiers fighting? Leave me a comment.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One year on (12)


Hawaldar Gul Mohammad
was killed in Rownyal area of Matta
on 5th May 2010

Burial: Rustam in Mardan

Lance Naik Nooruddin and Naik Rehman Shah
were killed in the Safi tehsil of the Mohmand Agency
on 21st May 2010

Burials: Unknown

Two soldiers
were killed in Orakzai
on 29th May 2010

Burials: Unknown

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jennifer Musa (1917 - 2008)


Have you been following the
blogging prompts from Lisa Alzo's blog which celebrate Women's History Month by asking bloggers to write about their female ancestors?

Today's blogging prompt is:
'March 13 — Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.'

I'm sharing the story of a female who is not an ancestor but deserves to have her story told as she was a strong woman living in a man's world.

Jennifer Musa was unknown to me until I read a post at pakistaniat.com written by Adil Najam. It's an interesting read which I encourage you to read here fully. Here's a glimpse of it:


Jennifer Musa, who has died aged 90, was an Irishwoman of modest stock who took over from her husband as head of a tribe in the remote borderlands of Baluchistan; unveiled and uncompromising, she dedicated her life to the conservative Muslim tribesmen among whom she lived for 60 years until her death….

Far from being a colonial figure who “stayed on”, and despite having been dubbed “the Queen of Baluchistan”, Jennifer Musa was a tough-minded, unassuming nurse who arrived at the parched fringes of the Indian subcontinent a year after Partition. When she arrived there, as she later recalled, locals believed that the British monarchy had gifted the “London lady” to their chief in return for killing a tiger.

She was born Bridget Wren at Tarmons, Co Kerry, Ireland, on November 11 1917, the daughter of smallholding farmers. She had four sisters and two brothers and received a Roman Catholic education. Known as Bridie, she later changed her name to Jennifer and left for England to train as a nurse. In 1939 she met Qazi Mohammed Musa in Oxford, at Exeter College’s May Ball.

Qazi Musa, who read Philosophy, was a ward of the Governor-General of Baluchistan and the eldest son of the prime minister to the Khan of Kalat, Baluchistan’s princely state. Jennifer took the Muslim name of Jehan Zeba and they married in 1940, despite some opposition from his otherwise “liberal” family.

Qazi had been married off to his first wife when he was 14 years old amid fears that he would be killed, most likely poisoned, by clan rivals. The marriage produced four sons and one daughter. Jennifer and Qazi’s first wife, a member of the neighbouring Kansi tribe, remained neighbours and friends in later years.

Qazi’s father had been a key figure in the Pakistan movement and the couple arrived there from England in 1948. The family stronghold at Pishin, a dusty, baked plateau 30 miles north of Baluchistan’s capital, Quetta, is a far cry from the banks of the Shannon. For centuries it fell under the suzerainty of tribes from the neighbouring city of Kandahar, where the Qazis once wielded influence before being expelled by the British. The area, which is hemmed in by russet mountains and tormented by dust devils and temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius, was retained within the borders of British India after the Second Afghan War in 1881.
Jennifer donned the shalwar kameez, but without wearing a headscarf or the all-encompassing burqa, and lived the rarified life of the frontier sardars (tribal chiefs).

In a land of camels, her family owned the only car; despite the austere surroundings, they lived in relative security within the thick, mud-walled, colonial-era home that was festooned with daggers, tigers’ heads and photographs of her extravagantly whiskered in-laws.

Pakistan’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, stayed for several nights at the house, from where they often forayed across the border to the fashionable, Francophone court of the Afghan king at Kabul. But the idyll ended when her husband died in a motor accident in 1956. Despite her wish to return to Ireland, her husband’s family persuaded her to stay in Pishin with their 14-year-old son, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi [later to become Pakistan's Ambassador to USA].

Her independence of mind, often attributed to her “Irishness”, led her to enter politics. She joined the now-defunct National Awami (Freedom) Party (NAP) of the Pathan nationalist Wali Khan. At what are often called Pakistan’s “first and last free and fair elections”, in 1970, she won a seat in the national assembly. Her flaxen hair, grey-blue eyes and fair skin caused unease among its more bearded members.

Jennifer served as a parliamentarian for seven years, during which time she demonstrated her empathy for the underdog. She founded the area’s first women’s association and its first family planning clinic. “You can’t liberate women until you liberate men,” she said. More famously, she resisted strong pressure from the overbearing prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, to water down autonomous rights for Baluchistan.

Perhaps apocryphally, Bhutto was reputed to have mused whether she thought she was “the Queen of Baluchistan”. Then he added: “Fix that woman.”

She was a proud signatory of Pakistan’s 1973 constitution. But when Bhutto savagely crushed a Baluch insurgency during the 1970s Jennifer acted as a conduit for messages from the rebel leadership and jailed fighters to their families, because their women were cut off from public life as they were in purdah.

Democratic politics in Pakistan, and Jennifer’s political career, came to an end with the imposition of martial law at the end of the 1970s, and she turned her focus on her family home and lands. She grafted a rose garden among its pomegranate and pine trees. During the 1980s she worked among Afghan refugees who flocked to Pishin due to the fighting in the anti-Soviet jihad; she set up and managed an ice factory in a land that lacks refrigeration and electricity; and - to the chagrin of the mullahs - she promoted literacy for women.

But it was in her capacity as a traditional tribal administrator that she made her mark. She dispensed favours, settled disputes and signed chits for tribesmen who gathered at her gate. “You have to be astute dealing with the Baluch,” she remarked.

Her emphasis was on education, health and hard work. A local superintendent of police recalled how, when he was a schoolboy, Jennifer pinched his ear for missing class. In such a way she inspired a generation of local professionals who lived in fear of being “whacked”.

It remained a mystery to her family how she managed. She had little grasp of the local language, Pashto. A family retainer was amused to overhear the somewhat whimsical explanation for the town’s name of Pishin that she offered to a visitor - she said, erroneously, that it was derived from the Pashto for “cat”. When angry, her smatterings of Urdu and Pashto gave way to pure English.

Purposefully vague about when she “became Islamic”, Jennifer did not feel bound by religion, preferring to remark on the similarities of the various faiths.

She retained a faint Kerry brogue, but said she knew more about Pakistan than Ireland, which she last visited in the 1960s. She was an unfussy Irishwoman with a twinkly sense of humour who felt “very much at home” at Pishin. In Ireland, she noted, the women did not mix much with the men.

In her later years visiting foreign journalists mused about how the wild, tribal frontier, where women are in purdah and even goatherds carry Kalashnikovs, was an unlikely place to find an elderly Irish widow serving afternoon tea. The area has lately become a stronghold for the Taliban, and is generally out of bounds to foreigners.

Jennifer died on January 12. Her funeral procession was attended by thousands of burly, turbaned Pathans (many of them allied to the Taliban) who raised cheers of “Mummy Jennifer!” in her honour as the cortège passed through a shuttered Pishin. She was buried at the Qazis’ ancestral burial ground near the tomb of the family Sufi saint, Sheikh Farid Baba. President Pervez Musharraf telephoned Jennifer’s son, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, to offer his condolences for morethe death of a woman who, in one of her last interviews, said: “Mummy has had her innings.”


Unfortunately, the link to the obituary that was referred to in the blog post, is not working. What an interesting life she led!

Note: This is a repost from 13th March 2010.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Urdu word of the month - Post 10


ٹیڑھا
adj.
crooked; bent; curved; oblique
'terha'
یہ ٹیڑھا ہے
transliteration
'ye terha hai'
this is bent

Please feel free to provide any feedback for this theme. You can even introduce your own Urdu words or even make up sentences with the above word and blog about them on your own blog. Remember to post your links.

Or email me if you're shy: pakistani_g[at]hotmail.co.uk

The next Urdu post will be on the 22nd May.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blog on hiatus

Hi there. This is just to say that due to circumstances blogging will be on hiatus for a while. To keep you going I'll be posting some old blog posts from previous years.

In the meantime..

Muslim Tommies

Muslim Tommies is a BBC program that was aired on the 2nd of September. Now, like me you're probably thinking 'what are tommies?' So before I go on I'll explain the term 'tommy'.

Tommy is a common term for a soldier in the British Army, usually associated with World War I.

What I learned from watching the program..

* The Indian army was mobilised Sep 1914 in Europe
* Soldiers were known as 'sepoys'
* The hardships of these men have been lost in history
* Accounts written by the men were translated and are now available
* The soldiers usually came from poor rural communities
* On 30th Oct 1914, Sepoy Khudadad Khan was awarded the Victoria Cross (it was the first ever to be awarded to an Indian soldier)
* The first purpose built mosque in England is in Woking (Shah Jahan mosque)
* A graveyard was built near the mosque for the burial of Muslim soldiers
* In 1968 the remains of the soldiers were removed to Brookwood cemetry nearby where nineteen first world war and five 2nd world war soldiers now rest
* In May 1915, soldiers moved from France to present day Iraq to fight Germany's Turkish allies
* They had to fight Muslim Turks
* They refused, and so 429 soldiers received long prison sentences
* 8,500 troops had died by the end, 1/3 wud have been Muslims
* A unique ceremony is held at Brighton to commemorate their bravery and remember the Indian troops who died
* It's called the Chattri memorial


Soldiers mentioned were:

Amir Khan - 129th Baluchis, France 1915
Subedar Muhammed Agia - 57th Rifles, May 1915
Havildar Abdul Rahman - 59th Rifles, France 1915
Juma Khan - 40th Pathans, France 1915
Sepoy Abdul Ghani - 125th Napier's Rifles, France 1915
Naubet Khan - 107th Pioneers, France 1915
Mohamed Ali Bey - 20th Deccan Horses, France 1915
Abdul Jabar Khan, Sep 1917
Mahomed Mazafar Khan - 19th Lancers, France, Oct 1917
Jemadar Shamsher Ali Khan - 34th Poona Horse, France, April 1917
Dafadar Fazi Khan - 19th Lancers, France Oct 1916
Havildar Ghufran Khan - 129th Baluchis, aug 1915
Abdul Ali Khan - 6th Cavalry, France Aug 1917
Rajwali Khan - Brighton, Sep 1915 (at hospital)
Raja Khan - 38th CIH, France oct 1917
Jemadar Hasan Shah - Hodson's Horse, France 1916
Kesu Shah - Rouen, May 1916
Rahimdad Khan - 19th Lancers, France, May 1916
Fateh Ullah - June 1916

All in all, this program really opened my eyes to the life of the Indian soldiers that fought the war for Britain. It's something that I was not taught in school which makes me think about other children who are studying about war at school and yet being unaware of the role played by these men who share their ancestry. Is it fair that their part in the war should be left out? Why shouldn't we acknowledge the loss of these men?

Get in touch. Did one of your ancestors serve in the World War I or World War II? Do you have written accounts of the war from one of your great grandparents or grandparents?


Note: This is a repost from 30th September 2009.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Remembering our shaheed .. 17

I'm posting more announcements of our shaheed (martyred) who are fighting for our country, our people and our freedom.

Thursday Apr 7th 2011

'Fifty militants and four security personnel were killed in bombings and clashes in parts of Mohmand tribal region on Thursday.' (Dawn)


Note: I can only provide you with names if I find them in the news articles I browse. If you think something needs correcting, please do leave me a message. I try my best.

We should all pray for these men and their families and recognise their courage and sacrifice for their country.

Are you related to a soldier? Do you have memories of a loved one dying in a war? Do you have a message for the soldiers fighting? Leave me a comment.

One year on (11)

Six unnamed soldiers
were killed in different parts of Orakzai Agency
on 3rd April 2010

Burials: Unknown

Three unnamed soldiers
were killed in the South Waziristan tribal region
on 10th April 2010

Burials: Unknown

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday

Today 'My Pakistani Ancestry' blog is officially 2 yrs old.

I started this blog in the hope it would attract other Pakistanis to the world of genealogy and as such I have tried to produce content that tailors to the Pakistani and that links with family history. In the last year I have posted about private family graveyards, message boards, family group sheets and much much more. I've now decided to re-start my Urdu posts which I hope will be interesting for readers.

Last year I had mentioned I was in search for another Pakistani genealogy blogger (or geneablogger). I did manage to come across a Pakistani genealogy blogger but as yet have not been able to contact him. Click here, if you would like to visit his blog.

As always I'm on the lookout for more readers and responses.

Lastly, thanks for reading :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One year on .. (10)


Six unnamed soldiers
were killed in different parts of Orakzai Agency
on 3rd April 2010

Burials: Unknown

Three soldiers
were killed in South Waziristan tribal regions
on 10th April 2010

Burials:Unknown


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Urdu word of the month - Post 9

Remember the 'Urdu word of the week' theme? Well, I'm re-introducing it into my regular posts as I feel it's a valuable educational posting that will boost overall readers grasp of Urdu. There will be a slight change though as I will be posting monthly rather than weekly as I previously did. So, it will be posted every 4th Sunday of each month. This is because I felt it was too much work to keep up and on hindsight it's too much to ask for everyone to learn a new word every week!

Here's to sweet beginnings..

بسناہ
v.
to lodge; to abide; to dwell; to be colonised or inhabited
'basna'
اس نے آپنا گھر بسا لیا ہے
transliteration
'us ne apna ghar basa liya hai'
he/she has settled into his/her house


Please feel free to provide any feedback for this theme. You can even introduce your own Urdu words or even make up sentences with the above word and blog about them on your own blog. Remember to post your links.

Or email me if you're shy: pakistani_g[at]hotmail.co.uk

The next Urdu post will be on the 24th April, hopefully.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family history for the little ones

What age did you start researching your family history? I was a teenager when I started and haven't looked back since. I can't remember doing any sort of family history at school but I now wish I had. I could have caught the genealogy bug earlier, and started asking questions earlier but that's something we hear a lot from genealogists. Perhaps it's because we feel the more time we have the better results. So, how do you get the youngsters involved in something that's not Facebooky/musicy/sporty/Twitterish?

0-5 years old
I know what you're thinking, but it's never too early to start the journey of a lifetime. How about telling stories about grandma as a child, or about grandad's journey to a different country, or visiting aunts and uncles that share a family link.

5-10 years old
This is the start of school for most children and they enter a world of learning. Try using the following site for some ideas to make genealogy fun: Family Tree Kids.

10-15 years old
Here come the teen years and the attitude. Introducing technology here is important as they can incorporate history with modern tools. Softwares, mobile applications, forums, and social networks are great for enticing teenagers. Also, trying to make history seem relevant to them so they are not seen to be given lectures.

15-20 years old (yes, this IS young to a 40 year old genealogist)
I'm not so sure about this category. However, I would like to point out the Who Do You Think You Are? TV documentary that is very popular viewing. Let's face it, visuals do really help with enticing young people.

Ofcourse it helps to have a genealogist role model in the family. Someone who can offer advice and guidance to a newbie and hopefully somone who has made a start already so you don't have to start from scratch!

Lastly, I'll use the example of the recent census in the UK. I've heard many people say they don't even know what the census is and they ranged from 16-30 odd year olds. I was glad to explain what it was all about but also was slightly worried that somewhere down the line they had not been told about the census or perhaps they just didn't remember.

Let's do our best to get more people involved in family history!

P.S. UK readers: Remember to fill in your census forms and return them. (I have :P)

Friday, March 11, 2011

One year on (9)


An unnamed soldier
was killed in Bajaur Agency
on 11th March 2010

Burial: Unknown


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

UK Census Time

Where were you when the censuses were taken?

Here in the UK, we have had a census taken every 10 years since 1801 (not that I've been around since then!) which has taken a snapshot of our lives for others to see. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take a peek at what our future descendants will see..

1991 - I was 6 years old, living with my parents and 2 brothers. Although my sister did join us that year, I wonder if it was after the census was taken? I'm pretty sure my Dad would have filled in the forms. We'll find out in 2063!

2001 - I was 16 years old, a high school student, living with my parents, my 2 brothers and my younger sister. I think I remember helping my Dad fill out the forms at the time. We'll find out in 2073!

That's only 2 censuses that I've lived through and another one is to come. As we all know from the TV adverts that are popping on all channels, the 2011 census is set to take place on 27 March 2011. This year there's even an option of completing the form online and I understand the form is available in more languages which is costing us lots of money. Even though most people seem to be thinking of how costly it all is and it's value, I'm really excited about it (which shows the genealogist in me!).

Do you consider the census to be a valuable tool? Does the information from the censuses give you much of a family history? Or do we need personal accounts of people's lives to really understand our ancestors? Ofcourse, the census data will provide us with dates and names but do we need to record our lives in other ways?

What do you think? Post a comment or email me at pakistani_g[at]hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Unknown Bi


Here is another photograph of an ancestral tombstone, of who, I don't know, which was taken in October 2010.

It was taken in our private family graveyard in Punjab. Again, the writing on the stone isn't clearly visible but I can make out the Urdu script to read her surname. I say 'her' because the surname is 'Bi' which was (is?) a common female surname for Pakistani women. Other information on the tombstone seems to have faded away.

I'd like to find out whose grave this is and how they were related to me.

Any help on deciphering the writing on the tombstone would be appreciated, you can contact me on pakistani_g[at]hotmail.co.uk

Friday, February 18, 2011

Remembering our shaheed .. 16

I'm posting more announcements of our shaheed (martyred) who are fighting for our country, our people and our freedom.

Sunday Feb 6th 2011

'A Frontier Corps man was killed when a landmine exploded in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti district on Sunday.

Levies Force sources said the landmine planted by unidentified assailants went off when the FC man, identified as Sabtain, stepped on it. He died on the spot.' (Dawn)

Thursday Feb 10th 2011

'At least 28 army personnel were killed and 40 others injured when a teenage boy blew himself up at the Punjab Regiment Centre in Mardan on Thursday.' (Dawn)

Thursday Feb 17th 2011

'Ten militants and one soldier were killed during clashes in different parts of Orakzai tribal region on Thursday, sources said.' (Dawn)

Note: I can only provide you with names if I find them in the news articles I browse. If you think something needs correcting, please do leave me a message. I try my best.

We should all pray for these men and their families and recognise their courage and sacrifice for their country.

Are you related to a soldier? Do you have memories of a loved one dying in a war? Do you have a message for the soldiers fighting? Leave me a comment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eid Milad-un-Nabi: 12th Rabi ul Awwal


I'd like to wish everyone a happy Eid Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mirza Ghalib's Death Anniversary

Mirza Ghalib was a classical Urdu and Persian poet from the Indian subcontinent during British colonial rule. Today marks his 142nd death anniversary.

Here, I have assembled some genealogical information about him:

4 Mirza Qoqan Baig Khan (Mirza Ghalib's paternal grandfather)

2 Mirza Abdullah Baig Khan (father) m. 3 Izzat-ut-Nisa Begum. He d. 1803 in Alwar and he is buried at Rajgarh (Alwar, Rajasthan)

1 Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan (aka Mirza Ghalib) b. 27 December 1797 m. Umarao Begum (d/o Nawab Ilahi Bakhsh). He had 7 children, none of whom survived beyond infancy. He died in Delhi on February 15, 1869


Additional details:
  • Mirza Qoqan Baig Khan had 4 sons and 3 daughters. One of them was called Mirza Nasrullah Baig Khan (uncle) d. 1806
  • Mirza Ghalib had a brother called Mirza Yousuf Khan d. 1857
Read more about Mirza Ghalib, here.

Tomb of Mirza Ghalib, Delhi
'The prison of life and the bondage of grief are one and the same
Before the onset of death, how can man expect to be free of grief?'

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One year on .. (8)


Twelve unnamed soldiers
embraced martydom during the ongoing operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan Agency (SWA)
on 8th February 2010

Burial: Unknown

An unnamed soldier
was killed in Tirah valley
on 10th February 2010

Burial: Unknown

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SNGF - The Date You Were Born

Although this was meant to have been posted on Saturday, I didn't get round to it so it's a tad late (yes, I know it's nearly Saturday again). So here's my contribution to this week's Randy Seaver SNGF:

1) What day of the week were you born? Tell us how you found out.

I was born on a Saturday. June 1st.

I found this out via the link provided by Randy: ProGenealogist Tool

2) What has happened in recorded history on your birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

On the day I was born..

2010 The transcript of the flight data recorders from the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash that killed 96 Polish officials and intellectuals is published
2001 The heir to the Nepalese throne killed his parents and eight other family members before shooting himself, after an argument over his choice of a bride
1980 1st transmission of CNN, Cable News Network
1978 Cricket Test debut of David Gower, vs. Pakistan, Edgbaston, scores 58
1941 British troops occupy Bagdad Iraq

3) What famous people have been born on your birth date? Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

These lucky people share the same birthday as me..

1978 Karen Kwan, Torrance California, figure skater, 1995 Pac Coast Sr champ
1970 Joshua Compston, born in the United Kingdom, art impressario, gallerist, Factual Nonsense art gallery, associated with the emergence of the Young British Artists, YBAs
1968 Jason Donovan, rocker/actor, Neighbors
1964 Rashid Patel, cricketer, Indian pace bowler, Lamba incident
1503 Wilhelm von Grumbach, German Lieutenant Colonel

I found out all this from Brainyhistory

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My 100th post! Hurray!

It's taken 2 nearly 3 years to get to my 100th post. Wow.

Here are the most visited pages as stated my statcounter:

Descendants of Mohammed Ali Jinnah

It seems many people wanted to know more about the nation's founder.

How many Pakistanis live in the UK?
This one suprised me a tad as I honestly didn't think this would be popular. So, there is a sense that visitors to this post wanted to know about their roots.

Graves in Karachi
Not much to say about this one, as I was only able to provide a list of cemeteries (not complete). I wonder if any Karachites would be willing to share more information about cemeteries in their city.

I would just like to say, it's not been easy getting to the 100th post certainly because I felt I was a little lost for direction in terms of content. What should I write about? What should I include? All in all, I'm glad to have reached this milestone. It means I've stuck with this blog for some time so I'm pleased. I hope to go on for another 100 posts! So, wish me luck :)

Thanks to all the readers out there (even the quiet ones that don't comment or email).