Saturday, 12 March 2011

Pakhtoon Schools Project

The Yorkshire and Lancashire textile and steel mills of the 1950s and 1960s saw a wave of immigration from the then newly independent Pakistan and India - lands once occupied by the British Empire. Those who lived through this time tell their own tales of racism, building cultural bridges, acceptance and an emerging post-war British identity. These were not easy times and the experiences have left their mark, but the story of Ramon Mohamed's father goes back further, to the small village of Toru near Mardan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.

Pakhtoon Schools Project

Ramon's journey to find his roots has been chronicled on his website and his travels across Pakistan and Afghanistan have inspired in him a desire to fulfill a personal mission - that is to build a school overlooking his father's grave not far from the grounds of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan. Ramon has gained some publicity for raising awareness and the opportunity to work with Sheffield University who are supporting his efforts.

In a joined up world, people cross paths and here too, minds meet. Ramon's journey of discovery through life brought him to the UAE  a couple of weeks back when I hosted him. I was very fortunate to learn more about the man and his remarkable vision in our conversations together.

Ramon and I share some key commonality - both of us draw from our combined Pashtoon and Yorkshire influences, both of us are primary educationalists and both of us have a passion for the development of educational opportunities in the Pashtoon belt. We share the ideal of a peaceful, progressive people, literate in world-affairs, technology and Pashto language.

It would be right to consider Ramon Jan a friend. He is already a commentator on this blog and this photograph from a posting I made on a BBC news report about the destruction of schools in Afghanistan is one that comes from Ramon Jan himself whilst observing open-air schools in Nangarhar. All our journeys continue in whichever direction Allah has prescribed for us, but I hope to use this space periodically to share thoughts and update on the progress of the school projects.

For readers and visitors to this blog, do follow the link here to learn more.


  1. Greetings Tor_Khan,

    That certainly sounds interesting, and it was worth the read. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  2. This is the kind of change that I want to effect for our people, Admin Jan - grass roots educational projects that have real people at the heart of them.


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