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© Umar Choudhury

This is a photo of my father Azad Choudhury. He came to the UK from Bangladesh on 24th September 1973 to study English Literature. He arrived with an umbrella, a briefcase and five pounds. It didn’t take long for the money and briefcase to be stolen. Despite the initial
setback, there was a small community of Bangladeshi immigrants in Birmingham who helped him.

To help fund his studies he began to work at an Indian Restaurant in Selly Oak, Birmingham. As his English was better than most, the Bangladeshi Immigrants would all come to him with their legal documents and letters. He has always helped others.

In forty years in the UK he has worked extremely hard to build a solid portfolio of businesses, ranging from restaurants to property management. He provided my sisters and I with a Grammar school education which took us all the way to University. He is now retired and dedicates his time to holidays with my mother and the school he built in Sylhet, Bangladesh. One way or another, he will always keep working. To quote him, “I’m retired but not tired!” The work ethic of the immigrants of his generation is robust. They never relied on anyone and built their own future. He realised the immigrant’s dream.