Yesterday we interviewed Samina Hussain about her life and work for the Different Moons archive. Samina was born in Karachi, and had been an air-stewardess with Pakistan International Airlines when she came to England, having married Mazhar Hussain in the early 1980s.
Samina was surprised to find that, when she first arrived in Rossendale, the Asian women she met in Haslingden ‘stayed in the house’ and there were no opportunities for them to participate in social gatherings. She went about changing this; starting by organising an Eid get-together for women and their children. This was very successful and went on to develop into regular events including mushiara, poetry meetings that brought important poets to Haslingden – meetings that often went on late into the night, and encouraged local women to take up writing for themselves.
Samina is passionate about her community, particularly the potential for the women of her community. She has won awards, has worked as a JP, a college lecturer, and writes under the pen-name Riffat. She read one of her Urdu poems and another of her written pieces for our archive recording. She now works as a broadcaster for Asian Radio.
Above Shamshad Khan (in red) and Habiba Shenza interview Samina.