Chaudhri Riaz

Born: 10th June 1946

Nanka Kohana, Pakistan

Date of interview: 25th May 2006

Map showing where Chaudhri Riaz came from

In conclusion ... What, what would you ... say to fellow immigrants like you that have come to this country?

I'll say: Opportunity doesn't knock at your door all the time. You've got to go and open the door. It's a good system. Don't be put off, don't be discouraged and disgusted and disappointed by one two bad experiences. Keep on fighting. When going gets tough, the tough gets going. So work hard, be committed, be honest with yourself and to your community and to your nation and to your country which is now Britain. OK? Work hard. If I can do it so can you. Sky is the limit. And believe you me, this system, they don't look at your colour. Once obviously you can prove that you are worthwhile and you are capable of doing the job, they'll give you the job. No-one is stopping me because I am a Pakistani. I'm a ... Quite honest speaking I wouldn't accept that you know because I'm there to serve. Why should people stop me from serving the humanity and human beings. I'm proud to be a servant of human beings.

And I'll read here ... you know ... from a book of a famous poet Dr, Sir, Muhammad Iqbal, who had his PhD and barrister-at-law from Cambridge. And he says: [recites in Urdu]. I have said it in Urdu so that if someone hears it who knows Urdu they know what it means. But I have translated. He says: 'There are lot of, thousands of people who call themselves people of God. You know, like they say we are very noble. But I'm not interested in that,' he said. 'I will become slave of that person who serves the human being, who loves the human being. Who loves the people of God, who loves the, you know, mankind.' So what he's saying, his message is: love the mankind. Help the mankind. Assist them. Salve them. That is the real achievement in life.

And then there is a famous, you know, philosopher in Persian and Sheikh Saadi, he said [quotes in Persian] [Clears throat] 'If you want to be served or you want to be leader, learn to obey. OK? So whosoever obeys, is obeyed. So if you want command, obey first.' [Quotes in Persian] 'Whosoever, who serves...[quotes in Persian] he will be served, he will command.'

Also, [Quotes in Persian]. 'God has created the human being to care about the others, to feel the pain about, the, others. To look after them , to assist them, to serve them. Because he says, if He just wanted the human being to keep on praying in the mosque, in the temple, you know, in churches, in synagogues, wherever, He could have created more angels and asked them to keep on doing that. It means He wants you to do something different. Be useful to them, like my mother said. Serve them, look after them. Care about them, OK? And that ... they'll care about you and there will be a wonderful society, because everyone is the neighbour of somebody.'

So my message ... to the immigrant ... and to everyone, local and immigrant is: don't think about impossible things. Everything is possible. It depends how many hours, how many efforts you put into them. OK? That's my message.