My name is Qamraan Dar, and I’m 16 years old: I’ll be 17 in two weeks. I live in Birmingham in Kings Heath, I went to school in Kings Heath actually a few roads away, Kings Heath Primary School. And then I went to Secondary School at Queens Bridge which is also a few roads away, so I’ve always been quite local to this area. But I have a wide friendship group, all from all over Birmingham, and yeah, I like Birmingham a lot.
Also, my dad’s from Pakistan and my mum is from Mauritius. The diverse family that I have with all the multicultural family has allowed me to grow up and, of course, have a multicultural friendship group of white, black and Asian. I think that is a great quality of mine.
The first memory of my dad would be on demonstrations. We would go on demonstrations, I couldn’t remember what it was particularly about, I was really really young. And I just remember seeing loads of crowds. And I would hold onto my dad’s hand really tight because there would just be floods of people down roads and big microphones and flags waving and I think it must have been an anti war demonstration. My dad would put me on his shoulders and I’d sit and I’d look past all the people and I’d think to myself, I can’t wait to be this tall. My dad would be on a microphone. And that was a really good experience because my brother might have been at school or my brother might have been out with his friends and my mum will have been elsewhere. That was some quality bonding with my dad from young and also a really good experience.
My dad was brought up in Pakistan, born there in Morgah in Rawalpindi. I know that from a young age he loved to run. And I think it started out because his school was really far, and his parents would give him the bus fare, and being a little child he would go to the shop and spend all his bus fare on sweets. And he’d have to get to school on time just so he wouldn’t get told off or hit by his teacher, and so he’d have to jog. And from a young age he would make these trips to school, and it would just be long lengths of jogging to school. Obviously you can imagine in Pakistan where it’s quite hot. And that played a big part in his childhood in Pakistan. And when he got to England, I think that he was one of the only coloured faces in the school. He stood out completely, during the running teams and the P.E. teachers were taken away by his stamina and long distance running and that became a real hobby of his and he loved it. Everyone in his school, he’d beat them in the races, and then he started running for county. But obviously having a traditional father who wanted a more stable career for his son, my dad didn’t pursue that career, but I know, just from general family outings and holidays that he still really does love running. Any time we happen to be in a gym or, we’ve even got a treadmill downstairs, and he loves running and long walks.
My relationship with my father at the moment is quite strong. I think it always builds on family holidays. And I know for myself, and many people have told me that I have a lot of qualities passed down from my father to myself. One, I’m a real perfectionist and I hate it when people try to stop me from getting something done when it’s not finished, and I know that’s just like my dad. So if I’m on my laptop or if I’m editing a picture, because I like to work on Photoshop sometimes, then I’ll get annoyed if my mum calls me for dinner and tells me to stop. The exact same thing happens to my dad in the front room when he’s working on a flyer for his work. So in senses like that I’ve got a lot of qualities that he has. Me and my dads relationship is… I learn a lot from my dad all of the time, I always get advice. Whether it be our 20 minute journeys to school where he drops me off or whether it be sometimes on a Wednesday, we’ll go for cinema buy one get one free, and we’ll go and watch a film together. And although it’s not frequent because he works really hard and he comes home late sometimes and what not, the time we do spend together is really good bonding.