Altaf, who's visiting, suggested that I write profiles of people on the Camden Lock. I have a better idea. I'll write short profiles of the fantastic people I'm meeting in London.Let's start with Altaf himself.
Photo: Altaf opens a lock outside of Bradford for his friend Sarah Joy's barge on the canal (Nov, 2008)
Altaf Mohammad Abid (28), a Mumbaiker, has been my friend since 2005. We actually met through xanga, while he was in India (www.xanga.com/alltough) and I was in Pakistan.
Altaf, like me, is a vagabond. He keeps moving from job to job, country to country. In essence, he is a writer. He enjoys reading South Asian literature, literature about the British Asian diaspora, writing about interfaith dialogue and peace. He has attended conflict resolution workshops in Caux (Switzerland), worked and has worked in developing communities in Sheffield (England), Glasgow (Scotland), Uttaranchal (UP, India) and London.
Altaf is currently doing his masters in Peace Studies at Bradford University as a Rotary Scholar and has secured for himself a quick stint in Colombo (Sri Lanka) in March and a longer stint in the directorate office of the UN Reliefs and Work agency and UN High Commission for Refugees agency in Amaan (Jordan) this summer.
Altaf, a Muslim still discovering his faith, is committed to bringing peace to our world. With his internships with the UN this summer, it looks like he's finally found a way of being paid to do what he loves. He reassures me that I shouldn't worry too much about finding what I need to do with my life. He was still searching till last year.
Thank you, Altaf.