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Our Lives
Five remarkable stories by women from different cultures, about their experiences of living in Britain. Short and readable, but honest and moving, they are also suited for literacy classes and readers for whom English is not their first language.

Published by Friends of the Croydon English Language Scheme & co-distributed by Longstone Books

So Many Things I Could have Written
So Many Things I Could Have Written
By Asha Mohamed

about the book
Asha grew up in Somalia, learning survival skills in a difficult environment. Though she had no formal education she supported herself and her family through running a trading business, with camels and trucks crossing deserts. She was an active member of the Somali National Movement which opposed the military regime of Syad Barre. She was imprisoned twice but managed to escape and fled with her two young children to England, arriving as a refugee, speaking no English. Carried by her determination, her ability to tackle practical problems and a lively sense of humour, she made a new life for herself and her children. Her book describes this story.

Price: £2.00 (32 pages)
ISBN: 0 95 26066 2 X
To order this title please email Our Lives sales

From Sound to Silence
From Sound to Silence
By Rashida Abedi

about the book
Rahida is a profoundly deaf woman who grew up in Quetta in Pakistan and now lives in South Norwood, London. As a young woman engaged to be married she became deaf as a result of meningitis, and came to Britain in 1981 in search of a cure, unfortunately without success. She was then threatened with deportation and after a prolonged campaign by friends and supporters she was eventually given the right to stay in Britain.

Her extraordinary life story was written first in Urdu, her mother tongue, and then in English, which she learnt in England without being able to hear it spoken.

Price: £2.50 (48 pages)
ISBN: 0 95 26066 5 4
To order this title please email Our Lives sales

Standing on My Own Two Feet
Standing on My Own Two Feet
By Faizia Zaman

about the book
Faizia grew up in Bangladesh, with a childhood she remembered as idyllic. She came to Britain as a young bride and was happily married - until her husband suddenly died, leaving her with five young children. In her life story she describes the devastation she faced, and how she acquired a network of friends and increased confidence through attending English classes; and with this support was able to overcome problems of money, housing and her children's education. Faizia died suddenly in 1997.

This new edition includes a preface by her five children who pay tribute to their mother who sadly died in 1997.

ISBN: 978 0 9565938 1 8
To order this title please email Our Lives sales

From East to West
From East to West
By Linh Hoa

about the book
Linh grew up in Vietnam during the war. As a young student she escaped by boat to Hong Kong and eventually arrived in England. Encouraged by teachers in her English class she wrote her story to share with others who like her were struggling to learn the language and fit in to a new society. She tells of her progress from a shy young woman with no English, through to marriage, motherhood and a successful career.

Price: £2.50 (48 pages)
ISBN: 0 95 26066 1 1
To order this title please email Our Lives sales

Looking Forwards
Looking Forward
By Inma Suarez

about the book
Inma Suarez was born in the Canary Islands and came to England as an au pair to learn English. She married a refugee from Laos and shortly before the birth of her daughter became seriously ill with leukemia. Looking Forward is the story of her courage in overcoming illness and adapting to life in a different culture. Sadly, some years after the book was published her leukemia developed again, and she died.

Price: £2.50 (48 pages)
ISBN: 0 95 26066 4 6
To order this title please email Our Lives sales

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