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Dr. Fatima Shah

Availability: In stock


Number of Pages:343Pages
ISBN :9690015621
Binding :Hard Cover




For many years now, my friends have been persuading me to write and pub­lish the story of my life because, in their view, it is one from which many lessons can be derived. I have given much thought to whether such a project would be truly beneficial or whether it would be just another exercise in futility. After all, I have no pretensions to being a writer; my autobiography is not likely to gratify lovers of literature or make an addition to the world's treasure-house of great works. So what would be the point of laying bare my sorrows and exposing my mistakes and shortcomings to the eyes of strangers?

Looking back on my life, I realize that it has indeed seen many unusual ups and downs: poised one moment on a peak of happiness and luxury and the next, trapped in the depths of deprivation and distress; sometimes caught in a quick­sand of doubt and despair, and sometimes soaring triumphantly with resolution and purpose; now plunged into the darkness of failure and humiliation, and now emerging into the full light of achievement and success.

Perhaps there is a message hidden in this pattern after all. Perhaps telling my story could serve two or three worthy purposes. For one thing, young women readers might benefit from my mistakes and use my experience as a kind of guide to lead them towards fulfilment, and avoid the pitfalls into which I stumbled headlong. For another, my story might, if such be God's will, help those who face a life of disability - and there is no shortage of such people - to overcome tragedy and find peace and contentment in alleviating the distress of others. For a third, if I could succeed in conveying accurately what disability means, I might help to make the lives of other disabled people a little easier.

It was in this hope that I decided to narrate, as simply as possible, the story of my life. In the lonely silence of countless nights, I recounted my memories as they occurred to me and recorded them in Urdu on twenty-five audio-cassettes. My cousin's daughter, Shireen Mujahid, gave generously of her time in transcrib­ing the contents of these cassettes and editing the manuscript. My daughter Raihana then translated the Urdu version into English, putting events into more or less chronological order, adapting, amending, and adding details and inci­dents that I had forgotten.

Shireen undertook the task in deference to the wishes of her mother. Raihana did it as a labour of love for me. Only God can recompense them as they deserve for the intention with which they took up the challenge and the selfless hard work with which they completed this book. I cannot express the gratitude I feel; nor 'can I ever repay them. All I can do is pray with all my heart that they be rewarded a thousandfold and that: 

Allah mray zor-e-qalam aur ziyada!

(God grant more power to their pens).

May it be His Will to grant fulfilment to the intention with which this book has been written. Amen.

Main toe gumrah thha, mera naqsh-e-qadam Doosron my liay rahnuma ban giya.1

(I was lost but my footprints Became a guide for others).


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