and who is Sarfraz Manzoor? I did mail him for the photo but then my curiosity took over and a little research led to this:
Sarfraz Manzoor was two years old when he arrived in Britain in 1974 with his mother, brother and sister. The family came to join their father- who had left Pakistan a decade earlier seeking a better life for his family- and settled in the Bury Park neighbourhood of Luton. Sarfraz’s teenage years were a constant battle in reconciling being both British and Muslim and, frustrated by real life Sarfraz sought solace by escaping into the fantasies offered by television and music. Bruce Springsteen – a white, working class American rock singer – articulated everything that Sarfraz had ever felt about escape, realising your ambitions and not letting the best of yourself down. Inspired by Springsteen’s music Sarfraz left Luton to ultimately become the journalist and broadcaster he is today. The book will be essential reading for anyone interested in trying to understand what it means to be Muslim living in Britain today.
This issue, being a muslim, in Britain or in Sweden or anywhere in a non-muslim country is valid not only for muslims but for many children who grow up with multi cultures. One of our biggest issues to see our children and grandchildren grow up in a safe world. Sarfraz Manzoor has written about it in his book In his Greetings from Bury Park illuminating the hidden joys and public agonies of being a Pakistani Muslim. Original, darkly tender and wryly amusing, the book is an inspiring tribute to the power of music to transcend race and religion – and a touching salute of thanks from one working-class Pakistani Muslim boy to the father who died too soon for his son to make him proud.
A book I would love to get my hands on and read it by the fireplace on a sunday afternoon.
He is currently reporting for BBC 2’s ‘The Culture Show’ and he is a familiar voice on Radio 4; recent documentaries include a three part series about the working class, a programme that explored Johnny Cash’s scottish origins and a profile of Little Richard. He is also an occasional presenter and panellist on ‘Saturday Review’. In addition to Radio 4 Sarfraz has also presented on 5 Live and Radio 2. And on April 26th in his brand new one man show Sarfraz Manzoor tackles race, religion and rock ‘n’ roll. Manzoor believes Bruce Springsteen’s songs contain the secrets of life, love and happiness.