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Episode 1

For Zaiba Malik, growing up in Bradford in the '70s and '80s certainly has its moments - staying up all night during Ramadan with her father; watching mad Mr Aziz searching for his goat during Eid; dancing along to Top of the Pops (as long as no-one's watching). And, of course, there's her mother - whether she's writing another ingratiating letter to the Queen or referring to Tom Jones as 'Thumb Jone'.

But Zaiba's story is also one of anxiety and seemingly irreconcilable opposites. Growing up she is constantly torn between two identities: 'British' and 'Muslim'. Alienated at school and confused at home, the racism she encounters as a child mirrors the horrors she experiences at the hands of Bangladeshi interrogators as a journalist years later.

Five years after the 7/7 attacks galvanized debates about Muslim-British identity, we see, through Zaiba's childhood eyes, the poignancy of growing up in a world whose prejudices, contradictions and ambiguities are at once distressing and yet utterly captivating.

Zaiba Malik is an award-winning investigative journalist who has worked on some of the BBC and Channel 4's most acclaimed radio and TV documentaries, including 'Sleepers: Undercover with the Racists', 'Dispatches: Trouble at the Mosque' and 'Killing for Honour'. She writes for newspapers including the Guardian, and was recently named as one of the twenty most influential black and Asian women in the UK.

Read by Nisha Nayar.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier.

Producer: Joanna Green
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 10 Aug 2010 00:30

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