Argun Ismet Imamzade

Argun Ismet Imamzade, born in Cyprus in 1949, came to East London with his brother after war in Cyprus in the 1960s. His parents were already in the UK. Argun went to live with his mother and stepfather. His older brother joined his father and stepmother.

Argun Islet Imamzade was born in 1949 in Limassol, Cyprus. After his parents left for England he lived in Paphos with his grandparents, his brother and his 3 step-brothers from his mother’s first marriage. Their home was bombed in the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots following independence from Britain in 1960. After some months in a refugee camp, and a very interrupted education, Argun, aged 13, and his older brother sailed to England to join their parents. Argun carried with him a family photograph album, going back several generations. He had hidden it behind a metal cabinet when the house was being bombed and then rescued it from the rubble.

When Argun and his brother arrived in the UK they were divided. His parents had separated before they left Cyprus to go to the UK and had new partners. Argun, therefore, joined his Mum and stepfather initially in Hackney.  His brother went to live with his father and stepmother. Argun had some schooling in London but had to work to pay his rent. He worked in a Wimpy bar, then in the clothing industry and then in printing. With his Cypriot wife, Hermis, he now runs Argun stationer’s and printer’s on Mare Street in Hackney.

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