Ayub Korom Ali

Ayub Korom Ali, born in East Pakistan in 1961, came to the UK on his own at the age of 11 to join his uncle in the Midlands. About 2 years later he moved to London to join his cousins.

Ayub Korom Ali was born in 1961 in the village of Satok in Sylhet, Bangladesh. His father looked after their land and animals and his mother was a housewife. Ayub loved the countryside and was the top boy in his class at primary school. During the War of Independence he travelled to a more remote part of the district to avoid the conflict but remembers playing with empty ammunition shells.

His mother asked her brother, working in Birmingham, to take Ayub, her youngest child, to the UK. Ayub knew that if he and his family were to progress he needed to migrate. When the time came, at the age of 11, Ayub found it very difficult as did his mother.

Ayub stayed in Birmingham with his uncle for about 2 years, attending a language school for several months and then a secondary school. When he was 13 he moved to Limehouse to live with his cousins. This was so he could work to keep himself. Every evening after school and at the weekend he worked as a machinist in a clothing factory where he made good friends. The area was racist and students at school intimidated and attacked Bengali boys.

He left school at the age of 16, with several CSEs, and went to work full time as a machinist. After the murder of Altab Ali by racist thugs, Ayub got involved in Bangladeshi youth politics. As a mature student he gained a degree, a CQSW in Social Work from Ruskin College, Oxford and an MA. He was seconded by Tower Hamlets Council for 3 years to work on a regeneration project in Sylhet. He now spends half of his time in Sylhet, running a school and being active in local politics. He spends the other half of his time in Newham with his family.


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