Dear Birmingham Book Launch
The Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre hosted a book launch for local academic and author Karamt Iqbal. His book, which he describes as a conversation with his hometown, explores the plight of the growing Pakistani community in Birmingham. Karamat presented the book to the guests and explained that it came both from his personal experience of coming to Birmingham from Pakistan as a young boy as well as his many years of working for the city council on diversity issues and his current academic study.
Having told part of his own story and the history of Pakistani’s in Birmingham the book covers a wide range of topics:
Representation in private and public organisations
Representation in the media
Overall the picture he paints is fairly bleak with Pakistani’s coming out with poor health, low academic standards, over representation in the prisons and under representation in the media. Then in a very hard hitting and challenging section Karat asks what the problem is and looks at the issue of racism across a number of institutions in Birmingham. He argues forcefully that Pakistanis are excluded from a variety of posts either through lack of role models which results in fewer people aspiring for the posts and people being unwilling to promote as the post is only ever on merit. Or the networking culture that means those out of the networks never get a look in. Whilst he acknowledges this happens within the Pakistani community he points out it tends to be for much less well-paid jobs.
He then explores issues of religion, culture and language before making recommendations for the future.
You can read more about Karamt’s work and order a copy of the book at his Forward Partnership website.