Zahra from Time Together shares her experiences of TPYF's Relay project

By Culture24 Staff Published: 25 May 2008

a screenshot of a kitchen

Zahra Simiyari from the Time Together project in Leeds shares her experience of taking part in the TPYF Relay project. Here Zahra responds to one of the other participants whom she feels she shares similarities with...

I liked reading Arthur's writing about when he was a small boy because it reminded me of my childhood even though there are more than 50 years between us.

When I was about seven, me and my brothers and sisters would wait for my dad to come home from work and then climb onto his knee and give him lots of kisses.

He worked at the electric company and every day he would come home with chocolate or biscuits for us to eat. He always made us feel safe and happy – I love my father (and my mother!) very much.

My mother was a very good woman – she had the strength of a man because she looked after everybody all the time. She was very house proud, always cleaning and tidying the house. When she washed our clothes she would wash them twice to make sure they were really clean – the washing would take her all day.

At 5.30am every morning my mother would get up before my dad, and before me and my brothers and sisters to make us all breakfast. Sometimes she would ask me to help clean the dishes but then she would always say "no, they’re not clean enough."

My mother was very strict with us and would always make sure we were well behaved when we went to visit friends and family. But she was a kind woman and everything she did was to make sure we had a good future.

Even though it was the 1980s and Arthur’s story is from the 1920s, I think life is still harder for women than men. My father would get up at 7.30am, two hours after my mother, and then go out to work at his job with the electric company. When he came home my mum would still be cooking his meals and looking after him.

She did this for everyone – cooking, cleaning, making sure that we were happy, checking our school work. She was always working and taking care of us and I don't think she ever got time to rest herself.

You can read more extracts from the Relay project here.