I wanted to share with you some of the words of the young people who took part. They spoke about the pressures from society, school, celebrities, the media and their families. Alongside dealing with the challenges of just growing up, one area which was mentioned frequently was the sheer relentless of the body image pressures they faced:
It's not that I don't want to spend the money on them. It's that I think in the eyes of a child, innocent and simple, all that matters is that the are loved. Something every child has a right to. For me the day is about making memories to smile about and that doesn't cost a penny. Surely happy memories are the greatest gifts of all.
The seven years were mixed with good news and bad news. Cancer gone, cancer reappearing. At the same time, and I suspect to have a semblance of normality, my brother decided to pursue his studies and become a medical doctor. Equally and perhaps with a sense of urgency he also married and celebrated the arrival of a son soon afterwards, when he was only twenty-one.
A British Bangladeshi online TV network offered me the opportunity to present a chat show web series called Youth Corner. The aims of the series were to highlight the achievements of young and emerging talent in various fields, providing a platform for guests to share their experiences and inspiring stories
Today, our hope that the majority chooses exclusively peace is still stronger than our fear of naivete. One war is more than enough for a lifetime, and we hope to provide a peaceful childhood for our offspring. The War Childhood Museum's message comes from a generation that learned this lesson firsthand, and never has it rung truer: peace has no alternative.
When the new Indian family moved in and bought the shop, I was selfishly very happy. As a seven year old, I was over the moon that 'proper' Indians had moved in and my mother and I were no longer the only 'Pakis' in the village. They had two children the around same age as me. They were darker than me, they had Indian names, they were Hindu and they owned a shop.
Perhaps I'm overly anxious, a tad too cautious, a "goodie two shoes", "old before my time"...call it what you will; maybe it's all that people watching, or reading one too many classics, and maybe it becomes a bit of a vicious circle. Either way, I've lived 21 years inside Yasmin's head, and so am going to sum up 21 things that 21 years have taught me..
Ultimately though, despite some truly turbulent events in my formative years, there was always one constant in my life, and that was the unconditional love I received from my mother. I'm certain that this was the difference between me going completely off the rails as a teenager and the (I would hope) well-rounded, wise and emotionally developed person I am today.