All posts by Soraya Akhtar

My name is Soraya Akhtar and I am a part time science student at Birkbeck University. When I am not studying I enjoy taking composing stories and poem . I have just finished designing a front cover for my uncle cookery book and feel very happy to have been involved . Currently I am in the process of adding the finishing to a short story I have been writing . I am very privileged to have the opportunity of submitting my photos , poem etc to the lamp and owl and hope that everyone who sees them will like them.

My Place in the World: A short meditation on identity and happiness


The main purpose of this article is to explore an individual’s identity and role within their society. Birkbeck students continue to define and redefine their role in society. We often define ourselves against or in accordance to our ancestry. Some students may say something like, “Although my ancestors were ethnically Russian and Catholic, I am a British atheist because I choose to be, regardless of my ethnicity and ancestry.”

Does ethnicity determine our characters or are there other contributing factors? Ethnicity, the environment we live in and the choices we make are all factors that form our character and personality.

On this topic, I spoke to a woman who lives in Turkey when she visited London this April to attend the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race. She is the daughter of a family friend.


The people I refer to as “My parents” are the people that have raised me since the time of my infancy.

Of whom I was before my adoption, I remain in the dark, exempting that I am ethnically of Egyptian origin.

The identity of the people who created my entry into this world remains unknown to me to this day. If I ever had memories of them, they have long gone from my mind.

It is immaterial to me that my adopted parents were born into practising Catholic families. They consider themselves Turkish secularists, and I consider myself Turkish secularist. Why should it matter to me if my ancestors were taught to say Happy Christmas, or Diwali, or Hanukkah, but my parents were not?

I have always believed that culture is an adjustable feature. We are who we choose to be regardless of our lineage.

Do I feel that an unfilled void exists within my heart due to the absence of my biological family in my life? No. I do not. Still, I have often thought about them and wondered how life would have turned out for me if I had grown up with them.

Do I have just cause to regret the way life turned out for me? No. I am aware that I have never wanted for anything and that is nothing to regret.

The parents I know and love best in this world watched me develop from infancy to adulthood, held and I hushed me as I have wept, and shared in my triumphs. Their love for me has been and continues to be unrestrained and constant. Additionally, I am privileged to have had so many friends with outstanding qualities like loyalty and Bravery. The love and respect I have for these individuals is what gives me the courage to persevere in my quest to achieve happiness and success.

If I searched the whole world, I know I would never be able to find a better life than the one I have now.

Someday I hope to have the opportunity to give a child the love and stability I was given. And I hope they have the freedom to identify as they wish, regardless of my beliefs, our culture, or ethnicity.

Sayeeda Jan!

Sayeeda Jan,

When you were born, to your parents your destiny was unknown.

For many years your loved ones could not foresee the remarkable woman that you would grow up to be.

Your heart although always physically small remained throughout your life, full and lukewarm.

Your external beauty although great was secondary to the beauty which from your soul would radiate.

On the day you departed this world your earthly courage stayed behind to inspire your loved ones at their darkest time.

Although from this world you are gone, be assured that your courage will be remembered for many years to come.

What is injustice

Mum do you mind if I ask you some questions?

You may if want to, but do not ask many as tonight I have a lot of work to do.

What is injustice mum?

I must think about a suitable answer to give you

I find this is hard to explain to you

I shall think about it

Please ask me again in a minute or two

If you have other questions to ask me please do?


What is a sadist mum?

Darling a sadist is a living entity who enjoys causing pain to other members of their race.

What is a misanthropist mum?

Like  a sadist a misanthropist is a person with not much  tenderness for other  human beings, but unlike a sadist  they  may not want  to cause suffering  to a person  like you and me

What is a policeman?

A policeman is reputed to be a defender of innocent victims in society

But whether he proves to be worthy of this reputation remains to be seen.


What is injustice Mum?

Injustice is the practice of showing inequality.

When you deny another person their due you commit injustice.

When one person  discriminates against  another person  on the basis  of  skin colour  they  commit injustice

When the presiding government deprives their citizen of shelter and food they commit injustice.

Shall injustice disappear one day?

Darling I cannot possibly say but I hope and pray that someday injustice will go away.