My father was born under the shadow of the British Empire and saw independence at age 4. He began as a farmer in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan from a young age and then worked on the construction of the Mangla Dam (the 7th largest in the World, constructed by a team of U.S. contractors and designed in London) in his later teens.
Soon after, he got married and moved to England where all his five children were born. He worked several jobs all over England including a steel mill that failed to protect its workers from various health hazards. (The British government was working on compensating my father in the next few months).
My father then moved to Brooklyn, New York where he became a medical surgical technician working 20 years at Roosevelt Hospital (now Coler Goldwater Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island). Despite suffering from diabetes and 2 heart attacks he continued to work non-stop and as much overtime as he could so that his kids wouldn’t experience the poverty which he grew up in.
After retiring in 2008, he travelled to and lived in England and Pakistan, coming to the U.S. from time to time due to health issues. Most of his savings was spent on his family and charity. He rarely bought things for himself and lived an ascetic oriented life until passing away from a stroke in his England home on the morning of March 7, 2018.
Such was the life of Muhammad Khalil, son of Ilm Deen the farmer and sea merchant.
(Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un).
- Ed Miller
- Bonnie Mcguire
- Tara Murphy
- Ruth Benson
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