Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Zahra Haider, June 25, 2005

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: Today is Tuesday, June 28th.

Segment Synopsis: Haider recalls aspects of her early life spent in India (in an area that is now Pakistan). A description of her relatives and their professions, as well as her own childhood memories are shared.

Keywords: Auditor generals; Courtyards; Grandparents; Houses; India; Pakistan; Uncles; Zoos

Subjects: Animals; Childhood; Finance; Grandmother; Lion; Memories; Occupations; World Bank

00:05:57 - Beginnings of Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any memories of when you first heard about Pakistan?

Segment Synopsis: Haider discusses the foundation of Pakistan, including the dynamics between Hindus and Muslims at that time. Haider also recalls Jinnah and his impact upon the partition movement. The geographical boundaries of the new nation are then described.

Keywords: Britain; Congress; India; Kashmir (Pakistan); Lahore (Pakistan); Muhammad Ali Jinnah; Pakistan; Politics; Punjab (Pakistan); Tensions

Subjects: Geopolitics; Hindus; Independence; Leaders; Mother; Muslims; Partition

00:09:30 - Lahore, Pakistan and the partition

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Partial Transcript: And what, what happened in Lahore, in your memory, during the partition days?

Segment Synopsis: Haider provides a firsthand account of the partition from Lahore. Haider's experience as a first responder in a makeshift refugee hospital where she previously attended university is emphasized.

Keywords: College; Doctor; Exams; Friends; Guns; Hostels; Houses; India; Karachi (Pakistan); Killings; Lahore (Pakistan); Land; Neighbors; Pakistan; Refugees; Supplies; Uncles; Wounds

Subjects: Children; Education; Farmers; Fires; First aid; Food; Hindus; Lice; Muslims; Orphans; Partition; Sikhs; Summer; Violence; Women; Work

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.549722, 74.343611
00:20:38 - Immigration to Pakistan / safety

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Partial Transcript: Uh, my father was still in Delhi.

Segment Synopsis: Haider examines the migrations of her various relatives from India to present-day Pakistan, both before and after the partition. A brief interlude concerning the interviewee's level of safety in Lahore during the partition is also included.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Army; Boundary commission; Convoys; Guns; Houses; Husbands; Immigration; India; Karachi (Pakistan); Lahore (Pakistan); New Delhi (India); Pakistan; Partition of India Massacre; Relatives; Sisters; Trains

Subjects: Brother; Children; Cousins; Father; Fires; Partition; Siblings; Stone

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.549722, 74.343611
00:26:45 - Politics / John F. Kennedy and Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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Partial Transcript: Was your--were either of your parents ever in a political party?

Segment Synopsis: Haider talks of her relatives and their levels of involvement in politics. Additionally, the interviewee assesses the impact of the deaths of notable political leaders (J.F.K. and Jinnah). The nation of Pakistan's reaction to the death of Jinnah is also shared.

Keywords: All-India Muslim League; Aunts; Brothers; Canvassing; Elections; Germany; Illnesses; John F. Kennedy; Karachi (Pakistan); Lahore (Pakistan); Muhammad Ali Jinnah; Pakistan; Politics; Provinces; Snakes; Texas

Subjects: Assassination; Death; Father; Hindus; Military; Muslims; Pictures; Population; Radio; Students; Telephone

00:35:00 - Husband

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Partial Transcript: When did you meet your husband?

Segment Synopsis: Haider details how she met her husband, their life together in the army, and the various places they lived prior to building a home in Pakistan.

Keywords: Colonels; Defense; East Pakistan; Germany; Houses; Husbands; Instructors; Letters; Officers; Signal Corps

Subjects: Factory; Life; Mother; Mutual friend; National guard; Party; Retirement; Travel

00:42:21 - Identity / family and the partition

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Partial Transcript: Were there any, um--you, you know when I read history books about partition, particularly...

Segment Synopsis: Haider highlights her national and cultural identities. Haider then talks of her relatives and their experiences with the partition in general.

Keywords: Aunts; Bonfires; Brothers; Daughters; India; Library; Officers; Origins; Pakistan; Punjabi; Refugee camps; Uncles; Urdu language

Subjects: Ancestors; Books; Culture; Faith; Father; Identity; Muslims; Partition; Refugees; School

00:46:54 - Pakistani community / changes to Lahore / religion

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Partial Transcript: But I mean, emotionally, how, how does a community--how, how did the community develop after that?

Segment Synopsis: Haider considers the development of the Pakistani community. Next, the interviewee articulates the changes she has witnessed to the city of Lahore throughout the years. Lastly, Haider briefly assesses her level of devotion to Islam.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Community; Convocations; Festivals; India; Lahore (Pakistan); Pakistan; Punjab (Pakistan); Urdu language; Uttar Pradesh (India)

Subjects: Diversity; Generations; Hindus; Kindness; Muslims; Patriotic; Prayers

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.549722, 74.343611
00:50:45 - Jinnah and the reality of Pakistan

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Partial Transcript: Do you think that--there's been this debate currently, I don't know if you've had the opportunity to, to follow it in the newspapers...

Segment Synopsis: Haider interprets Jinnah's vision for Pakistan and compares these ideals to the reality for the nation currently. Widespread economic problems are found to be the main issue for Pakistan, especially the difficulty of obtaining a job which can provide for an adequate lifestyle.

Keywords: Husbands; India; Islamabad (Pakistan); Landlords; Odd jobs; Pakistan; Relatives

Subjects: Children; Comparisons; Economy; Enemies; Loyalty; Muslims; Religion; Shiite Muslims; Sunni Muslims; Theocracy

GPS: Islamabad (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 33.716667, 73.066667
00:55:36 - Legacy

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Partial Transcript: If this is the voice that your great-great grandchildren will hear, what do you think it's important for them to know...

Segment Synopsis: Haider explains the values that she wants her descendants to possess.

Keywords: Future; India; Pakistan; Patriotism

Subjects: Grandchildren; Honesty; Money; Son; Values