Writer Khalil Rahman says Redbridge shows communities can be together

Khalil Rahman Ali with the book he has had published

Khalil Rahman Ali with the book he has had published - Credit: Archant

A writer inspired by his ancestors’ history calls for people to share their heritage during black history month and believes Redbridge can become a model for different communities to live together.

Khalil Rahman, 65, who has lived in Collier Row for more than 30 years, will speak about the Indian diaspora and the history of Indian emigrants who worked on sugar plantations in Guyana at Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford, on Monday.

He said: “My role as a writer is to try to bring people together.”

Following a 34-year career in the NHS, Mr Rahman, who came to the UK in 1970, started writing historical fiction books about Indian migrants to the British Empire’s sugar plantations in the 19th century.

Through his writing, Mr Rahman hopes to inspire people from different cultures to create a common future.

“Guyana’s motto is one people, one nation, one destiny, and this is one example of how people from different backgrounds can live together,” he said.

“Redbridge is going to become quite important in terms of showing how people from different backgrounds co-exist.”

Most Read

Mr Rahman said black history combines the history of all non-white people, but stressed white people should not be excluded.

“This is not just about raising awareness among black people of their own history, but also to share it with the whole community,” he said.

His first book Sugar’s Sweet Allure told the tale of a group of friends from Uttar Pradesh, India, who travelled to Guyana to work on sugar plantations between 1845 to 1872.

His second book, The Domino Masters of Demerara, tells the stories of domino-playing characters, all from different backgrounds, religions and cultures and how they lived and struggle together in the polarised Guyana of the mid 1980s.

Mr Rahman is currently writing a third book about five contemporary families of Indian emigrants who settled in different parts of the world.

The book is due to be published in 2017, the year of the centenary of the end of Indian migration to Guyana.

The event on Monday will run from 7pm to 9pm.

Tickets are free and available from Redbridge library or online at eventbrite.co.uk.