I was born in Egypt in 1976, one of eight children. In March 1999 I got married and now have four children. The same year I got my Bachelor’s degree in ancient European civilization. After achieving my degree I migrated to the UK aiming to start a new life, my ambitions were great.
Although I had studied English in Egypt, when I first arrived to the UK, I found it a bit challenging to understand and speak the English accent and comprehend the way of life. However, I learned rapidly, picking up new things every day. I was fascinated listening to the radio, and this helped me to develop my knowledge and understanding about the UK. Only a year later I managed to find a job, which helped me to further improve my language and widened my experience.
In 2006 I undertook a teaching assistant course and did a voluntary placement in a local Catholic school. After this I did child-minding training, and started my own child-minding business. I continued my study while working and in 2010 I achieved my level 6 qualification, Early Years Professional Status. The business grew and I currently employ two assistants which subsequently enables me to offer the community better facilities and outstanding services.
I have been rated as outstanding by Ofsted, which make me really happy but also puts more responsibility on me to keep at that level. I work with the Birmingham city council, I offer early years education, and I offer lots of help to newly qualified child minders and I am proud to help and support them.
Being a child-minder gave me the opportunity to meet and work with many people from different backgrounds for instance, British, Pakistani, Polish, Algerian, Yemeni, Zimbabwean, etc. This helped me to understand and learn about the diversity of our society. It is rewarding and enjoyable to learn more about people in our society. It taught me not to stereotype people. Meeting and understanding people can change ideas, what you used to believe. It changed me a lot and made me a better person.
What I don’t like is being judged for wearing a headscarf. People sometimes treat me as a lady who sits at home seeking benefits, but when I start to talk to them introduce myself and say who I am, then they change their view. I think we should be respecting each other regardless of how we look. I think everyone deserves being respected. I believe that I am lucky to be in the UK and particularly in Birmingham; it is a lively city where you can meet and learn about different cultures. In Birmingham I learnt about the Indian Diwali, the Chinese New Year, the Jewish Hanukah, the Christian Christmas, the Muslim Eid...
In Birmingham I tasted some of the most delicious food: Indian curry, English fish and chips, Italian pizza, American burger, Arabic couscous, Egyptian (Mahshi), Sudanese (Mulah) and other mouth-watering dishes from all over the world. In Birmingham you will see the most colourful clothes shining with brightness, the Pakistani suits, Indian saris, Arabic Abayahs, Sudanese thoub, Nigerian dresses, Chinese clothes and other elegant traditional clothes and accessories from around the world.
Here I feel I am a member of a great big family; this is the most diverse family, where there are no boundaries of skin colour, language, religion, age etc. It is the Brummie family.When I first left Egypt, I felt that I left my home, but now I proudly feel Birmingham is my home, its people are my family and its land is my home. It is Birmingham… my city.
View Enayat’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAp65Z_OK7s
This interview is part of a series of stories of migrants in Birmingham produced by participants of Migrant Voice's 'Many Faces, One City' project. The project celebrates the contribution of migrants to life in Birmingham. It brought together migrants and host community in Birmingham to build their skills in telling stories of migration through text, photo, film and social media.
Funded by Big Lottery – Awards for All, England.