Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains
Pakistan glossary








head teacher




30 June 2000



Section 1
On the 30th June, I interviewed Khaliq, head teacher of the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee School in Shimshal. He is the local coordinator of the Shimshal Oral Testimony Project and had been present throughout the workshop. The interview was carried out at Deedarís house where I was staying. Khaliq spoke in English. I enjoyed the interview but felt a bit out of practice in my interview techniques.

Itís the 30th of June 2000 and Iím interviewing Khaliq in Shimshal and weíre sitting in Deedar Aliís house. Okay Khaliq sahib (Sir, term of respect) thank you for agreeing to spend some time doing the interview.
Itís my pleasure

I really appreciate it. Obviously because youíre a head teacher you know a lot about education, but first of all Iíd like to start talking about your personal life. So maybe first of all you want to tell me about your family?
Well, in my family there areÖwe are ten members. My wife, my brotherís wife, and we are three brothers. I have three children, there is my father, and my brother has one boy.

So what about your children, boys or girls?
Two of them are boys and one is a girl.

And how old are they?
My eldest boy he is eight years old, and the youngest son is five, and my daughter is three.

And do the five and the eight year old go to school here?
Ah yes both of them go to school.

In your school, in the DJ (Diamond Jubilee) School?
In the DJ School, yes.

Right, okay, and what about your wife?
My wife is right now at Lupghur, at the pasture.

Ahh, when did she go there?
She went there in May.
Section 2
In May, and why did she go?
Because most of our yaks gave birth and there is no-one to take care of the animals, and so we decided that she should go to the pasture, and hopefully she will bring butter and qurut (local dried cheese).

Is she alone in the pasture?
She is with her mother.

Okay. And is that pasture the same as Pamir or ...?
Itís down [towards Passu], on the hills above Dut.

Above Dut, so down near the road and then up?
Yes we have to go up.

And why do you have pasture in Lupghur and not at Pamir (Shimshalís main mountain pasture area)?
I have pastoral huts in each pasture, and we were using Pamir, Ghujerab, as well as Lupghur. In the recent years, my father decided that we should use Lupghur pasture too. There are two reasons, one, we can go to Gilgit and on the way we can touch the Lupghur people Ė the family members, check their condition. The second is that there are a few people there, so we decided to go there, there is no crowd.

And is your wife educated?
No she is not.

Did she go to school at all or not?
She went up to second class and then she gave up.

Okay, maybe can you tell me a bit about your childhood in Shimshal?
Ahh well

Itís a long story...[laughing]
Itís a long story and an interesting story.
As far as I remember my childhood, we used to play a lot, as compared to my own children now. Because [now] we force them to go to school and study, and do home assignments. But when I was a child, I never did these things, I always went for the hunting of birds and for picnics with friends and like that. And at that time when I was a child, we used to wear the leather shoes, called sandal (long shoes made of animal skin), which were made by my father or my uncle. So that was an interesting time...so when I remember those days, those were the happiest days...because now as the time passes we get busy, more than our expectations.

Apart from bird shooting and picnics, what other games were you playing?
Well there wereÖ some of the games were called kurmomic (hide and seek game). We go to a place, a room where we can close all the windows and doors and put some patto (coarse woollen cloth) on the eyes of someone and they try to catch us and we run...[Laughing]...that was quite a dirty game. And we used to play tuksori (game similar to cricket). Tuksori is similar to cricket... But in cricket, someone has to bowl to you, but in tuksori you have to hit the tuksori and then hit by the stick. So that was the interesting games. And there was a game called pishmoh. Pishmoh is a game where we collect earth or sand and we make small heaps of earth and we used to count those heaps. And there were two opposite teams. First we decide that we should go and make heaps of earth and then after that both teams have to call each other in one place and then we used to go to finish each otherís heaps and then again we come together and lets count how many are remaining. Who has more [heaps] left are the winners.
Section 3
And we used to play tukbalbal: that is a kind of game, one has to sit down and the other has to snatch the cap, hat. If he is coming to snatch the hat, we have to hit by our feet, kick him. Then they have to sit down and we have to snatch the cap.

Like this [interviewer demonstrates]
Yes. Yes, like that.

So, when you were a child, did you have to do any work as well as play? I mean, to help your family?
Well, I never did in the village, but in the pasture I used to take care of the animals, so I have a lot of experience in my childhood, when I used to go to pastures I took care of the animals.

And how old were you when you went? When you started going to the pastures?
Well in the pasture, my parents took me even when I was very young. But as far as I remember after eight, nine, ten I used to take care of the animals.

So, is this in the summer months, with your mother? Yes, during the summer months with my mother.

In Pamir?
In Pamir and in Ghujerab.

So by taking the care of the animals, what do you have to do? I mean I donít understand.
Well, we have to take the animals to pasture and make sure that all are there and we have to collect them and bring them back to the fence.

So, at Pamir, thereís a fence?
Yes, a stone wall, and we have to put all the animals in the evening, within that walled area.

Okay, and did you have to do any farm work in the village or in housework or anything?
Ohh, in farming we also, because when I was 14 or 15 years old, then my father taught me how to work in the fields. So after that I learned farming or working in the fields.
Section 4
How do you think then that your childhood is different to your childrenís?
The reason it is, which I said, different is that nowadays people are emphasising education, they want their children to be educated. And nowadays there is less work, for children to do, but in the olden days when we were children we used to work a lot. And now the schools are different than those schools. There was one teacher, and he used to teach us and say that once in a day we got one lesson. But now the children are getting four or five lessons in a day and they have to study hard. But we didnít do that.

So tell me a bit about your education?
Well I got my primary education in Shimshal and then I went to Gulmit high school Gulmit, where I passed my middle level exam.

Why did you have to go to Gulmit?
Because here there was [only] the primary school.

And only one teacher?
Only one teacher, yes

And how many students?
We were about 100. So mostly the seniors used to control us [laughing], we had to follow them; quite a strange situation. When we went to Gulmit we were surprised that there were a lot of teachers and they teach one class at one time, so that was a good opportunity. Then I left Gulmit and went to Gilgit for high school and then I did my Matriculation (secondary school certificate, 10th class) there in 1984.

At that time could you do your Matriculation in Gulmit?
Yes, it was possible to do there in Gulmit, but there was no hostel system in Gulmit, we used to live in peopleís house or relativesí houses. So that was not so convenient...they mostly ask us to do work for them...[laughing] so that was the reason that I left Gulmit and went to Gilgit. After Matriculation, I came back here and did the Survey of Pakistan (every 25 years the Boundary Commissions of China and Pakistan send teams to check the border area, verify maps etc.) They used to survey their boundary and I worked with them, and I got money.

For the first time?
...For the first time, and went to Karachi for further study.

So what work did you do for the survey team?
I carried their luggage....that was for a period of one month around the Pamir so we enjoyed [that]. Actually we didnít carry the luggage, we put the luggage on yaks, but we were with them.

You were responsible?
[Yes] responsible for them... So then I went to Karachi with that money and I studied and did my FA intermediate (higher secondary school certificate; Faculty of Arts).

How did you support yourself in Karachi? Did you work at the same time?
Yes I worked at the same time, I did a part-time job and I studied.
Section 5
What kind of part-time job?
Yes, I was working in a factory making combs

For hair...?
For hair, and some rubber plates and such things. So I got money and I studied also.

And after your FA?
After my FA when I came back to visit my parents here in Shimshal so they did not allow me to go back to Karachi. They thought that I should support them and they asked me to look for a job. Fortunately when I was in Gilgit so one of the AKES (Aga Khan Education Service) officers said we are looking for an intermediate person who can work for us in Shimshal. So I applied and I passed the test and the interview and I became a teacher.

What made you want to spend your money and go to Karachi and study?
Well I was interested to study. I was wishing to go to university and get higher education so thatís why I went to Karachi and I came just to visit my parents and they caught me and did not let me go.

How did you get the idea that you wanted to study, for example my parents both went to university so it was obvious to me to go to university. But that was not the case for you, so who or what made you...?
Because I heard people say that there is higher education and in Karachi there are a lot of educational institutions and universities. And I thought that it would be better to go there and to study.

And how did you find Karachi the first time that you went?
Well the first time Ė that was quite interesting when we left Gilgit for Karachi. At night time I arrived in Islamabad and from the window of my hotel when in the morning I looked outside, I was surprised that there was no mountain around flat ground - and I was shocked, probably I would be lost somewhere and unable to go back. The people who were with me said, ďDonít worry about these things you will soon learn to go around in the cities, the cities are quite simpleĒ and they encouraged me. When I arrived in Karachi that was quite surprising; lots of traffic and a lot of people, countless people and the noise. There were the fumes, which were quite painful for me and the water which was, if we drink the Karachi water, thatís quite smelly, tastes smelly. So that was a shock. But the city was interesting because I started to go to college so that made me forget all about the bad things and I just had one target: to get an education.

While you were there did your attitude of Shimshal change?
Well when I was there in Karachi I used to write letters to my friends. And before going to Karachi I had initiated scouting here [in Shimshal] so I also learned about scouting in Karachi and I used to inform the members here [in Shimshal] what is scouting like in Karachi. So I used to write to these people and I used to send them books and badges and other things so that we can adapt or can work according to the rules and regulations of scouting. So that was a kind of hobby for me to keep in touch with the village.
Section 6
Did you miss your village?
Of course, in the summer time I always missed my village because I remembered the cool breeze and the water. These are the things which I always missed.

What do you think are the main differences for an individual - so for you - between living in Karachi and life in Shimshal?
Well, there are two things. In Karachi one can live with tension or with worries.

What kind of worries?
Probably there is, you have to be careful about money, you have to care for people. Because as people are here in Shimshal, here people are friendly, but in Karachi everyone cannot be friendly so you cannot trust everyone in Karachi. But in Shimshal you can trust everyone. So this is the interesting thing. The atmosphere or the environment is quite different. Here is clean air and everything around is clean but Karachi city is quite polluted.

Who did you live with in Karachi?
Well, we were a group of students from Shimshal we were living together.

That was nice
And mostly talking about Shimshal [laughing]. Thatís something I think is bad about Shimshalis is that when we get together we always talk about the pastures and the village and these things. Just a kind of time wasting, talking all the time [more laughing]. I think itís not a good habit of the Shimshalis.

Talking about the village. For example, if you are in Karachi you should talk about your studies but when we used to get together we start talking about the pastures... about the yaks and riding yaksÖ and the other things [laughter].

So you were saying that when you came back your parents persuaded you to get a job and you managed to get a job with AKES. What job was that?
That was teaching, I became a teacher and I went to school.

In the government school?
No, in the DJ school as an AKES teacher. So I went to school and started. I was thinking probably I will give up this teaching and again go for further studies but the situation persuaded me to keep up everything and so far I am a teacher here. And I think now it is my life job to teach.

So for how many years have you been teaching?
I have taught already for 12 years.

When did you become the headmaster?
Well once, twice, I became a headmaster [laughing]. Once was after joining the school in 1988 and after one year the AKES people promoted me to headmaster.
Section 7
Wow. And was Aman Ullah teaching at that time?
At that time Aman Ullah was teaching there, he was a Matric graduate and I was an FA so that promoted me. And then I decided to go to Canada.

Canada, yes, and I gave up teaching.

You have to tell me why you decided to go to Canada.
I was thinking of studying more there, so I gave up and visited the embassy but I couldnít get the visa. When I came back I applied again to AKES and they said ďOkay you are a good teacher, you can re-join.Ē And they give me a chance again. Then after that I taught in other schools in Gojal and then came to Shimshal again and worked with Aman for a few years. Then Aman Ullah got a position in AKES and he went to Gilgit and so I became the headmaster again.

How did you find working in Gojal compared to working in Shimshal?
Actually the area is quite similar and people are similar, so there is not any difference. But one thing we can say is that they have a road so they can get every facility. They can go to school by van easily, but we donít have those facilities here. So we have a lack of rooms and resources.

When you say that now education is your life job, what do you mean, or why do you feel like this?
That is because before I joined AKES as a teacher I was thinking that this is just for a temporary job. Then I got trainings, and after getting the trainings I learnt the skills and AKES also spent so much money on my training. And at present, when I see the situation in the village, if I donít teach here, then who will come and teach [here]? This is the main point, and I decided that I should teach.

Do you feel a responsibility?
Responsibility? Of course, because we have to work for the village. And without education we cannot compete or face the world.

So, how do people in Shimshal feel about education at the moment?
At the moment people are taking an interest in education. When I first joined the school and became a teacher, parents used to take their children back to their houses for work to assist them. But now parents are sending their children to school regularly, so it shows that there is a big change in the attitude of people.

Yeah and in quite a short time as well. What do you think are the reasons that peopleís attitudes have changed?
There are several reasons. One is, the first reason, is that our jamat (Ismaili community), our Imam emphasises education, they want all the community members to get well educated. The second reason is that people here in Shimshal who got education, got good positions in the society. So the people are now thinking that if you want a good lifestyle or a good position in the society, so we have to educate our children.

And does a good position just mean a good job or a good...
Status? Both. You can get a good job and a good status.
Section 8
And are there differences between how people feel about educated boys and girls? Really?
There arenít any differences. For example I will say that there are 87 students at the government school, those are boys. And we have 106 girls in our school, so it means more girls are registered in School than boys. And there isnít any difference right now. In our times there was no school for girls. So we were the only, only the boys could get education.

So when did the school for girls open, approximately?
Approximately, that was in 1972 the DJ boysí school was nationalised. And in Ď73 there was no DJ school and in Ď75 the Aga Khan Education Board decided they should open a school for girls.

In the village and within the community are attitudes towards education different? For example, do some families not feel, put as much emphasis on it as others, or does everybody feel the same?
Not everybody feels the same. There are differences, for example, those people who have many yaks, and a big herd and a lot of land, their children are not so active in education. It means they are not putting emphasis on education. But those people who have a family member or two who are well educated, all the children are registered and they attend school.

What about, I mean boys and girls can both get education in the village, but up to what class?
Up to eight.

And then?
Then they have to go out.

So are there differences after [class] eight between boys and girls then?
Yes of course there are. Most of the girls, after graduating from these schools, some of them go outside - [those] who have a relative outside of the village or some of their family members live outside only they can go outside. But those students who have no relatives or they donít have any source [of income] they stay here. That is a big shock for us. Because after eight, nine years of hard work with the students, they just become normal villagers and they donít study further. So that is a very sad quality in the village.

Apart from the difficulty of places to stay are there other reasons why girls donít go on to do further education?
One reason could be the marriage. When they get marriedÖso they depend on their husbands. As the husbands decide they do the same. That is one reason.

How many girlsÖ are there many girls who go on after eight class?
I think at present there are 15 students are studying outside; the rest - over 90 or 100 - are staying here.

But even though you said itís a sad point, you must still feel there are benefits for those people to do education up to eighth class?
Of course that makes a lot of difference. When they get education up to eighth class they can teach their children, they can teach their relatives, they can manage better their household, they can write to their relatives, they can read, they can understand. Those are the advantages and good points of education.
Section 9
What do you hope for your children, what are your ideas for your children?
Well, Iím thinking, yesterday Farman also asked me about this. And I said that my only wish is to send them up to university. Even once they should go to University. They should see what life at university is like.

All of them
All of them, yes.

Excellent. And how, ... you said you feel you have a responsibility to teach. Whatís it like being the headmaster of a school, with all the teachers and students?
It is, um, when I was just a teacher that was a very simple and enjoyable job. As a headmaster I feel a kind of responsibility more than the teachers. I have to care for the community, I have to look at the education standards and I have to check the teachers. A lot of responsibility. I usually arrange meetings with the community members and talk about how to improve the quality of education.

Because thatís right, last year you went to Lahore
Yes, I went to Lahore

Can you tell me about that?
Yes, I was nominated to do my Diploma in Education

Who by?
By AKES. So I went to Lahore and I spent one year at the Ali Institute of Education so I got a Diploma.

In education. That was a very nice institute. So I got the chance to study. Because the Ali Institute has a good library and the atmosphere and the approach of teaching is quite different to other Pakistani institutions. So I learnt a lot there.

And has it changed the way you run the school now?
Yes of course my approach is now quite different.

In what ways?
Before, I was strict on teachers to teach according to my wishes. Now I have learnt that every person is different and their approach could be different. And before going to the Ali Institute I used to force my students to learn everything by heart. Now I think that we cannot memorise everything. The best way or the best approach would be to let the student experience and when they will experience something it means they will remember it forever. They will really learn. Learning will occur when they experience it.
Section 10
And maybe this is a good point to talk about the Environmental Education Programme (EEP).
Well, the EEP was promoted by Hideki Hamochi a photo-journalist from Japan. He visited here, he visited Shimshal and he thought that he could run a project here called Global Activity Group, and students from Nihon University visited Shimshal and they did a lot of research on several topics. So we thought that what is the use or what is the worth of the education of the Japanese? How can we learn what they did? So we asked Hideki, how can we learn from these Japanese? So after many discussions we got this point that if we start such a programme to study this local environment then we would be able to learn about our own environment. Then we decided to promote or initiate the environmental education programme.

Can you describe briefly what the EEP is - what does it consist of, how is it arranged?
At the beginning of the programme, we used to bring guest speakers to the schools, locals, and they used to speak about the culture, about the history, about festivals, and about working systems.

People from Shimshal?
From Shimshal, a guest speaker spoke and students used to write down their lectures and we made a small booklet of their lectures. But we decided that this is just a kind of dictating to the students and we thought there should be, we should give an opportunity for the students themselves to learn about the society. Because they know, they are in the society, so they can learn. So we developed a format for questionnaires. Now the students look at questions and write down the answers so that helps them to study the environment. There are 10 committees and the students according to their interest choose one of the committees, one of the subject areas, and they study that.

So what kind of committees are there?
There are population, daily life, agriculture, politics and economics, festivals, earth science, livestock, tourism, weather and climate...altogether there are 10 committeesÖ this is what they study.

And how often do they study?
Some they study, for example, weather and climate, they record the temperature daily. And population - they write down whenever there is a birth or a death, and in agriculture they mostly, after each festival, they write down after each week they keep a record of the crops...it depends on the topic...and in earth science the students used to record everything daily, on daily life they record everything daily.

How old are the students that are in the committees?
They are about 14-16 years.

Right okay. And is this programme still going on today?
Yes, that is going on today.
Section 11
And how do you, do you put the results together, what happens?
Well we compiled two reports in1994 and 1995 and those are on the World Wide Web at present. We compiled it in Urdu and John Mock1 translated it into English. So we will now publish the report from 1996 Ė2000 this year hopefully.

And put it on the web?
Put it on the web or just print a book.

And do the students enjoy it?
Of course they enjoy it. Last year they presented their research in Gilgit.

To the government education department, and AKES and also people from WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and IUCN (World Conservation Union) joined the symposium. So that was a very exciting event for the students because they presented their research there and they were very happy.

And whatís the reaction of IUCN, WWF?
Actually they were surprised and a bit shocked. The surprise was that such a remote village has promoted such a good environmental project and has collected so much information about their valley. And they said this is the real education, or the way to educate students. And they were shocked that they havenít done anything like that themselves. And they asked us to give our formats to them. And we said we cannot give you these formats because it is according to the environment and situation of Shimshal. You have to develop your own formats. And so far they are asking right now for us to provide them with formats. But we are refusing, that they should develop [these themselves].

Do you think it would be a good idea for someone from Shimshal to go and train in other villages, would you consider doing that?
We did two workshops with the education department people and we told them how to develop an environmental education programme, how to promote or how to initiate it. But I donít know why they are facing difficulties to adopt or start it.

Maybe itís something to do with their commitment?
Because it needs a lot of time and hard work to develop such a programme.

Beyond 9-5 yeah?

After teaching hours and things....In addition to being headmaster, what are your other roles in the village, would you say?
Beside this teaching and this job, I also work for SNT, the Shimshal Nature Trust, with the idea that when this Khunjerab National Park was established it created a very big fuss in the village, because they were trying to deprive us of our lands which we have been using for hundreds of years.

Your grazing lands?
Grazing lands and also agricultural lands, in the pasture we have cultivating lands there. So the community was opposing Khunjerab National Park (KNP), so there were several ways to oppose [it]. The people in the village even confronted the Park officials and didnít allow them to go to our pastures and we thought that it is not the right way we cannot stop the government officials in this way all the time. And there are several ideas to keep away the KNP. One is to fight with the government, oppose them; the other was to make some agreement with KNP; the third idea which we developed was that we should make such an organisation and we should prove that we are the best managers of this land, so we promoted the Shimshal Nature Trust and we wrote the management plan. We presented the Management plan to government officials and they also agreed about this point - that this is a good approach, they appreciated it. And, most of our extra time we give to the SNT and beside that I worked for the Aga Khan Education Board and I worked for scouting a lot at the beginning. But right now I am not with the scouts because I donít have time, and the community, I used to go to the gatherings and meetings to decide something about the village, some project. I used to give training here for people - how to collect information for SNT and how to work according to the plan of SNT, these are the main jobs I do here.
Section 12
How do you feel about SNT personally? And how is it at the moment and in the future?
Well, SNT, at the present is...what we can say is that the roots are going deep in the soil.

Thatís a good expression
When we started at the beginning, the problem was that the villagers were thinking it might be just an idea. But we worked a lot and we presented our ideas to government officials and government officials appreciated our idea - then the villagers got courage that SNT can work. Right now the people are the members of SNT and they are selecting their members as a Board of Directors, so it is going well. And I hope that in the future that SNT will flourish. SNTís limitation would be not in the village but outside the village, it will start working... For example, I hope that one day SNT will teach other communities about how to preserve their environment or how to make development projects, how to make the list of priorities. These are things which we want to give as a message from a remote community. Mostly when we talk about SNT down from the village, they appreciate our ideas and so I think that is a good start.

Mmmm definitely...And how do you thinkÖhow is the role of the other institutions affected by SNT?
Well SNT is not to just replace other institutions. For example, the institutions which are under the constitution of the Aga Khan constitutions they are moving smoothly according to their programme or their tasks. But SNT is the organisation which deals with the stabled pattern of work and we donít replace any other institutions, we donít interfere in their works. But SNT is to support every institution in the village. For example, if there is the education, say schools. SNT wishes to support schools, better education. There are development projects SNT wants to sport these projects and there are Tariqa (literally, the way; religious education) Boards. SNT wants the people to live according to their religious regulations so SNT is not to replace any organisations but to support them.
Section 13
Do you feel, how do you feel about SNT personally? It seems to me that you feel quite passionate?
Yes I feel passionate, because this is for us who initiated it, who developed this idea of SNTÖ for us it is the best idea that we developed. And this idea was successful and it made a good situation because the people were I think going in the wrong direction to fight with the government. But this idea madeÖ created a good atmosphere that we should respect our government and we should prove in a good way and with wise decisions that we are not doing anything harmful against the environment, we are not doing anything illegal but we are supporting the government. For example if you see the, if you read about Khunjerab National Park, there were 100 Marco Polos (sheep) before the Park, when the Park was established, in the 20-year history of the national park, most of the Marco Polo sheep have been finished. But I donít think they will be able to show one of the Marco Polo sheep, so it means the National Park is not the solution of preservation. But we can prove that we have more wild animals than the Khunjerab National Park and the community is not doing anything bad. So that is the way we are thinking we are doing good.

Your father is alive?

How does your father, what is your relationship like with your father?
Well my father himself is a hunter.

Oh interesting.
And he used to hunt and he also taught me how to hunt. I learnt hunting from him.

What kind?
Big game - blue sheep or ibex were there. But when we develop this idea of SNT and we thought that we should put a ban on hunting, and for the first time I told my father that we are thinking like this, he said, ďWhat are you thinking? Itís quite strange, our entire family in the history, all of them have hunted and we are proud of being hunters, because we have fed the villagers, even the government soldiers when there was no ration for them in Pamir. So we are proud of this hunting but what you are doing right now is to put a ban on this.Ē And I told my father that right now we can benefit from this hunting, but the rest of the villagers who cannot hunt, hunting is meaningless for them. If we put a ban on hunting and we bring some trophy hunters here and they hunt, then the benefits will go to everyone. And he thought a while on this point and he said this is a good idea, probably the time will change and this hunting will be meaningless. I was surprised at how quickly he got my idea and he felt about it. And right now he says ďWork hard and try to educate people in a polite way. Donít be emotional and like thatĒ.

So what would you say is your happiest or favourite memory? Maybe you have a few.
Well the happiest memory as far as I remember it is initiating scouting here because that was a time when I had no other responsibilities.
Section 14
How old were you?
I was about 15, 16 at that time and there was not any responsibility except working for scouting. I feel proud of that because I established here a new organisation which is working very well right now.

So before there were no scouts here?
Before there was not, so we worked for scouting and my friends who were with me we have very good lovely memories, sweet memories.

Why was it nice, why was it special?
One thing, doing even one thing good in a day was our motto, and helping the people who needed help. And we did a lot of work in the community and people appreciated us. And we were young and we felt proud of these things and those were the happiest moments.

What kind of things did you do?
Well, for example one person was sick and his field was ready for harvest and there was no one to help him so we harvested the crops. And during these religious festivals, ceremonies we helped the villagers with arranging the meetings and everything, facilitating the people. We made a water company and other jobs, taking water to the people when they are in a gathering, or serving food like this thing.

Is there anything else youíd like to add?
Mmmm I think not [laughing] most of the things I talked about...but one thing I would like to add, is that even in these years from my childhood to right now, I see a lot of changes, a lot of changes. Like when I was a child, we were depending on all the products we were producing here. But right now we are half depending on the city and half we are producing here so this is a big change here. And before people had no idea but right now our people from Shimshal have been everywhere in the world, before we were limited up to Shimshal. That is things which I saw here right now.

Okay thank you very much Khaliq
You are most welcome
You talked a lot, now I think you need to have a big cup of tea. Thank you, big big thanks.

1 John Mock is a linguist and travel writer who has carried out research in Shimshal and elsewhere in Gojal for a number of years.