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Oral history with Abdul Mateen, 2016 April 7.
Mateen, Abdul, 1922-, Torwali, Zubair, and Torwali, Mujhahid
Author (no Collectors):
Mateen, Abdul, 1922-, Torwali, Zubair, Torwali, Zubair, and Torwali, Mujhahid
Abdul Mateen is of 95 years old. Born in 1922 Abdul Mateen spent most of his life in Habib Abad (Laambat) near Bahrain in the Swat valley in Pakistan. His clan is one of the four main tribes of the Torwali sub tribe called Nared. His clan name is Chamot. He has an extended family. He had three wives from whom he got a large family. In his childhood he used to rear cattle such as cows, buffalos and goats. He used to spend his summer in the summer pasture with his cattle and family. He remembers the days when Swat was ruled by Badshah-e-Swat and later by his son Wali-e-Swat named Miangul Jahanzeb. Abdul Mateen also served in the Wali’s army in Swat. When Pakistan and India were divided in 1947 there happened a famine—which was mainly due to the confusion created in Swat whether it had to join Pakistan or not. The then traders of food exploited the opportunity and made a famine so that their stock might sell expensive. The famine was, however, short lived. People of upper Swat had to walk miles to the plains of Swat in order to bring food items. When Abdul Mateem was a child there were no roads in Swat. Tracks in lower Swat existed on which Tonga—horse driven chariots—were used for travel. The affluent in upper Swat—Bahrain and Kalam—also used horses for travel. He mentions that Jinnah and Gandhi fought a case with the British government to free India (and Pakistan) from them. He did not see Jinnah but remembers his stories from the newspapers available then. He saw Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan aka Bacha Khan when he came to Bahrain Swat. He fled the torture of the then Pakistani government and took an asylum in Swat as the Swat State was autonomous enough to resist any pressure from the then Pakistani government. As for the origin of his people—Torwali—Mateen is of the view that they are Quriesh of the Arabs. Their ancestors fled the advent of Islam and came to this area. Here they were converted by a Pushtun mullah named Mian Qasim who is known among the Torwali people as Mian Qasim Bawa. Abdul Mateen also served in the army of the Swat State for 17 years. They were sent to Kashmir to fight the Indian army during the war of 1965. Mateen says he spent 40 days in Kashmir but did not experience any killing or casualties. 3500 soldiers were sent to Kashmir from Swat state and same number was also sent from the Dir state. When he was a child there used to be heavy snowfall in Bahrain and in his home village. It used to be six or seven feet one time. Now there is hardly half a foot snow in this area during winter. When he was a child main food was barley and maize. People used to stock these for winter. Bread was made of either barley or maize. Justice by Wali of Swat was fast and speedy. Government was strict. No woman or cattle was allowed to go out of Swat. After marriage Mateen says he went to Hyderabad and Karachi for earning a livelihood. There he could not make any progress and wasted ten years. He then came back and started his won shop in Bahrain which he had previously abandoned. In his youth Mateen used to run a shop where he used to collect ghee and grains; and sell these items later on. -- Note: Qureish were the tribe the prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) belonged to. It was in Saudi Arabia about 1500 years ago. Mian Qasim was the grandson of Pir Baba. Mian Qasim came to Torwal—the areas of the Torwali people—about 400 years ago. The Torwali people do not know their history exactly. They relate themselves with Arabs or Pushtuns but researchers say that the Torwali people were among the ancient tribes of Swat even before the Buddhist period here. The researchers trace the origin of the Torwali people back 5,000 years.
History and History
2 video files
Swāt District (Pakistan)
Swāt District (Pakistan), April 7, 2017
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Oral history with Shahezadi Begam, 2015 July 25.
Begam, Shahezadi, 1943-, Chakraborty, Deborshi, and Banerjee, Debraj
Author (no Collectors):
Begam, Shahezadi, 1943-, Chakraborty, Deborshi, Chakraborty, Deborshi, and Banerjee, Debraj
Shahezadi Begam could not remember her birthday or the year she was born. However, we can apprehend that she is at least seventy-two years old from her narrative of her whole life. She was born in Calcutta in the park circus region where her family had a large house. She told that it was a joint family and many of her relatives used to stay with them in that house. She had four sisters and she was the youngest. Her father was in construction business and had a successful professional life.After Partition her family decided to migrate to Pakistan but the reason behind it was unknown to Shahezadi. They took a train from Calcutta and came to Shahjanpur railway colony in Dhaka crossing the border. As she could remember, her family was not able to sell their house so she believed that someone later occupied it. She did not go to school but learned Arabic and studied the Quran at home. After few years, she married Abdul Hamid who was a worker in Shahjanpur railway factory.But the 1971 Liberation War jeopardized her family life. They were driven out of their quarter for being Urdu speaking. Goons looted her house and she told that few of her relatives also died during the course of war. They were in custody of Indian military in Rajabag for a month without having necessities of livelihood. They were taken to Mahammadpur Geneva camp where they still live. Her sister went back to Calcutta and is living there. Her daughter went to Karachi in RePartition but they could not go. So her daughter is living in Karachi for last forty years and they have never met since Liberation of Pakistan.