Many Pakistanis use ancient skills which are all but unknown now in the West so their abilities are becoming even more highly valued both within their community and beyond. One example of this is hand made jewellery which is very rare in Britain now but remains a prized and not uncommon skill within the Pakistani community.
One individual who has excelled at this and is highly regarded in this area is Zahid Saleem who, from his shop and workroom in Glasgow, creates fine items of jewellery which are greatly admired by all who see them.
His father Haji Mohammad Saleem came from Chak 333 GB, Toba Tek Singh to Britain in the early 1960's where he initially settled in Huddersfield. In 1970 he opened a Halal meat shop in Huddersfield and kept that for three years before selling it and buying a grocer's shop in Glasgow.
In 1987 his son, Zahid Saleem, left college and went back to Pakistan where he began to learn jewellery manufacturing and design. He learned all the intricate skills and abilities required to become a fine Jeweller. He was glad to be able to develop this expertise which is rare and pleasurable ability to have. This he learned for one year and then did a further year in Manchester.
His mother's side had been jewellers so his father encouraged him to go into the jewellery business and the first shop was opened in 1990. The family have built up other businesses as well and currently have a large grocers shop in Glasgow and adjacent to that a hardware store in the city which is run by Mr Mohammad Afzal who is the eldest son of Haji Mohammad Saleem. Mr Zahid's other two younger brothers are Naveed Saleem and Hafiz Saleem who both became involved in the family business following the death of their father.
All of the businesses are jointly run by the family and in that way they can keep a good control over the way they are run. In this way they are also able to utilise the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the family. The family are planning to expand all of their businesses initially on the grocery side and then on the jewellery business.
Zahid knows that the jewellery business is tough particularly on the manufacturing side where the long hours are required to make intricate decorative pieces by hand can often strain the eyesight to its limit. But he is a perfectionist and is always keen to produce the best quality work he can through long hours of effort and application.
He would like to see his children educated and look forward and pursue new ideas. They could then use their education to continue in their profession or apply the skills they have learnt to develop and expand the business. The choice would be theirs but he firmly believes that by encouraging his children to fulfil their educational potential he is helping them in the future to get a better life for themselves. He also believes that the community needs to do this as well if it is to expand its horizons and develop in the future with the encouragement of class of professionals in the next century.
The family are quite settled and have lands and other property in Pakistan and would definitely like to sustain a close interest and contact with Pakistan. They visit Pakistan regularly and wish to keep up their links with their home country which they feel is important.