2016 was the 30th anniversary of the death of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, murdered in Manchester in 1986 after defending younger Bangladeshi boys from racist bullying. AIUET – named in his memory – was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore the ‘Legacy of Ahmed’ in 2015. We created a documentary and audio archive that reflects on and commemorates this legacy.
A commemorative exhibition was launched in Manchester Central Library on Ahmed’s birthday: 14 October 2016. The exhibition shared the story of the Ahmed Iqbal Memorial High School built by Ahmed’s mother Fatima Begum in their home village in Bangladesh and of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at the University of Manchester. The tragic circumstances of Ahmed’s death had previously un-recorded ripple effects. For the founder members of Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation – Ananna, Ahmed’s death was a catalyst that brought women together, highlighting the need for greater cooperation and an organised response to discrimination. A later initiative, the Longsight-Sylhet Link group sought to improve understanding and working practices among professionals serving the Bangladeshi community.
Our project recorded this history and encouraged many people to reflect on Ahmed’s life, to ensure his memory is sustained and to archive and share the positive efforts made in his name in Manchester and in Bangladesh.
A pop-up exhibition is available to borrow from AIUET. An exhibition book can be downloaded here.
Project steering group members:
Selina Ullah and Mutassim Billah of the Ullah family;
Dr Safina Islam and Mrs Nurjahan Ahmad of Ananna;
Joe Flynn of the AIU Memorial Trust;
Professor Emeritus Lou Kushnick and Catharine Rew of the AIU Education Trust.