Sadiya Ahmed

Founder, Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative

Profile
Sadiya Ahmed - Founder, Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative

Sadiya Ahmed is the founder of the Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative. Established in 2013 in response to the lack of representation of the Muslim narrative in both archives and museums. Through collecting oral history interviews, personal documents, photographs and ephemera, there are to date three archive collections held at five archive depositories across London and the South-East.

Sadiya Ahmed with her siblings in their family shop

Alongside Sadiya's experience of fundraising, project planning and managing heritage projects on the subject of British Muslim history, she has also initiated and brokered collaborations and partnerships with museums and archives, academics, artists, media professionals and community groups across Britain.

Eldest of nine siblings, mother to four children and former teaching professional. She grew up hearing her parents' childhood stories in faraway lands and their experiences of leaving their home and families for a new life in Britain. These have inspired her dedication to documenting the rich, complex, intergenerational and diverse British Muslim heritage story in the context of broader British history.

"Being the daughter of an Asian shop owner, I know from experience that the Asian corner shop narrative is of significant importance to our collective and very diverse social history in Britain. My father owned Super Food Stores, a grocery and halal meat corner shop on Walthamstow High Street from 1979 to 1999. 

At the time the shop was one of the very few places in Walthamstow which sold groceries and products mainly for the Asian, Muslim, African and Afro-Caribbean communities in North East London which had not been available in local shops before the post-war migration period. Perhaps more importantly, it was a place for the community.

Somewhere for the newly - arrived to meet, share recipes, catch up with friends, seek advice and, share information regarding settling in their new country of residence. It was also a place to raise funds for a local mosque, somewhere you could feed your family on a 'take now and pay later' basis. Even the flats above the shop served as a temporary shelter for those who needed a place to stay." 
Sadiya Ahmed.

For more information on Everyday Muslim visit: https://www.everydaymuslim.org/

For Freelance Heritage Research and Consultancy enquiries email: sadiya@everydaymuslim.org

Read posts from Sadiya

Sadiya Ahmed with her siblings in their family shop

Open All Hours and Other Stories

For more than two centuries, the humble corner shop has been an integral part of communities across Britain. Sadiya Ahmed, founder of the Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative, discusses the importance of documenting this history in her blog post.

Read More