Tell us more about your role as a therapy radiographer and your inspirations
I am a Therapy Radiographer for Guys and St Thomas hospital treating cancer patients. We deliver radiotherapy to patients to improve their chances of survival. I do everything from scanning the patients and deciding on treatment and I work with a multi- disciplinary team from doctors, nurses to diagnostic radiographers. I could treat up to 30 to 40 patients a day. I would definitely say it’s the patient contact that’s the most enjoyable part of the job.
My job isn’t as depressing as it seems, it’s actually quite a positive experience. I like to make a difference to peoples lives and seeing how thankful they are for the treatment they are receiving. It’s really rewarding when you see they are getting better.
I’ve always wanted to do something in the health sector and my parents pushed me into this field. I come from quite a big family – we are all working in the health field. My brother is a diagnostic radiographer and he pointed me in the direction of radiography. My future is uncertain however, I may try something new after.
Your parents are from Somalia. Tell us about the experiences you have had being Somali and British.
I was born in Reading. My parents migrated to the UK before the civil war broke out in Somalia. My dad received a scholarship to do a PhD in Botany at Oxford University, but because of his colour he found it difficult to get a job in his field after he graduated. They did not return to Somalia until the civil war ended.
I went back to Somalia for the first time when I was 12 and my first memories are of goats and of course beautiful beaches and sand! I am actually from a place called Bosaso, by the coast. The sea is beautiful there, we have crystal blue waters and lush valleys. I am going back this summer and I feel this time it will be a different experience because I am much older.
I identify myself as Somali. Not Somali British however. I can relate to London but not Britain as a whole. I feel comfortable and easy living in London as it’s very multicultural and open. I have lived and worked in Reading and Poole and my experiences as a black woman have been totally different. Everyday I would get a racist comment and micro aggressions directed at me. I encountered a lot prejudice and racism while working in those cities. This country has given me opportunities however, but I’m embedded by Somali culture. I always have a sense of ‘otherness’ and I imagine when I get much older I will live elsewhere.
The general public perception of Muslims in the media is quite negative. What would you do to address this?
I don’t think it’s our responsibility to change their perceptions. I think people should take time to understand one another independent of what is being said about Muslims in the media. I don’t feel I have to do that. I represent myself just by being me. I know more than just my world and people should do the same. Everybody has personal responsibility to do the same.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I speak Korean and learnt the language through watching Korean dramas on Netflix and listening to K-Pop! I love Korean culture and food! I put my Korean into practice recently went I went to visit the country for the first time. It was an amazing experience to be able to converse with Koreans in their language and the fact that they understood me was a huge boost to my confidence!