The director of one of Britain’s leading Islamic centres has described last week’s disaster at the Grand Mosque in Mecca as a “blessing in disguise”. A freak weather storm led to the collapse of a giant crane at the Mosque – one of the holiest sites in Islam – killing …Read More »
Pakistani Teenager Shefaz Hamza spent nine hours at sea clinging to the wreckage of a migrant boat that sank off Libya. By the time the coast guard arrived, his mother and young sister were dead. They were among at least 76 people to die when their boat went down Thursday …Read More »
Islam liberated men and women from the shackles of slavery and made them masters of the world. The history of the Mamlukes illustrates this observation. In the 9th and 10th centuries, there was a brisk slave trade down the Volga River, near the Caspian Sea. The Vikings raided Europe with …Read More »
The father of Anni Dewani, the Indo-Swedish woman murdered during her honeymoon in South Africa, has had his arm severed in a freak work accident. Vinod Hindocha was working on repairs on a lift in the Swedish city of Gothenburg when a securing cable holding the lift in place snapped …Read More »
The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 caused biblical levels of devastation and loss of life across large parts of south and southeast Asia.
The scale of the tragedy was only matched by the myriad extraordinary stories of survival and generosity - from the tales of people who helped shelter those affected to the remarkable outpouring of support from right across the world.
The story of British brothers Rob and Paul Forkan is not only one of survival against terrible odds but also of generosity of spirit.
The brothers (Rob was 17 and Paul 15) lost their parents on that fateful day - dad Kevin and mom Sandra managed to get their youngest daughters, 12-year-old Mattie and 8-year-old Rosie to safety before being swept away.
Rob and Paul had survived by clinging to the roof of a building.
Their parents had quit their jobs in fashion and sold their home in south London in 2001 to travel the world and work on charity projects with their brood.
After the tragedy, the kids managed to find their way from southern Sri Lanka to the British High Commission in Colombo with the help of locals. After returning to the UK and completing their education, the brothers came up with the idea to create Gandys Flip Flops, an ethical footwear company which donates a portion of profits to supporting disadvantaged and orphaned children in Sri Lanka and south India.
Rob Forkan was the guest of honour at a special commemorative ceremony at the Sri Lankan High Commission this week, held to mark ten years since the events of 26 December 2004.
Weeks earlier, Rob and Paul had returned from Sri Lanka after overseeing the establishment of a brand new children's home, funded by their foundation.
Guests at the event also heard from Cherie Blair, about her memories of the day and a disaster management expert on Sri Lanka's response in the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami.
But first, the UKasian caught up Rob Forkan to discuss his remarkable journey and flip flops.Read More »
As towering waves came crashing into the southern coast of Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, 2004, Kushil Gunasekera gathered up his children and they ran for their lives to a nearby temple, the highest point they could find. Returning later to his village in Seenigama district, he found a heart-breaking …Read More »
#Culpable: US exec ‘ultimately responsible’ for Bhopal Tragedy, passes away as survivors fight for closure
The American executive many believe was ultimately responsible for the horrific Bhopal gas tragedy has died at a Florida nursing home after years of evading Indian justice. Warren Anderson was the chief executive of Union Carbide – now part of Dow Chemical – in December 1984 when a leak at …Read More »
A Southampton-based Indian couple have died and their nine-year-old daughter critically injured in a horror road accident in India. Rupesh Nawarkhele, 38, and his 37-year-old wife Kavita Nawarkhele died after their minibus collided with a car near Chandigargh, Punjab in the early hours of Saturday. The couple were reportedly thrown …Read More »
The British Indian father of a four-year-old boy who was killed in a house fire along with his mother has slammed Social Services for not acting quickly enough to save his son. Paresh Patel, 43, says the boy’s mother Janma Joshi started the fire deliberately because she had lost full …Read More »
Five people of the same British Asian family, including a nine-week-old baby and her two young brothers, have died in a ferocious fire that swept through their home in Sheffield last night. The dead have been named locally as Shabina Begum, 55, her daughter Anum Parvaiz, 20, and children Adhyan, …Read More »