|Death: ||Jul. 7, 2005|
Killed in London Bombings
Since the terrorist attacks on London last week, Shahara Islam's photograph has been widely seen on newspapers and television broadcasts not just in Britain but around the world.
A devout believer in Islam who also embraced modern Western culture and society, she was the very example of a confident young British Muslim woman, rightly described by one newspaper as the "true face of Islam in London". Murdered by bombers who claimed to act in the name of her faith, she has come to represent what London has lost.
Living in Plaistow in the East End of London, she had worked for the Co-operative Bank for 18 months. Her mother, Romena, and father, Shamsul, are devoutly observant Muslims who came to Whitechapel and the surrounding areas in the 1960s from what was then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Shahara Akther Islam was born in Whitechapel and was educated at Barking Abbey Comprehensive School, where she sat her A-level examinations two years ago. Her good results meant that, like many 18-year-olds, she was faced with the decision of whether or not to attend university. Eventually she decided that she was attracted more strongly to the world of work, and she had recently started her first job, with the Co-operative Bank, at its branch in Islington, North London, where she had been working as a cashier.
Shahara Islam managed to combine both her family's culture and her life in the melting-pot of London with seemingly effortless ease. She attended her local mosque on Fridays, but was equally at home enjoying Western fashions and designer clothes as well as an independent lifestyle. To her there was no contradiction in respecting and enjoying both traditions.
She carried two mobile phones, joking to friends and family that she needed both because she talked so much.
On Thursday she had a long-overdue dental appointment scheduled for the afternoon, and her original intention had been to take the day off. Instead, she chose to go to work and leave early.
As well as her parents she leaves a brother and a sister, both in their teens. Other relatives include her uncle, Nazmul Hasan, whom, it is thought, she tried to telephone at 9.47am on July 7. "I didn't get to the phone in time," Hasan said. "I didn't know anything was wrong then. There was no voice, just the sound of people talking, and commotion in the street. Then it went dead."
It was at 9.47am that the No 30 bus in Tavistock Square was bombed, killing at least 13 people.
Created by: Beth
Record added: Jul 16, 2005
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