Memories of School:
Great memories, good times, great education.
(Note from Webmaster: He was a GREAT squash player at school, but he's too modest to admit it!!)
Since leaving School:
After A levels at Patch (Fletcher/Nicholson), I went off to the UK to Loughborough University of Technology. Did a BSc and
then went on to a PhD program. Part way through the PhD, I decided to stop because I felt that I was leading an un-real
life, in the sense that I had full scholarships for the BSc degree as well as the PhD; never had to pay a bill. I felt that
I was not living in reality, so I decided I needed to join the work force. In retrospect, I should have stayed on, got the
PhD, become a lecturer and have a good life; but no, I had to ask for trouble. So I stopped the PhD but wrote up a thesis
to get an MSc. All this was in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. During my time in Loughborough, I continued to play
squash for the University team and generally had a good time. Played a lot of squash games in the Leicestershire league,
against local clubs.
Upon completing this, I got a job as a Research Scientist at Philips Research Labs in England (Horley, Surrey). However,
since I was not a UK citizen, I had to get a work permit annually, and I did not feel comfortable with this, because I was
never guaranteed to get a work permit every year. So I applied for, and got a job with Bell Northern Research (BNR), the
R&D company of Northern Telecom of Canada, now called Nortel. So when I got the job in Canada (Ottawa), I went off and got
married in Nairobi to Dilshad, and took off to Canada in 1981.
Ottawa is one of the coldest places on earth. I froze my butt off; it gets so cold that unless I plugged my car into an oil
heater at night, the car would not start in the morning!!. I worked at BNR as a Research Engineering working on various
R&D projects, only one of which eventually ended up as a real product; says a lot about me. I worked in Ottawa for 9
years, thoroughly enjoying Canada. We had 2 children (boys; Imran was born in 1983, and Zameer in 1986), and bringing them
up in Ottawa was excellent; lots to do, season changes, great compassionate people etc. Learnt to skate, Ski, sail etc
with my boys. Squash stopped though.
During my time in Canada, I met up with Roland Kuhn (Hawke 1970-1972) once, in Toronto, and then I met up with (Moyez)
Alibhai a couple of times. I have lost touch with him since, but I saw his picture on the Old Cambrians web site at the
Nairobi reunion last year, so if anyone has his contact info, I’d appreciate receiving it.
Then, my wife got tired of the snow and cold, one very long and cold winter in 1989. So I was given an ultimatum to move
the family to a warmer climate. So I got a transfer to Nortel in Dallas, Texas in 1990. We went from one extreme
(cold) to another (very hot).
I moved from Engineering work into Management, and worked in various roles in Nortel and a couple of other companies. For
the past 2½ years, I have been with Texas Instruments managing various programs for them with cellphone manufacturers.
I have to travel quite a bit for my job; the first year was travel to Europe mostly, the second year it was Korea, Japan
and India; this year, its back to Europe and India. I usually travel once a month, and enjoy it. My wife works at
American Airlines, so she is frequently able to join me on the trips. I try and take a few days off on most trips so I can
do some sight seeing; otherwise the trips can be boring.
Inspite of the travel for work and for pleasure (employees of airlines can travel for very cheap), there are still many
places I would like to visit for sight seeing. Are any of you in any exotic places that I can visit?
I ran into Rajan (remember him?) a few years ago; he was going towards LA; lost touch with him too.
Anyhow, my kids are now grown up, but still wanting me to support them. My oldest, Imran, is now 22, is finishing a
Business degree at University of Texas at Austin. He has decided he wants to become a dentist, and so has started doing
all science classes and is in the process of applying for the dental programs in the US, which are all post-graduate
courses. My youngest, Zameer, is 19, and does not know what he wants to do. So he is simply working at a local
Veterinarian hospital, and generally not doing much.
I have been back to Nairobi once since moving to Canada. So its been a long time. The way I came across the Old Cambrians
webs site is that my sister sent me a link to old East African photos
and in surfing around, I found the Old Cambrians site.
What a blast I had; I must have spent ~4 hours going through the web site, reading up about all of you and others,
looking at old photos etc, etc.
Living in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
(Registered 19th July 2005)
If anyone wishes to contact Ali, please Click Here
to e-mail him