Letter from Sheila Rashed to Hosain Shahid

Rashed, Sheila. Letter from Sheila Rashed to Hosain Shahid. To Shahid, Hosain. Sep. 3, 1976. 5 pp. 5 sheets. 7.5 X 10. Typewritten. Letter sent from Mrs. Sheila Rashed to Hosain Shahid, in which she thanks him for his letter of 18th August. The letter is dated 3rd September 1976. She received his letter earlier but thought it best to reply after she and Nazeil returned from a holiday, as she would be able to give it more time and attention. She writes that she is appreciative of the efforts Shahid is making to ensure her husband's work and memory remains fresh in the nation's minds. She is finding it more difficult to write about Rashed now than before when Mr. Shahid came to visit her in Cheltenham, as the fact that Rashed had passed away had not fully struck her yet. She describes her first encounter with Rashed taking place during a meeting they had about his daughter Tamzin. She spoke for ten minutes about how Tamzin was struggling because of her poor English, as well as how she appeared very unhappy. Rashed listened attentively after which he informed her that Tamzin had been in shock after she witnessed her mother's passing before her eyes. Rashed described feeling great anxiety about keeping the family together, as he was a widower taking care of her four young children. Together they started to brainstorm ways they could help Tamzin improve in school. She adds in pen that discussing techniques for his daughter was the beginning of a great friendship between them. She was thirty-three when she first met Rashed. She had been engaged twice before but broken it off as she did not feel that it was a right match. She wrote that she believed he was attracted to her and wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. For one of their first dates he asked her to come to a lecture he was giving at the Asia Society in New York, after which he asked her to be as critical as possible about the lecture. From November till December they saw each other three or four times a week along with spending time with the children. At the airport before Christmas break he asked her to marry him, and told her that the friendship could not continue if she said no, which she recalls was a tough ultimatum to be given. She had a lot to consider, as he had five children, was from another part of the world, and was eighteen years older than him. She returned to New York in January with her mind made up and they were married in September in England to be close to Sheila's parents. Times were hard, she admits, but the reconciliations made it worth it. They were both strong and independent, and they never hid anything from one another. She recognises his honesty and truthfulness as some of his most outstanding characteristics. He was always forgiving of the weaknesses in others. He strongly believed in the equality of all, no matter how high or low their position. She writes that she always knew when her husband was "hatching a poem" as he was moody for days during the process, but became very happy like a "new man" once he has birthed the poem. He was not what one would call a practicing Muslim, but he was deeply religious in the true sense of the word. He never demanded that Sheila become Pakistani or Muslim. He disliked any kind of totalitarianism or dictatorship. After Rashed's retirement from the UN in 1974, they had the option of living in Pakistan, Italy, or England, but they decided on England for Nazeil as the education was the greatest quality there, they felt. He liked the regency style house and the study where he was surrounded by his books and could write looking out into lush greenery. He was very happy during his retirement, composing poems often, even one day before he died. She writes that he died suddenly without pain, for which she thanks God. She writes that Nazeil, who Rashed called his "masterpiece", was only eleven when his father passed away, but always remembers him fondly. English. Box 1. Folder 17: Sheila interviews and book donations. 031. Digitized by Zain Mian. Catalogued by Alainah Aamir. Donated (2015) by Yasmin Rashed Hassan to the Institute of Islamic Studies. Full item here.
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To Cite the Item:

Rashed, Sheila, “Letter from Sheila Rashed to Hosain Shahid,” Noon Meem Rashed Archive, accessed June 22, 2024, https://nmrashedarchive.com/item/NMRArch-01-17-031-letter-from-sheila-rashed-to-hosain-shahid.

Identifier

NMRArch-01-17-031-letter-from-sheila-rashed-to-hosain-shahid

Subject

Rà„shid, N. M., -- 1910-1975

Coverage

[no text]

Source

[no text]

Relation

[no text]

Date

1976-09-03

Language

English

Creator

Rashed, Sheila

Recipient

Shahid, Hosain

Translator

[no text]

Contributor

[no text]

Publisher

[no text]

Box

1

Folder No.

17

Folder Name

Sheila interviews and book donations

Item No.

31

Description

Letter sent from Mrs. Sheila Rashed to Hosain Shahid, in which she thanks him for his letter of 18th August. The letter is dated 3rd September 1976. She received his letter earlier but thought it best to reply after she and Nazeil returned from a holiday, as she would be able to give it more time and attention. She writes that she is appreciative of the efforts Shahid is making to ensure her husband's work and memory remains fresh in the nation's minds. She is finding it more difficult to write about Rashed now than before when Mr. Shahid came to visit her in Cheltenham, as the fact that Rashed had passed away had not fully struck her yet. She describes her first encounter with Rashed taking place during a meeting they had about his daughter Tamzin. She spoke for ten minutes about how Tamzin was struggling because of her poor English, as well as how she appeared very unhappy. Rashed listened attentively after which he informed her that Tamzin had been in shock after she witnessed her mother's passing before her eyes. Rashed described feeling great anxiety about keeping the family together, as he was a widower taking care of her four young children. Together they started to brainstorm ways they could help Tamzin improve in school. She adds in pen that discussing techniques for his daughter was the beginning of a great friendship between them. She was thirty-three when she first met Rashed. She had been engaged twice before but broken it off as she did not feel that it was a right match. She wrote that she believed he was attracted to her and wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. For one of their first dates he asked her to come to a lecture he was giving at the Asia Society in New York, after which he asked her to be as critical as possible about the lecture. From November till December they saw each other three or four times a week along with spending time with the children. At the airport before Christmas break he asked her to marry him, and told her that the friendship could not continue if she said no, which she recalls was a tough ultimatum to be given. She had a lot to consider, as he had five children, was from another part of the world, and was eighteen years older than him. She returned to New York in January with her mind made up and they were married in September in England to be close to Sheila's parents. Times were hard, she admits, but the reconciliations made it worth it. They were both strong and independent, and they never hid anything from one another. She recognises his honesty and truthfulness as some of his most outstanding characteristics. He was always forgiving of the weaknesses in others. He strongly believed in the equality of all, no matter how high or low their position. She writes that she always knew when her husband was "hatching a poem" as he was moody for days during the process, but became very happy like a "new man" once he has birthed the poem. He was not what one would call a practicing Muslim, but he was deeply religious in the true sense of the word. He never demanded that Sheila become Pakistani or Muslim. He disliked any kind of totalitarianism or dictatorship. After Rashed's retirement from the UN in 1974, they had the option of living in Pakistan, Italy, or England, but they decided on England for Nazeil as the education was the greatest quality there, they felt. He liked the regency style house and the study where he was surrounded by his books and could write looking out into lush greenery. He was very happy during his retirement, composing poems often, even one day before he died. She writes that he died suddenly without pain, for which she thanks God. She writes that Nazeil, who Rashed called his "masterpiece", was only eleven when his father passed away, but always remembers him fondly.

Format

Typewritten

Type

Text

No. of Files

1

No. of Pages

5

No. of Sheets

5

Physical Dimensions

7.5 X 10

Digitizer

Zain Mian

Cataloger

Alainah Aamir

Donor

Yasmin Rashed Hassan

Year of Donation

2015

Repository

Institute of Islamic Studies