Name? Ayesha Ghafoor
Where are you from? Berkshire
What do you do? University student
Any special hobbies/talents/interests? I’m a first dan black belt in Goju-Kai Karate
As a young person what is the worst and the best thing about living where you live?
The worst thing was that my friends all lived very far away from me. The best thing is that the train links are very good.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?
Somewhere in South America, in the sunshine, to escape the impending examination period.
If you had to swap bodies with any historical/political figure, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d swap with George W Bush (only for 20 mins though) so I could find out what he thinks – if at all. Is it a coincidence that he predicted that the ‘Axis of evil’ are Iran, Syria and North Korea? And now all three countries are going through periods of huge change.
If I had to swap with someone for a little longer it would be Nelson Mandela.
If you had to invite 3 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be?
Jon Snow, Will Smith and David Attenborough.
What is your favourite form of art? Do you find art to be relevant to society today?
I think all forms of art have their own appeal. My favourite form of art is always changing, but right now it is photography. Photographers definitely have the power to be relevant to society – they can capture moments forever and illustrate negatives and positives in ways words cannot always describe.
Are there any issues concerning young people that you feel are not getting enough attention?
I think the educational system, the rise in university tuition fees, and the bleak job market are the biggest issues concerning young people right now.
As a young person, what is your perception of the actions and values of the prominent politicians of your country? Do you feel there are many aspects of the current political life that need to be changed?
I think political figures are sucked into a system where morals seem to disappear. I don’t think the public has much trust or confidence in current politicians.
Do you feel a person’s identity is defined by their nationality and culture? If so, why?
I think your identity is multi-faceted and defined by many factors. Your nationality and culture are definitely factors. I think the languages you speak, the people you associate with, the area you live in, education and your families play a role. Anything that you are exposed to influences the shaping of your ‘identity’.
Nationality and culture don’t define your identity, but they can influence it.
If you could change any negative perception of young people today, what would it be?
We are all different; stereotypes need to be broken down. Putting people into boxes isn’t healthy and there is too much focus on judging people based on how they look.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
I’m torn between living in Madrid for eleven months and setting up my own company – Azalea London (www.azalealondon.com). Both of which have been huge personal achievements and learning curves in their own ways.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Working hard so I can play hard.
Who or what inspires you?
Travelling is a big inspiration. Being exposed to different ways of life and seeing new places is so refreshing.
What advice would you give to those wanting to volunteer or contribute to society in some way?
To not hold back! You don’t need a reason to help people.
How would you define happiness in a few words?
Laughter, contentment and excitement.
Lastly describe yourself in three words.
“What’s for dinner?”