My husband, Arif Hussain, who passed away at the age of 19, was an actor, theater founder, screenwriter, film producer, award winner of many international film festivals and executive producer of Hollywood.
Arif was born in Singapore to Rahim Baksh Qureshi, a waterman, and Mehr Bibi Qureshi, a house builder, both originally from Lahore, Pakistan.
Arif’s father moved to the UK in 1960 in search of a new life, while his family waited in Lahore. Unfortunately, political events took hold, and during the Indo-Pakistani war in 1965, young Arif, along with his mother and siblings, was housed in a refugee camp in Lahore.
Contact with Arif’s father was lost because valuable letters with Arif’s father’s address were left in the family home. His mother was illiterate, but Arif managed to memorize the pieces – “Wellington Road, Balston” the way the address was pronounced but not written. Surprisingly, a letter eventually reached Arif’s father in Wellington Road, near Bolston, near Wolverhampton. Rahim had given up hope that his wife and children were still alive. The family reunited in Britain in 1969 when Arif was 11 years old.
These early experiences of being homeless, homeless and orphaned for nine years never left Arif, and became an important part of his work in later life.
After attending Graysley Secondary School and Wolffron College in Wolverhampton, Arif went to the Mountview Theater School in Crouch End, North London, from 1980 to 1983 to study acting. He later co-founded the Almaty Theater Company with Peter Ostinov and Derek Jacobi. Patron, and for six years, he wrote and directed stage plays at his fringe theater venue at the Torres Theater in Tiffany Park, London.
We met on London Weekend Television in 1992 when Arif was cast in a drama Reconstruction directed by Michael Winer’s True Crimes. We got married in 1996 in London.
In 2001, Arif received his Masters in Screenwriting from Northern Film School, along with Film 4. That same year, he co-produced the Kos Films and created the British Short Screenplay Competition, which Sir Kenneth Branagh called “the most prestigious screenplay competition in the world.” The winning screenplays were made into films, and several of Arif’s films won awards at international film festivals, including Greta Scotch, which won Best Picture at Stages, Dobroink, San Francisco Lights, Austin, and Rhode Island. Star Don Twinkle in Outer Space (2008) won Best Picture at Rhode Island and Palm Springs. Khushi Salesman (2010) starring Christopher Eccleston and Archie Punjabi won Best Statement in Rhode Island.
From 2008 to 2011, Arif was a screenwriting lecturer at Middlesex University and the University of Bedfordshire.
He was particularly impressed by the news about the refugees, especially those who drowned at sea. In the last few years, he has traced, met and listened to the 10 survivors scattered around the world. As a result, he signed up as an executive producer with Paramount’s joint feature film Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams.
Arif has survived through me, our children, Omar and Surya, his brother, Fida, and sisters, Shaida and Zahida.
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