Rahat was born in Sahiwal, Pakistan on 20 July 1949. She conducted both her secondary and university education in Pakistan, gaining an MA in Journalism from the University of Punjab at Lahore. Whilst there she was awarded the Gold Medal for coming first in her academic year by the Pakistan Information Minister who promptly offered her a job as Information Officer for the Government, a role she stayed in for six months. She came to the UK in June 1977 to be with her husband who was studying Computer Science at Manchester University. They lived in both London and Coventry and she spent her time, while her husband was studying and working, in the library working on the development of her MA thesis into a book called Evolution of Urdu Editorial: 1802–1974. In 1979, she and her husband and son then went to live in Saudi Arabia where her husband was employed by Aramco and they stayed there until 1985 when she returned to the UK with their now three children (her husband returned in 1990). In 1991, Rahat applied for and was recruited as one of four bilingual speech therapy co-workers in Newham, East London. At the time, therapists were finding it difficult to ascertain whether children with speech delay or difficulties were speaking in their first language or simply finding it difficult to communicate. Rahat continues to work in this role, but has also continued to write, publishing three books (with one currently going to press) of Urdu poetry and nursery rhymes specifically for parents to use when helping their children to overcome speech difficulties.
I love my work
Some parents, they don’t think that it is their role to sit on the floor with their children to play with them until you explain to them. And when they see the results, they appreciate it. It is really useful to explain to them if they don’t speak English. And sometimes the parents you can see in their eyes that they want someone who can speak their language.For me this job is like my hobby, I just enjoy every day.