Masum Mussa Alibhai
|Masum Mussa Alibhai|
The other two older brothers worked with Ebrahim Haji Freres--Masum in Stanleyville and Yusuf in Kinshasa from 1964.
After schooling Mehboob went to London to take an opticians course and Kaneez accompanied him there to learn hair-dressing.
The youngest son Aun looked after the Kindu branch of Ebrahim Haji Freres for four years.
Kindu during Belgian rule was a pleasant one-road town lined with bougainvillaes, shops and cafes. But a week after Independence violent rebellions followed and there was an exodus of almost the entire European population overnight. After that the infrastructure of the town deteriorated very rapidly.
But Aun recalls the good life he experienced in Kindu---before 1974. At that time Kindu had a small Asian population, around 60-70 Hindu families and maybe a total of 50 persons in the Ishna Ashari Jamaat.
The two communities shared a good relationship and had a joint club,The Indo-Pakistan Club where all social activities took place. Religious festivals like Navratri, Diwali and Eid were celebrated by all and all Indians regardless, closed shop on these days.
Most of the Asian children went to the French missionary schools; these were quite adequate and many students went on from here to pursue their higher education abroad. There were good hospitals too and life was very pleasant, even though the electricity was turned off at ten o'clock every evening.