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Our Colleagues Share Their Thoughts on Floods in Pakistan & Bangladesh

Floods - Pakistan/Bangladesh

Our British-Bangladeshi and British-Pakistani Salesforce colleagues have shared their thoughts and stories on the recent floods.

We have all seen the effects of climate change recently. Our British-Bangladeshi and British-Pakistani Salesforce colleagues have shared their thoughts and stories on the recent floods, what it means to them and how they have been impacted.

First Generation British Pakistani: Ruqaiyah Jaffery

It’s hard to quantify how the Pakistan floods have affected me – and one may question, why they have at all.

Historically, people from the now Pakistan region, served in the British Indian Army as soldiers, and following Pakistan’s independence, migration increased fundamentally, primarily to help solve labour shortages following the Second World War. Like many others, my parents migrated to the UK at this time.

So back to the original statement – why have the floods affected me? On one hand, I am British and on the other, I am Pakistani. It’s a stark reminder on my ethnicity declaration forms that I am indeed a ‘British Pakistani’ – a mixture of both. Anyone who knows me knows how patriotic I am to the UK – I feel extremely blessed to be part of this great nation, to have incredible opportunities, am an avid believer that a cup of tea can solve almost anything and love the rain. However, a large part of my identity is Pakistani – from the cultural aspects, the upbringing and the common experiences and instantaneous empathy I have with other British Pakistanis, through our shared experiences of being children of immigrants. The older I get, the more I realise that both these identities are equally important to me and I am very privileged to have embraced both.

I’ve travelled to Pakistan numerous times, stayed in the villages my parents grew up in, felt the love of a close-knit community, cooked on an open fire, carried water from a well and washed clothes in a stream. It sounds magical – because it is. It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people and the floods remind me that these people are my people – who need help.

Climate Change: Maz Ahmad

There has been a fallacy for far too long that climate change is someone else’s problem. Having successfully managed to get CFCs banned in the 90s to stop damage to the Ozone layer – we’ve never really kicked on and tried to tackle climate change head-on.

It’s always been someone else’s problem. Some far-off land has seen sea levels rise. Not here, so I’m not affected. Some place has had crop failure again, not in the UK so not my problem. Greta Thunberg has gone Viral as a meme, this isn’t serious stuff, right? I’ll just go a drive my SUVs as normal – this is not our problem. Why are these people glueing themselves to the road?? Then finally the penny drops… The UK sees 2 major heatwaves -and then my parent’s homeland suffers a catastrophic, once-in-a-generation climate change event. Climate change is everyone’s problem and at some point, everyone will be impacted. Be it through dramatic, life-changing events, right through to the type of cars you can drive and light bulbs you keep at home.

It is refreshing that Salesforce has adopted sustainability as a core value as this is what awaits the world if humanity doesn’t change its trajectory. It is vital that we continue to use our business as a platform to drive awareness and create meaningful impact. I’ve already made small changes at home, starting with smart plugs, and energy-saving bulbs, right through to getting rid of my diesel cars. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.

Pakistan Floods: Neeha Gohar

As a British Pakistani Gen Z, I always had a special place in my heart for Pakistan! Pakistan is renowned for its mouthwatering traditional cuisine, its northern highlands, and the great hospitality it provides. Seeing an incredible transformation over the years – I’m really proud of how far we have come.

On social media when I first saw the photos and videos go viral, I felt very saddened. A third of Pakistan is underwater, and one in seven Pakistanis has been affected by the disastrous floods. One story, in particular, was about Romania Bibi, a woman from a northern province. She was unable to sleep because the floods damaged the boundary walls and the water was coming in. No shelter, food or water – lives had been taken away.

The scale of this disaster is overwhelming and now is the time to help!

Being Authentic: Koser Khan

Authenticity is a realisation and celebration of all that you are today, what you were yesterday and aspire to be tomorrow. This journey of self-awareness brings together the values of one’s environment, both inherited and acquired. For me, these values are core to being your true, authentic self in all that you do – at home, and at work – and precisely why I have loved working at Salesforce for 9+ years.

As a British-born, Pakistani Muslim, what does authenticity mean? It’s an appreciation of the very best of my Eastern and Western cultures, our shared values and humanity; with a little bit of tradition, a little bit of modernity and a lot of faith mixed in. I’m keen for my daughter to inherit this sense of pride, too and in February this year, I took her to Pakistan for her very first visit at 11 years of age. She was blown away by the love and welcome from family and friends, the agricultural lifestyle, the scenic landscapes, the historical landmarks, the heritage and traditions and was keen to book her next trip on the return flight home!

When news broke of the catastrophic floods engulfing more than a 1/3 of the country, we were all heartbroken. Knowing that 1400+ lives had been lost, 735,000+ livestock drowned, 2 million acres of crop damaged, infrastructure & livelihoods destroyed and 33 million Pakistanis affected – it was time to not only pray for the lives lost and hope for a better tomorrow but also to donate and take action to support our fellow humans. We’ve been shopping and shipping essentials whilst also donating to local causes that are working day and night to get to the most remotest, and worst-affected, parts of Pakistan.


Whilst our recent trip to Pakistan awakened my daughter’s realisation and appreciation for another part of her authentic self, these floods, however, are a stark reminder of our collective climate risk and responsibility, and shared humanity to support the people of Pakistan.

Trips to Pakistan: Mohsen Shakoor

I was born and raised in the UK, English was the only language spoken at home and for a long time, I didn’t visit Pakistan, but I have always been Pakistani as much as I am British. I am now fluent in Urdu, owing to my love for Pakistani and Indian music and movies.

Visiting Pakistan, for the first time in 2018 was an experience I will always cherish, from visiting family members for the first time to enjoying local street food and so much more. The following year I had the honour of taking my mother back to Pakistan – her first visit in nearly 30 years. Little did I know, my mother’s childhood neighbourhood has a famous landmark named ‘Ghenta Ghar’ (Clock Tower) which forms the nexus around which the city life rotates. If you take a birds-eye view, the streets and buildings are built in the shape of the Union Jack. Though not intentional, given it was constructed at the time of the British Raj, it symbolises my identity as a British Pakistani. The plight of Pakistan breaks my heart, we need to come together and show our support by donating and raising awareness.


Bangladesh Floods: Ahsan Ahmed

Over the past decade, I’ve been incredibly proud of Bangladesh’s noticeable progress and transformation. I’ve always had curiosity and appreciation for my Bangladeshi background and culture as I’ve visited frequently.

When I saw photos and videos of the floods going viral on social media, I couldn’t help but think of all the progress in recent years being undone. Every picture and every video had an underlying story of dozens of families whose livelihoods were ruined by something they had no control over within a matter of days.

Bangladesh emits just 0.5% of the global emissions, yet it is a country that’s severely affected due to climate change.

Accountability: Mehnaz Khan

I am a second-generation British Pakistani and proud South Londoner. I owe a big part of my heritage and culture to Pakistan, the country where my father is laid to rest and where many of my family still reside. Watching one-third of the motherland being washed away and the suffering that it has left behind has disturbed me deeply triggering big emotions – guilt, grief and despair to name but a few.

I too am overwhelmed by the devastating natural disasters and humanitarian issues we are facing. It is impossible to absorb. Whilst my cultural proximity to Pakistan may drive my sense of urgency I believe my sense of injustice is real. The media coverage and international relief response to a crisis of such a large scale has felt – muted. This really hurts and it feels deeply unjust. Is this because we now know this isn’t a purely natural disaster?

People desperately need urgent help. Not just in Pakistan but across the globe. Lives, ways of life, and whole societies are being threatened and devastated due to causes to which they proportionately did not contribute – climate change. The most pressing reality of our time, and being born in the global North I accept that I personally benefit from our disproportionate contribution to its causes.


Bold climate action is the only way forward. We’re proud that we at Salesforce consider the planet a key stakeholder and are bringing the full power of Salesforce to accelerate the world’s journey to net zero.

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