Peace, one and all...
As I mentioned in my opening post, I'm originally an East End lad. In fact, I'm from Hackney. In fact, I'm a third generation Hackney geezer: my father and grandfather both hail from Clapton (where I lived until 22). I grew up on the Clapton Park Estate and went to Mandeville Primary School, before moving on to Hackney Downs (before it was closed of course). Hats off to anyone who went there.
Although Hackney's got it's problems (being one of the poorest boroughs in the entire UK), I still regard as my home; insha Allah, I'll return there one day. The best thing about Hackney is its people; you can people from every part of the earth, speaking every one of the many tongues of man. In many ways, growing up in Hackney opened my eyes to different cultures and viewpoints (other than my own white British background) and thus was directly responsible for my Islam. Incidentally, the picture given here is of the tower blocks on my old estate being blown up in the mid-90s (I was there at the time).
Anyway, more thoughts to follow soon, insha Allah ... It's time for Jumuah