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Schools  – Main Page (summary of everything)

 

I just had the most extraordinary week!  

[THESAURUS: riveted]

MONDAY  24 June

West London

Boys’ independent school (~£25,000 pa).

The entire Year 9 (200 boys) received the narrative performance.  They were riveted.  Many hung around afterwards (during their Break) to ask me questions.

WEDNESDAY  26 June

Blackburn, Lancashire

Large, mixed comprehensive school with 95% of pupils from ethnic minority and/or economically challenged households.

The entire Year 9 (270 pupils) received the full 90-minute narrative performance.  They were spellbound.  Afterwards, there were three one-hour workshop/discussion sessions for smaller groups in a classroom huddle setting.  Each hour just flew by!  They were enthralled.

FRIDAY 28 June

Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Small, special educational needs school for pupils who (for various reasons) are now excluded from the mainstream education system.

A small group of Year 10 pupils (15+ in age) received the full 90-minute narrative performance.  They were fascinated.  They remained engaged and alert.

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​​​​​
UK Speaking Tour Road Trips: Feb-March and June-July and Sept-Dec

The subject ENGLISH isn't just about Spelling and Grammar
– it's about LIFE.
60 Years of Life Lessons (not found in textbooks).

 

 

 

 

 

The best UK school speaker you’ve never heard of …
... sorry ... I mean … of whom you’ve never heard …

FREE all day at your school.   

(There is only a nominal £240 contribution to overall expenses

– no other charges.)

Once you’ve heard of him, he won’t be free anymore.

 

Broadly two options (you can customise further):
Morning:      Narrative Performance/Q&A for an entire Year Group

Afternoon:   Narrative Performance/Q&A for an entire Year Group

or

Morning:      Narrative Performance/Q&A for (an) entire Year Group(s)

Afternoon:   Smaller classroom discussion groups/workshops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smaller, classroom session, after the main narrative performance. 

 

Phase Three (September - December) dates now available for reservation.  (A treat for the new academic year – for students and staff!)

Please book your date before your well-deserved summer break.  
 

ALL DETAILS (content, format, messaging, logistics, available dates)

are detailed via the links above.

Please select your preferred date and send an email to secure it.
 

(The cost is only a nominal £240 contribution to expenses

no additional charges).  

 

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No deserts this time, I expect  – just the green and pleasant fields of Britain.

… Imran … examines who he really is in a series of compelling stories that, taken together, demonstrate how it is possible to change attitudes and beliefs even when one is adult. It leaves one with a feeling of Hope for humanity, so needed in the dark times we are living through.’ 

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE

Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute

UN Messenger of Peace

‘Imran Ahmad’s book, The Perfect Gentleman, is a very enjoyable and pertinent book for Year 9 and above.  Many reviews talk about its “readability” – this is absolutely spot-on.  The steady evolution of the narrative voice as the first-person protagonist gets older ensures its accessibility to a range of ages and experiences.  The immersion into the details and texture of life at each age/year is vivid and extraordinary. 

Imran’s ‘narrative performance’ on stage is absolutely riveting and delivered with raw passion and energy.  From giving the students a jaw-dropping insight into late 20th Century Britain – encyclopedias, UHF televisions, endemic discrimination, Orientalism in the Narnia stories, women’s rights (or lack thereof) – to his pursuit of Belonging (“being British”) by adopting a 'James Bond' persona in his worldwide travels … and how this all changed after 9/11.

Imran weaves a narrative tapestry of his life and his challenging publishing journey, and from this he extracts brilliant life lessons which are absolutely pertinent to the student audience (and the teachers!).  As he says: “I wish that someone had told me these things when I was your age.”

The entire package of Book + Narrative Performance + Discussions has a sharp relevance far beyond Year 9 English – encompassing Religious Studies (very broadly), Sociology, Modern History, Citizenship, PSHE and so on – and being of interest all the way up through sixth form and teachers too! 

Going forward, what I think will work best for us is one full hour of the high-energy narrative performance in the morning for the widest audience, followed by smaller group discussion sessions/workshops for the rest of the day.  I hope that Imran will be able to make an annual visit to our school.’

Gemma Price​​​​ – Head of English & Media
The Thetford Academy, Thetford, Norfolk

‘I loved this book. I accidentally left the library's copy of the book at school and was so devastated that I paid $12 to download it onto my Nook so I could finish. This coming from someone who hasn't paid for a book in 2+ years.
The book is funny, honest, and discusses topics like racism and religion in ways that encourage the participation and critical thinking of the reader. For my ESL students, the beginning chapters are short enough to be manageable in one sitting. The book will also appeal to more reluctant readers and students, especially because the author himself admits to going through stages of academic reluctance himself.
I definitely plan to recommend this book to students for summer reading and use excerpts in class next year.’

Karen M – High School English and ESL Teacher (English as Second Language)
Boston, MA, United States

‘Imran held schools workshops in which the children and teachers alike were engaged, spellbound, and deeply moved.  His uplifting and inspirational message has universal resonance – regardless of background, culture or ethnicity.  He's also very, very funny.’

Paula Truman – Schools Workshop Organiser

Morley, Leeds

 

‘Imran gave a tremendous speech ... He speaks from the heart, is entertaining and engaging – and is a first-rate public speaker.’

Barbara Herts – Former CEO YoungMinds

London

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My presentation is usually a very lively, passionate ‘narrative performance’ (interactive workshop for school audiences) – combining: reading of passages from the book; insights into the extraordinary social evolution of the United Kingdom in the late 20th Century; anecdotes and life lessons from the amazing publishing journey; and self-deprecating humour.  

Year 9 and above, and teachers as well they all find this fascinating, entertaining, riveting.  

To book a speaking event, please get in touch by e-mail

(contact @ unimagined .co .uk)
Please include EVENT in the Subject header to clear the spam filter.

UK SCHOOLS:

(Reserve your date and see also 'Notes for Schools' below.)
(Non-UK schools: different terms apply
please email me.)

My events were 100% FREE in Phase One (no speaking fee, or travelling/hotel expenses, or submission of receipts for sandwiches purchased en route). I required only: a parking space; black coffee (no sugar).

In Phase Two and Phase Three, I will be charging only a nominal fee of £240 (full day, all inclusive, no additional charges) to contribute to all my expenses (including: airfares to/from UK, basic hotels, car mileage at standard 45 pence per mile, Costa Coffee, egg & cress sandwiches … ). 

Typically, I would be at your school for one entire day and deliver a lively narrative performance/workshop in the morning, and another in the afternoon.  But we can configure the day however you like – although there should be at least one narrative performance, as most of the 'Rules for Life' emerge from the story of the publishing journey.  (For example: a morning narrative performance could be followed by smaller discussion groups later in the day.)  

This is not relevant solely for Year 9 English.  The story narrated/performed is absolutely pertinent to English, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Sociology,  PSHE, Modern History, Citizenship,  all Humanities in general – and the target audience is from Year 9 to sixth-form to adult (including the teachers, who look just as riveted as the students).  The story includes life's decisions about higher education and career etc.  

Book signing (if desired) potentially can be during lunchtime and at the end of the day.  I am happy to sit in the library (or wherever) at lunchtime and answer students' questions and chat with them informally.  

 

Generally, in my presentations, I do not discuss: Religion or specific religions, God or specific gods, current world conflicts, politics, etc.  My focus is on: emotional intelligence; our common humanity (there is no 'Other'); some positive 'Rules for Life'

 

The book is quoted to demonstrate the extraordinary evolution of British society over the last 50-60 years.  This is a lively narrative performance, with age-appropriate humour. 

See 'Notes for Schools' under the tour schedule below.

Reserve your date!  Send me an email

Weekdays – Schools have priority
Evenings and weekends – available for Bookshops

 

UK SPEAKING TOUR Road Trips details will be updated here:

PHASE ONE:  FEBRUARY - MARCH 2024  

PHASE M (Malaysia): APRIL - MAY 2024  reserved dates shown below.

PHASE TWO:  JUNE - JULY 2024  plan now published below.

PHASE THREE:  SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER 2024  

Schools: this is the one that really works for you, isn't it?  I understand the pressure you're under concerning exam preparations!  Leap in now and secure your Autumn term date.  Phase Three is on a separate page.  Thank you!  

 

PHASE ONE (UK)  (remaining ...)

FEBRUARY

 .....

MARCH

Thursday  14     ILFORD -- The Ursuline Academy

Monday  18     I will be in BRISTOL area

Tuesday  19     Reserved     

Monday  25     LIVERPOOL -- Maghull High School

Tuesday  26     NORFOLK -- academic trust -- planning meeting

Wednesday  27   Reserved S.E. LONDON  

Friday  29   Good Friday   Thank God for the break!

 

PHASE M (Malaysia)

KUALA LUMPUR area

Dates available up to 29 May. 
Reserved dates will be posted here. 

Tuesday  23 April   Reserved

Wednesday  24 April   Reserved

Friday  26 April   Reserved

Monday  29 April   Reserved

Tuesday  30 April   Reserved

Friday  3 May   Reserved

Tuesday  7 May   Reserved

Monday  20 May   Reserved

Wednesday 29 May   Reserved

PHASE TWO (UK) 

(nominal fee applies, see 'SCHOOLS' above and 'NOTES FOR SCHOOLS' below)

JUNE

Sunday  2   HARROW -- Avanti House School:  englishteacher.co.uk

Monday  17   Reserved

Tuesday  18   Reserved

Wednesday  19  Available for Scotland

Thursday  20   Available for Scotland

Friday  21   Available for Scotland

Saturday  22

Sunday  23

Monday  24   HAMPTON, Middx -- Hampton School

Tuesday  25   

Wednesday  26   BLACKBURN, Lancs -- Pleckgate High School

Thursday  27   

Friday  28   STOKE-ON-TRENT -- Sporting Stars Academy

Saturday  29

Sunday  30

JULY

Thursday  4   STAINES, Surrey -- The Matthew Arnold School

Saturday  13

Sunday  14

Monday  15     THETFORD, Norfolk -- The Thetford Academy

Tuesday  16

Wednesday  17

Thursday  18   Reserved

Friday  19   Reserved

PHASE THREE (UK)

(nominal fee applies, see 'SCHOOLS' above and 'NOTES FOR SCHOOLS' below)

SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER

This should work best for schools (well before frenzied exam season).  The Phase Three tour schedule is now published on a separate page, so that you can leap in and secure your date. 

Thank you.  

NOTES FOR UK SCHOOLS

(Different terms apply for non-UK schools – please email me.)

My events were completely FREE for schools in Phase One.  A nominal fee of £240 (full day, all inclusive, no additional charges) has been introduced for Phase Two and Phase Three, to contribute to all my expenses (airfares to/from UK, basic hotel near the school, car mileage at standard 45 pence per mile, egg and cress sandwiches, Costa coffee ...).

Life Lessons

Despite the subtitle of the book, for school audiences I steer clear of talking about: Religion or specific religions, God or specific gods, politics, current world conflicts, etc.  

 

My focus is on: emotional intelligence; our common humanity; some positive 'Rules for Life'.  The book is quoted to demonstrate the extraordinary evolution of British society over the last 50-60 years.  I also talk about my publishing journey, the lessons I learned and am still learning.  This is a very lively narrative performance, with age-appropriate humour.  

  Unity, Diversity, Equality: there is no 'Other'.  Our common humanity is greater than all of our perceived or imagined differences.  It is a mistake to base our personal identity on not being one of them.  

  Don’t make assumptions about anyone if you don’t know them or haven’t met them in person.

  Anything which happens to you, or which anyone does to you – don’t take it personally.  If you can avoid taking things personally, it can significantly improve your entire life.  This is very, very difficult – but if you can put it into practice, you can sail through life a much happier person.  If the school is a Church school (of whatever denomination), I will extend this (by several orders of magnitude) to mention: 'Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do' ... as the most powerful version of this attitude.  But only if appropriate for the school.  

  Always do your best.  Whatever you are doing, whatever the task in hand (even if it’s a chore like washing up or sweeping leaves), give it your best effort and your full attention.  The Buddhists call this ‘mindfulness’ (oops ... I mentioned a religion, but only in passing).  Doing your best at everything you do can have wonderful outcomes in your life which you can’t imagine. 

Visualise your Dream ... but you must take the first steps and do the necessary work

 

Disappointments line the route to success

Don’t be afraid to try something new … something outside your experience and comfort zone.

 When your intentions are pure ... MAGIC happens … illustrated with amazing real life examples.

 'This, too, shall pass' … change is inevitable ... the dark night of the soul ... it cannot last for ever ... there are always possibilities ... 'Life can turn on a dime' ... all illustrated with astonishing real life examples.

Some of these lessons (but not the real-life examples) are derived from The Four Agreements, an inspiring book by Don Miguel Ruiz – this is acknowledged during the narrative performance. 

I talk about my personal ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ – in which both my corporate career and my writing career were at rock bottom – but change and transformation came from a most unexpected direction (does not involve drugs or religion – this is a secular and ‘clean’ talk).  I had to be willing to step out of my old established patterns and try something new which came my way.  

Book:

The Perfect Gentleman – a Muslim boy meets the West  by  Imran Ahmad 

(Originally published in the UK/Australia as Unimagined  but renamed when my American publisher took global rights.)

I quote from my book and also talk about my extraordinary experiences (and lessons learned) from the amazing publishing journey.  The book narrates in poignant and immersive detail the evolution of Britain and the extraordinary social changes which have taken place over the last 50-60 years.  Today's young people are incredulous about how life used to be – but the narrative timeframe is less than one lifetime! 

With all the current preoccupation with colonial wrongdoing and historical injustices, my opinion is that no one alive today is responsible for what their ancestors may (or may not) have done to my ancestors (and vice versa).  Instead, let us focus on where we are today – we must strive for: social justice, equality of rights and opportunities for all, unity, humanity, compassion, respect, integrity ... and, by the way, our precious Earth (the only home we have) is seriously unwell and we must together do everything we humanly can to help her to heal (for all our sakes).  

I am happy to inscribe and sign books after each event, but I do not carry any copies for sale – therefore, I would appreciate it if pupils are advised of the website (www.unimagined.org) in good time before the event, to source their own copies.  The book is orderable from all local independent bookshops (as well as the usual corporates), and independent bookshops are being given a discount which allows them to be competitive with Amazon.  Your school could also negotiate a favourably discounted bulk order from a local independent bookshop. 

Technology

I do have very interesting visuals, to illustrate the narrative, so a screen/projector is required.  (I can potentially deliver the narrative performance without visuals, but it would be less engaging.)  I have the visuals on a USB memory stick, so if I can use your computer, that is preferable.

The Evolution of British Society in the Last 50-60 Years

I quote from the book generally to demonstrate how much the United Kingdom has changed in just in one lifetime.  Contemporary pupils find some of these observations jaw-dropping. 

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Email me to reserve your date, as per the tour plan.  I am sorry if the dates in your area 'sell out'.

Please share this page with other staff and schools that might be interested.  Thank you.   
contact @ unimagined .co .uk

Never a dull moment on stage!

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