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Asif Rana’s This Briefcase Is Not Going to Explode is the author’s personal and often witty account of the sometimes difficult and complex issues faced by a second-generation immigrant Muslim growing up, living and working in Britain.

Published at the end of December 2021 and consistently receiving five-star reviews, Asif Rana shares his life story as a second-generation Muslim living in the UK with refreshing candor and wit.

Telling his story in short anecdotes makes This Briefcase Is Not Going to Explode an accessible and easy book to navigate; and Asif Rana’s decision to share the good, the bad and the often downright ugly in such an engaging and generous manner is a credit to the author and further adds to the book’s appeal.

Written by a hugely talented writer, this engaging and insightful memoir is a noteworthy addition to any book collection.

The Briefcase Is Not Going To Explode

‘WHAT are you doing, man?! STOP! STOP! Are you trying to blow up this train?!’

The fuzzy grey shapeless form slowly came into focus. I stared at the man, and noticed clumps of perspiration strewn across his puffy, pink brow. Still in a hazy stupor, I could parse the man’s words, but struggled to process them in any meaningful way. Perhaps he covets my new watch? Or maybe my laptop? Why is he talking to me, anyway? Let’s start there. Doesn’t he know the rule about strangers talking on a train? A few moments later… Hang on… Did he just use the phrase ‘blow up this train’?!

Yes, we live in interesting times. More interesting if you happen to be big, brown, and bearded. And that’s just on the 18:52 to Swansea. From Village 247, his ancestral homeland in the heart of Pakistan, to the hostile and often violent town of Burnley in the 70s and 80s. Asif thought his life would be downright boring when he left to study maths at university.

Then 9/11 happened.

THIS BRIEFCASE IS NOT GOING TO EXPLODE is a personal account of a second-generation immigrant Muslim growing up, living, and working in Britain. The book charts the author’s journey from the streets of Burnley, dodging thuggery and mosque thrashings, to navigating academia and the corporate world.

Post 9/11 and later 7/7, he describes abrupt societal change, misapprehensions, and bizarre accusations: dubious money transfers, bulky looking vests, Columbo-type murder plots in the Peak District and more questions at the airport than in a series of Mastermind. Sometimes humorous, sometimes terrifying, though never dull.

Amazon Reviews

“An extremely powerful and witty account of a second-generation immigrant Muslim documenting his journey from his ancestral homeland to growing up, living, and working in Britain. The book highlights the standards by which first or second-generation immigrants are either accepted into or judged to be dissimilar from dominant white culture.

Many immigrant stories are unfortunately filled with sadness and discrimination. Asif’s rich personal stories will strike many chords both with immigrants and native residents. He skilfully tackles many taboo topics – many of which are peppered with humour keeping readers engaged and captivated. Most importantly, THIS BRIEFCASE IS NOT GOING TO EXPLODE assists and encourages readers to open a much-needed space of unflinching dialogue about race and racism in Britain.

As a second-generation immigrant myself, many of Asif’s stories resonate with my own childhood. Although his personal accounts are both alarming and entertaining, they deliver powerful messages which are often silenced. He also illustrates how overcoming adversity and adjusting positively, remarkable success can be achieved.

A highly recommended book to all.” – Omer Ahmed

“Entertaining and enjoyable. Growing up in the 70s and 80s I particularly enjoyed all the cultural references mentioned. The book provides an interesting and educational insight into the turmoil’s of a second generation immigrant Muslim growing up, living and working in Britain.” – Caroline

“I really enjoyed reading Asif’s account of growing up in Burnley, as well as how he navigated his way through school, universities, family, relationships, religion, travel and work. He tells his story as a series of short anecdotes, that are easy to dip into, each one allowing us an insight into his experiences as a Muslim growing up in the North West. For each one, we learn how he responded to challenging questions, welcomed the chance to engage, educate and inform, built solid, trusting relationships and educated himself by connecting with many different people in the some of the most unlikely places. Asif writes eloquently, honestly and wittily, keeping you entertained throughout.” – MsKD

About Asif Rana

“The book charts my journey from the streets of Burnley, dodging thuggery and mosque thrashings, to navigating academia and the corporate world. Post 9/11 and later 7/7,  it describes abrupt societal change, misapprehensions, and bizarre accusations: dubious money transfers, bulky looking vests, Columbo-type murder plots in the Peak District and more questions at the airport than in a series of Mastermind.”

Asif Rana is an IT Consultant by trade and has worked with some of the largest and most celebrated global organisations (some not so celebrated). He’s also started more than half a dozen books, though never quite reached Chapter Two.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Pure Mathematics and master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from Imperial College, London (neither were particularly useful while completing this book). He lives in the South of England with his wife and four, trying children.

When not writing or buried in some recondite IT project, he enjoys keeping fit, still convinced a sub 20-minute 5K is within reach.

Asif is a reluctant social media user, mostly restricting activities to LinkedIn for professional related matters and Twitter to complain about train companies.

Find the book:

Published by Aliksir Press, This Briefcase Is Not Going to Explode is available in paperback (£7.90) and Kindle format on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3IWND1y and https://amzn.to/3unjTaf respectively.

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