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Profile 3 - Jimmy Hassan

.By Christina Hamelin with photography by Kristen Ritchie

Jimmy Hassan, who left his home at age 20 to follow his dreams, is enjoying his thriving young family and his successful career. Now in his 50s, his current goal is to give back to his community — his beloved adopted country and his chosen city, Kingston.

Jamshed, known as Jimmy, was born into a poor family in a town in the Sialkot District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. “My father was the first in the family to get a high school diploma. He only had one pair of pyjamas and a shirt that he washed every night, and no sweater in the wintertime.” When Jimmy was one, his father joined the military for financial reasons; he wanted to change his life and help his family. He was posted to east Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and he could only bring one child with him. He and his wife had a newborn daughter, so they had to place Jimmy in a foster family.

“I was adopted by my uncle and auntie. Since then, I’m affiliated with them, and not much with the biological parents, who live in the same town. My auntie and uncle are my mom and dad; I support them and my brother and four sisters.” Jimmy’s new family followed the joint family system, with aunts, uncles and grandparents living together. His people were farmers traditionally but now only rented land. “We had cattle, and my mother sold the butter and milk we made. . . .

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