00:00:04 My name is Munir Morad. I am a professor of environmental planning at London South Bank University. I’m also the head of department of urban environment and leisure studies. As head of department, I manage the department’s affairs in terms of its resources, as well as student affairs, and staff development and so on. As a professor of environmental planning, I research that particular field and I’m expected to provide leadership. The reason I got involved in this is a desire to be involved in an area where there is hopefully some tangible consequences that could come out of that research agenda.
00:00:48 I would like to think that as a child I was a perfectly normal child, mischievous at times, and that is the reason I brought with me this memento which is… reminds me of Toady in Wind in the Willows because I like to think that at least in my imagination some aspects of Toady’s character and adventures were close to the way I felt about the world.
00:01:16 I grew up in the Middle East, and it was a… We lived in various parts of the Middle East as a family. There were some challenges that went with that upbringing. I probably did not go to the same school two years in succession, so it gives you an indication about how it panned out, my education. I was ambivalent as to what I wanted to do. I was never quite certain, but I do recall thinking of becoming a teacher, and I suppose that’s what I am now. I do recall thinking of becoming an actor, and took some interest in drama, but then I didn’t pursue it any further.
00:01:58 I do recall the first time that one particular teacher thought and mentioned to me that I was much more able than I probably thought. It’s interesting once you get that sort of encouragement it does inspire you. It does spur you on. I do remember very well for the first time thinking that probably I ought to do a little bit more, to work a little bit harder, and I ought to look at possibilities about what I can do with my career.
00:02:29 I studied geography. That was an area that I am very interested in. I noticed, much to my surprise, that my daughter has also opted to do geography at university. I don’t ever recall encouraging her to do this. I did what probably my parents did. They never asked me to consider becoming this profession, a member of this profession, or aspire to become this, but they always expect me to do well for myself, and that is exactly what I told my daughter, I hope.
00:03:08 When I completed by PhD in London, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, and an opportunity came up to take up a junior lectureship in a smallish college in Wales called Trinity College in Carmarthen. That opportunity was a turning point for me. Until that point, I wasn’t entirely certain what I wanted to do, but I think it provided me with confirmation that probably teaching and research were the two passions.
00:03:52 You will not always achieve the exact objective, but something will come up, and it will be just as rewarding and just as fulfilling if you do not give up. I always maintain that, and it has served me very well, and I’m very grateful for that.