The Early Years
A native of Lahore, Pakistan, Farooq Hassan, was a visiting scholar at the Kennedy Center during fall 2003. Lahore is the capital of Pakistan, an area his family has lived in for several generations. “My parents live there; my grandfather lived there. And my family was fairly influential,” Hassan described. “One of my uncles was a chief justice; another uncle was next to the president thirty years ago. My own father held an important position in the government, and my maternal grandfather was one of the greatest poets of India.”
And though deeply connected to Pakistan, London is where he spent the better part of his first twenty-three years. “My home is in two different places. I also think of England as home, where I grew up as a child. My parents sent me to study at Harrow, which is one of the two best schools in England,” Hassan explained. “Winston Churchill went there, and I lived in the same house he had lived in.
“Then I went to Oxford for six years to receive a PhD, and I practiced law there. So I spent a lot of time in England, and I still have a law office in London. When I have time, I go back to London. And I believe what [Ben] Jonson said, ‘if you are fed up with London, you are fed up with life.’ I still tell everyone that London is the best place to go and stay.”