Lancashire Telegraph journalist Shuiab Khan pens comedy book

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A back street toilet roll factory is the location for a new story set in late nineties Lancashire.
Based on true events, ‘Five Guys Named Zaika’ follows the lives of a group of friends who decide to publish their own newspaper in Blackburn.

Written by Lancashire Telegraph journalist Shuiab Khan the story begins on Christmas Eve 1997 and details the first few turbulent weeks as the inexperienced bunch plan to launch the first edition of the Asian Image from their ‘headquarters’ in a factory.

Shuiab said, “There seemed to be a whole myriad of problems and obstacles you only face when you print something in your home town and a paper of this nature. This is made all the more exhausting when you have no money or anybody taking you seriously.

“I don’t think anyone has looked at journalism and in particular ethnic newspapers in this way before. There has always been this community of ‘urban undergound’ publishers and writers who somehow find ways to survive.

“At the same time there are some quite serious moments where prejudice in all its forms is discussed.

“This is most of all a story of strained friendships, religious strife and how an idea that started off as a joke between some guys sat in a takeaway went on to become something much more significant.”

The book title includes the female name ‘Zaika’ whose meaning is revealed during the course of the story. The story lifts a lid on a whole range of issues relating to politics, race, religion, money, drugs, sex, gender and alcohol which are still relevant today.

Shuiab added, “The story celebrates unique Lancashire humour complete with language that is raw and brutally honest.”

The synopsis reads, “Set primarily within a dilapidated office inside a toilet roll factory, this true story explores the uninhibited and comedic tale of how several twenty-somethings set about challenging perceptions of themselves and their own community.

“From censoring the word ‘sex’ to dealing with religious beliefs, we follow the group on their journey during those first turbulent weeks when they are expected to conform to norms but have no real idea what those norms should be.

“Along the way they meet some of the town’s most outspoken residents who have their own ideas about what would make a good story. With the dreaded deadline approaching what seemed like a good idea at the time is quickly turning into their own publishing nightmare.”

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