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Hamid shuts repair shop after 32 years.

Byline: PHILIP DEWEY Reporter

AT THE age of 17, Hamid Ghorashi came to Cardiff from Iran for a four-year university course in the 1970s.

But some four decades on, the Iranian is set to retire after running his own business in the city for 32 years - and it all came about as a result of the Iranian Revolution.

Hamid came to the UK in the late '70s to undertake a four-year course in maritime studies at thethen University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (Uwist) in the capital.

The student had been able to undertake his studies thanks to a scholarship grant from the then Iranian government.

But as a result of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 - which saw the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of an Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Khomeini - Hamid's grant was stopped, and in order to fund his studies he got a job at a TV repair shop on Salisbury Road in Cathays.

After his boss retired in 1984, Hamid used his savings of PS1,000 to gain the leasehold of the building and reopened the shop as Micro Electronics.

Speaking about his business, Hamid, of Lakeside, Cyncoed, said: "With a grant I opened up the shop and started repairing black and white TVs.

"I progressed to repairing almost all domestic electronics such as video recorders, hi-fi systems etc. "And later, due to high demand and to diversify my business as the older recording equipment was replaced by equipment from China, I went into IT.

"I'm finishing off the shop now due to the online services, online shopping and mass production of Chinese equipment and am going into semi-retirement.

"This is the end of the line for me at the moment.

"Thirty-two years at the shop, I progressed myself and got used to the new technology through hard work."

Hamid said he is very proud of the business he built up from scratch and says his story is an example of how migrants can succeed in Wales.

But he said the area around the shop has gone into decline over the past 40 years due to Cathays' booming student population.

The divorced dad of three said: "I tried to keep my head above the water. I gave 30 years of service to the community and the city.

"I established myself and had customers from Newport, the Valleys and Bridgend.

"I served the community through a particularly hard time and taught myself new skills through hard work, determination and passion for my business. "The community in Salisbury Road in the '70s, '80s, and '90s was very good and nice community, a happy environment, but it's been killed by the students, they've changed everything.

"I am feeling very sad. It's been a part of me but at the same time I am grateful I have been successful and that can be a lesson to people coming to the country and not to rely on the benefit system by working and running a family.

"My children don't need me any more and it's time for me to enjoy the rest of my life."

Despite shutting the shop, Hamid will keep his hand in the electronics and IT industry by working on a part-time basis from home.

Describing his philosophy on life and business, he added: "My lesson to others is life is upside down and not stable, you have to prepare to diversify everything in the future."


Hamid Ghorashi is closing his business after 32 years. Left, with his two daughters at Micro Electronics in Cathays and right, Hamid as a young man
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 9, 2018
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