Today’s mood: Contemplative.
One of my favorite memories of growing up – I was a bit of a rebellious as a teen and my Pakistani parents felt the only way to straighten me up was to send me back to Pakistan to finish up high school. I was so upset – protested as much as I could without success, and my friends and I cried our goodbyes promising to keep in touch regularly.
I fell in love with Pakistan immediately. I felt right at home with all of the people welcoming the “American” with so much warmth and hospitality. I was free to be myself and didn’t have to defend my beliefs or explain my traditions like I did at my old school, and my own American-ness was never judged or questioned by anyone there.
I am always grateful for that trip for showing me another side of my own heritage that I could never have imagined existed. I was changed forever by the music, art, and poetry I witnessed – especially when I visited Bhit Shah, the shrine of Sufi Saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
I had worried it would be boring because, you know, it was a Muslim country and all, and I had this perception of what that was, but I think I had more fun partying there than I ever did at home. So, it was a sad moment when the decision was made to bring me home after only a few months. Pakistani standards of education were much higher – a 10th grade student is required to have completed both Physics and Chemistry, and my parents were not going to put me back in 8th grade again, so it was back to California I went.
This is what Islam is to me, what i actually witnessed in real-life, and not something I just read somewhere on the internet. So when I am saddened by the things going on in the world, and the hate and the lies that are being spread about Muslims by people who don’t care to understand them, I remember these memories and feel a bit hopeful.
An excerpt from “Peace”
The Echo and the call are the same,
if you sound’s secret knew -They both were one, but two
became only when ‘hearing’ came
– Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
Jacket: Zadig & Voltaire – Similar Style | Top: H&M – Similar Style| Pants: Loft | Shoes: Isabel Marant – Similar Style | Bag: Tory Burch | Sunnies: Ray-Ban | Necklace: Gift from Morocco (Thanks to my sis Rania!)