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HIDDENIDENTITY:TheStoryofanImmigrantFromPakistan

Sumiya Choudhry
Sumiya Choudhry Video Editor for Mogul at University of Illinois at Chicago
over 1 year Chicago, IL, USA Story
HIDDEN IDENTITY: The Story of an Immigrant From Pakistan

A few days ago, I met a girl who shared her story about being an immigrant from my native home, Pakistan. And before we all jump on a band wagon to judge her, lets all try and listen. Sarah (fictional name) moved here 18 years ago however she never told anyone that she is from Pakistan, like EVER! I was quite shocked because I am one hell of a proud Pakistani and felt the heat rising to my head when I heard her say that but then I told little Miss Judgie Sumi to calm down and  asked her "WHY?" instead of blowing up on her. When Sarah moved here, lets just says times weren't all that great for Muslims in the US due to the 9/11 attack. So, her parents told her that if anyone asks about where she's from, she should just say "I am from Mexico"; yay! to being a brown person in a mostly white neighborhood because no one ever questioned it . This lie that was to save her ass from getting bullied in middle school was carried on until she was a senior in high school. Everyone, all her close friends believed she was Mexican and she could never find the courage to tell her friends the truth. She always felt, they would abandon her for lying to them and blamed her parents for making her lie in the first place. After hearing this, first I was really sad because no entire group should ever be subjected to a crime a few people committed. Second of all, Sarah is still struggling with her identity. She knows more about being a Mexican than Pakistani because anytime a friend asked her a simple question like "what did you eat last time?" she had to look up common Mexican dinners on Google. Me and Sarah had a heart to heart conversation about how she can slowly start talking to people in her life about who she really is and getting to know her own culture as well. ( Also, she gave me permission to share her story as long as her wasn't disclosed in order to help other people who maybe struggling with their identities). Sarah actually ended up making a Post on her Facebook, explaining everything to all the people she knows just yesterday! So, I also wanted to celebrate her huge accomplishment with everyone as discretely as possible. And Sarah, if you're reading this, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!


Much Love, 

Sumiya Choudhry 


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Sumiya Choudhry
Video Editor for Mogul at University of Illinois at Chicago

I love meeting new people, helping my community, and challenging my creative talents.

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