When Sidra was just 11, she moved from Pakistan to America. She tells us about her life in Texas, the place that has become her home away from home.
Life in America is good for Sidra, she has good friends and family but most importantly, she has opportunities. For Sidra, there are several benefits to having moved from Pakistan as a child. For one thing, education is more accessible. There is a good education system in place with opportunities for employment. Having worked since she was 16, this is hugely important to Sidra. Typically, women in Pakistan remain at home while the men go to work. “It’s more freedom. Back home, you tend to be more of a housewife, here I am a career woman and my husband supports that. It’s a lot of different opportunities that you get [in the United States].”
With frequent visits to Pakistan, she has the best of both worlds. When asked what she misses about Pakistan, Sidra told us “My husband, he’s the only thing I miss”. Her husband lives there and she uses Ding to keep in touch with him. “For me, my home is here [the United States] and for him his home is there.”
She tells us there are some difficulties to living in Pakistan. Driving for example is very dangerous and frequent power outages mean that there is no consistent electricity. “You probably have a power outage every 2 hours. Out of 24 hours, you might have 8 hours with power.”
What does Sidra miss about life in Pakistan? “The shopping! In the United States shops can open as late as 11pm but in Pakistan, street markets sometimes stay open until 3am. Sometimes if you are really bored, you think ‘Hey lets go to the market’ and they are open!”
As an expat, Sidra still holds Pakistan in high regard. And when asked about her favourite places in her homeland, Sidra had the following recommendations:
- Islamabad – “It’s really pretty. It doesn’t feel like you are in Pakistan, it’s a different world. It’s very neat, very different.”
- Karachi – “It’s a very fast paced city, just like New York. Plus it’s more of a fun city; you can get pretty much anything you want there. It’s more of a young people’s city.”
- Lahore – “Because it’s old and ancient and if you want to see the old Pakistan, it’s got old buildings and beauty. With a world of opportunities surrounding her, Sidra has truly found a home away from home!
Thank you to Sidra for sharing her story with us! If you have a story to share you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org