happy independence pakistan

i don’t believe in borders or nation states. don’t judge a person’s value or humanity based on what side of a border (any border) they were born or raised.

flags make me uncomfortable because they stand in for nationalism/patriotism and inevitably symbolize death and destruction for many ‘others’.

but i have deep feelings for pakistan – for its hardworking people (whether they clean homes, chauffeur cars, or work the land in rural areas), for the urdu language and the way it makes my heart stand still (so much beauty and emotional eloquence), for its undulous or jagged landscapes, for its mythical cities, for its old trees and ancient dust, even for its stifling hot summers and bright winters, for my parents who are there at the moment, and for the friends and family i have grown up with and love.

i have one of those hyphenated identities but i’m glad that pakistan is where it all began. my dream is to be able to return often, support the changes pakistanis are fighting for, and envision, along with them, a kinder, more equitable, richly diverse home for the 220 million who depend on it for joy and sustenance. ameen.

With high school friends in Islamabad, in 2013

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