Publish
Tennessee

By Thomas S.
Grade 4, Tennessee
Country of Origin: Pakistan

Dear Thomas,
It seems that you have a difficult project at hand; different people came to the United States for different reasons and, as you will find, mine was quite unique. Actually, my coming to the United States closed many doors of opportunities that I would have enjoyed in the old country. However, since all my children that I love, including you, are here, I would not trade the outcome for any thing else.
Let me know if you need answers to additional questions.
Love,
Pa.
1. How long have you lived in America?
I have lived in the United States of America for 51 years.
Did you come alone or with your family?
I came to the U. S. A. all alone when I was 16 years old.
3. Are you glad you came?
I am happy with the outcome most of the time. I, actually, cannot
imagine myself anywhere else because I have my children here. However,
in my insecure moments, I do think of my home in a nostalgic way.
What did you miss most from your home country?
Although I left my home when I was very young, I was, nonetheless, a
product of the culture of the old country. I look at the world in the way of the culture
that I experienced growing up. To sum it up, I miss the old culture very much because
I constantly find myself at odds with the Western way of thinking.
5. What year did you leave Pakistan?
I left Pakistan during the fall of 1958.
6. How is America different from Pakistan?
The United States is highly technological and industrialized and every one thinks within
the context of personal freedom and the needs of one’s immediate family. The United States
is a very rich country and is fundamentally a Christian nation. In comparison, Pakistan is
largely structured as an agrarian society and most people think in terms of one’s extended
family and others in the environment. In comparison Pakistan is a very poor country and is
primarily a Muslim nation.
7. Did you come through Ellis Island?
No, I did not come through Ellis Island. I took a flight from London, England on Quantas Airline
to Toronto, Canada and a different flight from Toronto, Canada to New York.
8. How old were you when you left?
As I stated earlier, I was 16 years old.
9. Were you nervous?
I was very nervous for a different reason than you have probably assumed. I had not seen my father
during most of my growing years because my father had left India for the United States to study at the
University of Missouri in the United States. (Delhi, India was my place of birth and our original home.
We moved to Lahore, Pakistan in 1948 as refugees during the partition of India after the independence
from the British Empire.) I was nervous because I had not informed my father that I was coming here
and did not know if I would even be welcomed, and in the contrary circumstances would not know how
to take care of myself.
10. Why did you come?
Primarily, I came to find my father.



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