a song for Afghan refugees in Pakistan: Pekhawara Afghanan che khapa na krre by Naghma

With Pakistan evicting some 600,000 Afghan refugees by the end of this year alone, this song, sung by Naghma in 2011 (I think?), is so real and relevant it’s heartbreaking. Song is at the bottom of the lyrics. The Pashto is in Green (one of my favorite colors, yay!). Immense thanks to T. A. S. for helping with translation of a couple of lines/words I was struggling with.
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the trauma of being an immigrant/musafir – and on music that heals

Blessings of peace and comfort to all readers!

So my grandfather passed away last Sunday. It’s been difficult coping with the loss, and, given my parents’ situation as immigrants struggling to deal with the deaths of their parents over the past years, I’ve been reflecting a lot on being a musafir.

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My Immigrant Pashtun Parents and Me: On Love, Sacrifices, and Change

This was originally published over at the The Thrival Room and titled On Immigrating and Parents’ Love.

My family and I immigrated to the U.S. from Swat, Pakistan, some fifteen years ago when I was twelve years old. Continue reading

On Pakistan’s Sick Choice to Expel Afghan Refugees from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

I almost feel bad for writing this because I think Pakistan’s choice to expel Afghan refugees out of the area is merely a clever tactic to divert people’s attention from the real problem facing Pakistan – militancy and what just happened in Peshawar. It thinks (and it looks like it’s right) that we are a stupid, mindless breed of people and will fall for their lie that our problems exist because of the Afghan refugees we’re not even hospitable to. And so everyone’s going to talk about this and falsely connect militancy and violence to Afghans and Afghan refugees especially and therefore not talk about the real problem facing Pakistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. So by talking about it, I feel like I’m letting them succeed.

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Migrating through virtual spaces: what changing blogging platform feels like

So far, I’m not feeling at home here at WordPress. I suppose that’s because home will Sad Minniealways be home and nothing can replace the one place that helped make us what we are (although, honestly, my homeland, Swat, where I was born and raised half of my life, doesn’t feel like home to me … at least these days). I feel like I’m an immigrant all over again, but this time in a virtual space. It feels strange writing a post, trying to understand all the options and settings here, redirecting links from the older blog to this one … it’s a lot of work, it’s not very exciting, and it doesn’t feel homely. But I have to remember that I’ve moved here for my readers’ sake, so the little sacrifices, which are very much temporary, are totally worth it.

It just brings back too many bad memories of when my family and I first migrated to the U.S. and how strange and foreign we felt in our new home.  The same way I now feel when I visit Pakistan (and hence, no, absolutely no plans of ever living there, but frequent visits, I can look forward to). I hate feeling like this. I’m not a stranger to blogging, and nothing should have enough power to make me feel like that. It’s a sucky feeling, almost makes me unexcited about blogging – that’s not acceptable, either, ’cause I’m always excited about blogging. Always.

But despite WordPress’s superiority to Blogger in many ways, there are a few major and important problems–like with writing drafts that don’t always get saved automatically and, OH MY GOD GET THIS, there’s no way to customize your font size and style!! WordPress thinks it knows what’s best for us, and so once we choose a theme, an outer design for the blog, we’re stuck with ALL it comes with, including the default font sizes and types and colors and whatnot; and you’ve to install some apps to have the option to edit your own fonts. (So, yeah, I did install an app for it, but it didn’t work. And I’m too lazy now to figure out what’s wrong. It shouldn’t be that much work!) That’s just unacceptable. Blogger knows better than to subject its readers to its own preferences! But the draft issue is killing me. Like I’d written a draft of this email, but it somehow didn’t get saved and I had to start all over again. That doesn’t help when I’m trying to convert this place into a nice home for my qrrate. It scares and worries me to death that posts might not always be saved automatically while they’re being written because I’m not used to clicking “save as draft” after every few sentences while writing a blog post! Blogger used to just save automatically and you could come back whenever you wanted and work on it for however long you want. I still have drafts from several years ago in Blogger…. yeah, not sure when I’m supposed to sit down and actually complete them. Such great ideas, too. #ToutesLesSighs (this means “lots of sighs”).

That’s all for now, I suppose. Just some random thoughts on what it’s like migrating through and feeling foreign in virtual spaces.