It meant that he made a sacrifice for us
Mariya Ilyas ():And so, um, when we moved to the States and all of that was taken away, that, you know, that, that, um, that, uh, model, um, and then my father, um, emphasized education, um, I, I knew that that meant f- what that meant for him. So at the time it was, you know, three, my three sisters and I, so four girls. And in patriarchal Pakistan, um, as you might know, it’s, um, it’s [inaudible ] to have a boy in the family. And so for my father, our only hope was education.
And so what appeared be an abandoned site, um, was actually home to a beautiful spiritual life
And when he, we, when we moved to the States, he gave up on his dream to pursue a PhD and to teach at a university and take up a job so that he could support us. And so he, um, every day when we, you know, we’re going to school, in elementary school, he would say that, you know, “I will always be the person that works in the family. You guys study. You know, if you need books, if you need supplies, I want to see you succeed.” And so, um, you know, the fact that he prioritized education in my life and that has opened up so many doors for me, that’s where I got convi- my conviction from; is, um, I can’t let him down.
I felt that this constant identity c- uh, conflict that I had carried with me or always do carry with me, um, was just, you know, it was as if somebody had, um, unlocked a cage in my soul and let it roam freely. (more…)