Going home to Pakistan


by Farwah Ghalib Excerpt from work in progress After a long day’s flight in June, 2011 we arrived at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan. Just the thought of finally arriving to my destination made me feel overwhelmed and excited. This was the place where my father was born and raised, where I spent the first two years of my life with my family, and it was home to many of my close family members. I felt deeply connected to the land, and the history, as I inhaled the warm air. The vaguely familiar scent around me smelled like home to me, even though my 8-year-old brother described it as “disgusting, like something is rotting.” As we drove to the most expensive restaurants in Pakistan, we passed by hundreds of beggars on the streets. On my way to luxurious meals, I saw children who did not look like they had much to eat. As I saw widespread poverty throughout Pakistan, I felt very heartbroken. I felt helpless since whatever I might offer would barely make a difference. Any amount of money, food or clothing I offered to the poor people would not change the bigger picture. Seeing such poverty in Pakistan reminded me how privileged I am to be surrounded by people that care for me, to have a place to live with comfort, and to be in the company of a family who takes care of my needs. ** Blank-bioFarwah Ghalib is a third year student double majoring in Health Studies and Psychology, and minoring in Human Geography. Farwah works at the UTSC Health and Wellness Centre as the Campus Program Coordinator for Mental Wellness, and also has another part time position at The Children’s Place. Farwah enjoys travelling, as it offers her the opportunity to experience the beauty of different places, cultures and environments that are all unique from one another.  ]]>