Living in America


The following is a clip from a post for ExpressTribune by Taimur Ahmed published on 8 August titled, ‘American life through the eyes of a Pakistani’. The full, original piece can be read by clicking here.

Taimur AhmedOnce you are at immigration you are asked the same questions you were asked when you got your visa.The officers asks you what kind of vegetables you are carrying with you on that particular day, which firearms you decided to bring along and how many times you personally met Osama Bin Laden.

Once you’ve answered these extremely relevant questions you move on out of the airport and hail a cab. The whole ride you think about how unbelievable it is that you are finally in the country where all your favourite movies have been made, you tell yourself you’ve seen that building in some movie and you take picture with your brand new Blackberry to upload it on Facebook.

And then, something unexpected happens.

You reach your destination and contrary to what everyone has told you, the locals are actually nice to you! It’s the Pakistani’s who try to keep their distance. They don’t seem to want to be associated with you, they don’t seem confident enough to let everyone know they are from Pakistan. But it’s okay, because you’ve already made tons of American friends. They are all really nice to you and make you feel really comfortable. They ask you plenty of questions because they seem to know that everything they’ve been shown on TV can’t mostly be true. And that’s when you realize it’s not the American people who hate us, not even the American government.

They do not have any hidden agendas against us; they do not want to harm us.

They just want to make sure that we will in no way harm them. When they see that you will not, you are welcomed as one of them. You have been accepted.

You see, it is not America or the American people who have developed this feeling towards us, they had no need to. It is the hero of many, Mr Osama Bin Laden and his countless followers who have done this to us. They have cast doubts upon us; they have made sure that we are the last ones to be looked at when there’s a job opening even though we might have a better GPA then most of our class.

To change the way they look at us Pakistanis we must change our behavior. We cannot go there and attempt to blow up bombs, it is not right.

Sure, they’re not treating us in the best way possible right now, but why should they?

We fostered the world’s most wanted terrorist, Pakistani’s tried to blow up Time’s Square, Pakistani’s funded terrorist organizations and Pakistani’s come from a country that is nuclear powered and is reportedly on the brink of collapse.

If we do not change ourselves, then it is only a matter of time before we are denied entry not only into the United States but into every civilized society in whole world.




  1. How difficult it is for your government to understand this? I would rather feel hesitant to repeat these words because that would mean we are actually casting doubts on basic of IQ of that person.

    But what can you do? That indeed is the case. Pakistan’s leader, whoever they are, just feel that they can control the world. They feel that it is their birth right to demand the world to come to their feet. That fabled geo-political location, you know?

    You may be surprised that the whole world, including President Obama, have their own set of problems to deal with. And prosperity of Pakistan is the last on that list.

    Trust me on this.

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