Muhammad Pirzada is an intern for MALA. In his story, he shares how growing up in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan influenced his journey as an American.
There are a lot of contradictions between Eastern countries and the Western World. However, the poverty, unjust practices and war can not be eliminated from our planet, until the conflicts between the East and the West will not come to an end. We should think about humanity above all else.
MALA has given me the opportunity to share some of my life experiences. My name is Muhammad Farhan Anjum Pirzada. I have spent 19 years of my life in Saudi Arabia and 12 years in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is home to the two most sacred sites of the Islam religion, while Pakistan is the only Islamic nuclear state of the world. Therefore, both have a significant role in the Muslim world. I had a very good experience living in these countries.
I completed primary school and high school in Saudi Arabia. It was a great experience. When I was in Saudi Arabia, Muslims from all over the world came to perform their religious activities. Our friends and relatives from Europe, the USA and Pakistan came to Saudi Arabia as a pilgrimage and stayed at our house.
In Pakistan, I saw many changes after 9/11. There were suicide terrorist attacks in public places on daily basis, which killed over 30,000 people. It was the worst place to live after 9/11. During that period, I completed two undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree in Business, and Information Technology. This was really challenging because I was afraid of an unexpected terrorist attack at school, in a bazaar, or anywhere outside of my home. Still, I enjoyed my time there and set up my own business. I wanted to improve my technical skills and move to the USA. I had heard a lot of things about the United States—but it is totally different from what I have seen.
I have seen that as a Muslim, we can wear our traditional and religious dresses. We can practice according to our religious beliefs and there are no restrictions. I am very happy to see these things in the United States of America.
I also found that Americans are very nice and helpful. Whenever someone reaches the corner of the sidewalk, the traffic stops to let him cross the road. When a senior rides a bus, people who are already on the bus give up their seats. When anyone goes to the hospital, no one asks for his citizenship, religion, or financial background.
My journey in United States has just started, and so far it is going smoothly. Today, I feel proud that I live in the United States of America. This country looks like my home country. I want to serve this country.