“I am a first generation Pakistani American. Coming to America from age eleven and being labeled as an Islamic extremist were my biggest struggles.”

“I am a first generation Pakistani American. Coming to America from age eleven, right after September 11, 2001, and being labeled as an Islamic extremist were my biggest struggles. As a child, I wanted to play with other children. Their parents told them that they couldn’t play with me because of what happened on 9/11. Even though I have been judged negatively on my outward appearance, I took it in a positive way and viewed it as a compliment. I see myself as part of the human race and I am proud of that. It is really easy to stereotype me. I don’t even have to say a word and most people already have an image of the Middle East, even though Pakistan is considered a part of southeast Asia. I also struggle with my beliefs, as media has wrongly portrayed Islam, causing people to think that Islam is the definition of terrorism. This has become a repetitive message in my mind, and I am constantly fighting the negative religious and cultural stereotypes.” -Shujahat

“I am a first generation Pakistani American. Coming to America from age eleven and being labeled as an Islamic extremist were my biggest struggles.”

“I am a first generation Pakistani American. Coming to America from age eleven, right after September 11, 2001, and being labeled as an Islamic extremist were my biggest struggles. As a child, I wanted to play with other children. Their parents told them that they couldn’t play with me because of what happened on 9/11. Even though I have been judged negatively on my outward appearance, I took it in a positive way and viewed it as a compliment. I see myself as part of the human race and I am proud of that. It is really easy to stereotype me. I don’t even have to say a word and most people already have an image of the Middle East, even though Pakistan is considered a part of southeast Asia. I also struggle with my beliefs, as media has wrongly portrayed Islam, causing people to think that Islam is the definition of terrorism. This has become a repetitive message in my mind, and I am constantly fighting the negative religious and cultural stereotypes.” -Shujahat