Taseer K.

Fun Fact About Me

April 22nd, 2003, 1:14 pm, I was introduced to this Earth
On a Tuesday, with the sun high in the sky, a Taurus
I was born in Alexandria, a town as small as a tiny island
A city in the heart Louisiana
Three and a half hours away from New Orleans
Two years old
That is how old I was when I first realized that I was not white
At my preschool, diversity was non-existent
Every child, adult, toy doll, and picture on the wall
Looked back at me with caucasian skin
As light as the full moon in the sky
Meanwhile, my skin was as dark as an old russet potato
One look in the mirror told me I was different from everybody there
The words “I’m not like them” whirled around my little head
Four years old
That is the year I started school for real
I stood out like a Republican in a Democratic protest
I had a different shade of skin and set of beliefs
I was Muslim
Four years old is also when I took a trip to my parents home country for the first time
Karachi, Pakistan
The place that caused me to stick out as much as I did back in America
Right on the bottom of the country by the ocean
A city overwhelmed with pollution
But also a place where my heart feels content
I found out that I wasn’t from a place where people wear shorts and t-shirts
Where I’m from, every child, adult, toy doll, and picture on the wall wore shalvar kameez
The differences just keep on multiplying like bacteria in an incubator
Eight years old
This is when I transfer to a school with more people like me, an Islamic School
The hallways was always filled with girls with white hijabs and navy blue jumpers down to their knees and uniform pants covering their legs
We performed one of five prayers during school
The imam recited verses into the microphone, guiding us all through salah
His voice roamed my head for the rest of the day We had a class dedicated to reading the Quran
I remember hearing the mashed up musical sounds of my classmates reciting the beautiful words in Arabic
I finally felt like I belong somewhere there
Ten years old
Yet another transfer
Again, I stick out like someone who is in the wrong place by accident
5th grade is when everyone starts feeling superior, old, and wise
Everyone is the king of their own kingdom
When you’re a minority
Feeling superior, old, and wise is only a dream
You feel like a servant in the palace basement
I remember my blood boiled with anxiousness
Every time I even thought of middle school
Because in middle school, people get bullied for being different
I am the queen of different at this point
Fourteen Years old
This is when I entered high school
The place of dreams for some and nightmares for others
Without surprise, yet again
I was the only Pakistani girl
I thought I was in the wrong place by accident again
But that was far from true
The forces of nature were in my favor this time
I felt a happiness rise from my toes to my head
I made new friends
I finally accepted my difference
And learned to embrace it
And not hide it
After all, it is impossible to stash away my uniqueness.

Jason Carney