Editor Colleen here. This week, we’d love to share the stories captured by one of our most favorite writers, Noor Pasha.
Noor is from Lahore, Pakistan, where she is currently a student in medical school. For Noor, writing began as a hobby, something she would do to wind down from a long day. However, Noor quickly found joy in writing and capturing stories. Luckily, she came across our page, allowing us to share in her passion!
As editors, we love her attitude. She’s spunky, easy-going, and her ability to find the heart of a story is powerful. Many of her stories are not of family or friends, rather, they are of people whom she’s just met on the street!
I didn’t mean for this to be an “ode to Noor,” but I’m not mad that it’s turned out this way. In fact, I encourage you to share in my appreciation for such a hardworking storyteller. Read on and you’ll see.
No. 5 – “The Slum Life”
This is the story of Nasreen Kiran
With my condition, I could never give my husband a son or a daughter to accomplish that mission. I felt useless. I was unable to fulfill my most important responsibility as a wife.
30-year-old Nasreen lives with her husband Naeem and adopted daughter Iqra in a small canvas tent located in an open plot in Lahore, Pakistan. At 18, was forced into an arranged marriage with a nomad who lived an even harder life than where she came from, but she made the best of it.
No. 4 – “A Peddler’s Dream”
This is the story of Ifran Amin
I wasn’t angry. I was just sad. I didn’t have any relatives in the city to ask for help and I didn’t want to face the shame of asking anyway, so I decided to let it be. That night I wept while I prepared for the next day’s market.
Ifran, 49, is currently running the same business—selling food in the street—he started with in Lahore, Pakistan. When Irfan was 12 years old, his father passed away and he had to step into the fatherly role to provide for his mother and sister. The responsibility weighed down on him even more when his mother died and his sister ran away a few years later.
No 3. – “A Life That Is Worthy”
This is the story of Nomi Bibi
My guardians and I have been taken advantage of in more ways than just dancing. I have been assaulted and tortured by many men on multiple occasions. I never told anyone and never went to the police because many of them were corrupt and assaulted transgenders too. They know that we are vulnerable, that our lips are sealed.
At age two, Nomi was given up by her parents and raised by the transgender community which is a highly mistreated group in Pakistan. She had no idea why she was abandoned or how she fit into the community until she hit puberty and it all fell together. As she got older, she decided to search for a job despite the discrimination she faced and eventually found kindness in a woman who offered her a job.
No 2. – “The Fatalist”
This is the story of Shams-Uddin
I will tell you again that I had dreams in my youth, but death and grief got in the way of my clarity. When my parents died, I wished that I had died with them. As a boy of 15, I didn’t understand what death actually meant, I just knew that I was left all alone in the world.
Shams-Uddin grew up with big dreams and parents who wished to see him be successful. Unfortunately, Shams’ parents passed away when he was just a boy. Shams spent the next several years working for a family friend who taught him how to live in peace.
No. 1 – “The Black Day”
This is the story of Khalil Khan
Our teacher was the first to be gunned down. I tried not to look at her body. We hid under our chairs and tables to save ourselves, but my class fellows who sat in front of me lost their lives. I tried to close my eyes, but I heard the sounds of their death. I waited to hear my own.
When Khalil was in second grade, his school was attacked by members of the Taliban, resulting in 157 deaths, many of whom were his classmates.
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