"The best part about being married is when my husband hugs me!"
"I know it’s cliché but understanding really is the key to a lasting and happy marriage. And for that, it requires another cliché - time. Blindly being led into an arranged marriage, and what’s more? Out of my own volition in this day and age, a year into it I would’ve told you it’s not going to last. But here I am another 3 years later, and I can’t imagine my life with anyone else.”
A very cheerful display of colour during a bhangra performance, Showcase Your Culture 2014
Little munchkins waiting for the fireworks, Multicultural Eid Festival & Fair
“The most inspiring advice I have ever been given is to believe in fate. Our paths have already been written for us. I see my friends sometimes worry about what their future holds: they stress about that graduate role they didn’t get, feel left behind as they watch their peers get married and start families, and beat themselves up over that exam they studied so hard for but that still fell short of a Distinction. Believing in fate allows me to appreciate the bigger picture, and envision my missed opportunities and shortcomings as a sign that greater things are waiting for me in the future. This mentality allows me to quickly move on from failures and disappointments and provides me with an optimistic view of what is yet to come.”
“Growing up in a strict Vietnamese household and coming to the realisation of my sexuality was an enormous struggle for me. I grew up feeling really selfish and guilty. My parents fled to this country amidst a war and gave me everything – a home, food, an education and all they wanted from me was to get a good job and marry a man and have children and to do all this in a way that was free from all the hardship they had to go through. So coming out to my parents was the hardest and most painful experience of my life because in one moment I knew I was shattering many of the dreams they had envisioned for me as their daughter. It was very difficult at first, and I had never felt so lonely and vulnerable in all my life but it was at the same time, the best thing I ever did because all this shame, all this guilt, all this weight I had carried for so long about who I was had finally lifted. I had finally accepted that being me and being gay is completely ok - it doesn’t make me love my parents any less. I still want to find a good job, to get married and have children but with a woman I adore and love incredibly one day.”
"Every night before I go to sleep I realise how fortunate I am, for having food, for having clothes, for having water, for having a roof over my head and for having a bed. While people in Gaza are in constant fear, stripped away from food and water. Most of us take many things from granted while those in Gaza are suffering, depleted from resources. I pray to Allah that the suffering of those in Gaza and all around the world ceases.”
"Growing up in all-white west-side suburbia, I used to be so embarrassed to be seen in public wearing shalwar kameez. Now I completely embrace it. It reminds me growing up and going to dawats, and the pleasure of dressing up, looking for matching rhinestone encrusted jewellery and slippers with that billowing silk or satin outfit. I like Pakistani couture and fusion fashion- kameez with jeans or bright pink churidar under an oversized top.
I completely agree with Naomi Wolf about the calmness and serenity of the shalwar kameez. It’s deliciously comfortable, flattering to most body types and ages and so floaty, pretty and feminine. Someone told me I looked like Arwen, the ethereal elf princess from Lord of the Rings- that was a massive compliment!”
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“I’d always wanted 8 children. Even in high school, I remember dreaming about the big, beautiful family I was going to have. A girl can dream right?! I’m now blessed with 8 children - seven of my own womb, and one I inherited when I married my husband. It’s everything I imagined and a whole lot more. It’s chaos, a wonderful chaos.”