He wasn't just going to America to represent America, but to tell this story.
As I grew older, I saw so much hate, they had zero idea what America is like outside of movies and outside of what media was telling them. Every time media was sharing something bad about America, I'm going back to that little incident that happened. An average American is not out there get me. They're smiling, they're saying hello.
They're like, "Hey, where are you from? I have this confidence, I have this personality that was somewhere hidden.
It's only coming out by having minimal conversations on day to do basis in my high school with my host family, with my friends. That little link that we have is very, very, very useful. I had two host families. My first host family was a couple, Rose and John. I had an eight year old sister, Alex.
The reason I started the story with my sister is because, when I went there, she was the same age when my sister passed away. It just felt like, you know how you pray sometimes, doesn't matter which God you follow or which God other people follow. I prayed to do have a little more time with my sister.
She's nothing like my sister. She's showing me these dance moves from Hannah Montana. She's like, "How are they? Now she's grown up. We send memes to each other. I'm trying to get her to her first internship. All of these things, like she's there. This connection didn't end. My second host family was, my host brother was in my civics class. His name is Matt Olem.
leondumoulin.nl/language/the/vicariously-yours-letters-and-lessons.php Matt and I were friends, and then my mother at that time was running for the town council election for the first time. The first time I sat in front of her, I was like, "What are you doing?
You have to win," and that's what happened. We would in our spare time, me, Matt my host brother, and my mother, at this point all three of us are going around giving brochures in all town. Everybody's like, "Oh, who's this? There was the fun, "Where is this kid from? I was friends with all the Muslim community because of my volunteering at the mosque. They were like, "We are just voting for your mother. They didn't say anything, because I was like, "I'm going to go with my mother.
When she won the town council, for the ceremony, her mother, Gracie, she is 91 years old now. I figured out that my host mother Sheila and her mother Gracie, they had a big divide in how they saw things politically. When my mother called her up, and she was like, "Hey, I'm hosting an exchange student from Pakistan. My granny calls, and she has this accent, that's one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. I understood it right away, it was her southern accent. We FaceTime, and then she came to Herndon and I hung out with her.
Then she went back and then she was like, "Send him here. I want everybody to meet him. We're listening to all this music, which is from Nashville, from Muscle Shoals and all these areas in Alabama. We went to music hall of fame of rock and roll, and she's telling me where she was in when she listened to that song. Where she was in , how she met her husband.
Then there was a retiree place where all the retired people go. I went there. Gracie has a friend visiting from Pakistan, and then they call up us on stage and everybody's just looking at me because I'm very different in this area. You have to understand, I have this beard.
I used to be 50 pounds more, I won the Biggest Loser Challenge. I used to be little overweight, and they're like, "Who is this guy? I'm from Pakistan and I just want to say you guys have nothing to worry about. They just wanted to hang out with me. I got published in the local newspaper for a visit to Alabama, like tell me that happens anywhere else. The point is, when we were driving back, she told me like, I don't want to make this sound like a weird story, but I would just tell you right away that we are driving, I'm on my phone.
This is how me and my granny used to hang out. I'm on my phone, she's driving and then she's like, "Oh I'm going to show you some of my friends. I'm doing all of these things with her, I've never done that with my own mother, my sister. We're driving and then she's like, "Oh we are here.
She has a car in the middle of a graveyard, and she told me that we are going to see her friends. You have to understand, by this time I'm like, well granny is 89 after all, so age gets to you, maybe she's not Then we go out to this spot that has many of her friends who passed away. Then also like her husband, and there's like a tomb for her.
That's something that never happens. It's like, you have to understand, my trauma comes mostly from graveyards. I was like, "Why do you have it now? I mean this is some dark, dark things granny. She's like, "After a while you don't worry about dying so much, but knowing other cultures, meeting you. Knowing all that I've learned about where you come from, it's a good reminder that my life has come full circle.
She's the unofficial representative of Pakistan, started the job at age of That's my granny. You know, that's why I'm here in your office. I took theater.
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Theater was incredible. I took ROTC, we had to wear uniforms. I did not like this class, because one of my dream when I was coming to America was to have long hair and do some crazy with that because I had the freedom. In this class they asked me to have a buzz cutt. That's how my hair was.
I looked like an egg throughout my exchange year, and through that class we would go volunteer. This is where I'm like learning about volunteers. I'm already going back to the time when my mother is sick. The funds are really low, we are selling everything. I was like, "What if there was a person who was doing community service or fundraising back then? This was my goal, that I wanted to be the person who is mentioned the most in the yearbook of that year.
I'm mentioned on 27 pages. That's a separate thing that I was in the yearbook class, so I sneaked my name in some places, but I was the spirit captain for swim team. I was the secretary for International Club. I performed in a high school musical Oklahoma. I sound very southern already as you see.