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Alaina Qurshi

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Alaina Qurshi was born in Karachi, Pakistan. She moved to America with her mother at six months old to be with her father, who had been adopted into an American family at a young age. Although her father became very americanized, he still kept close contact with his family back in Pakistan remaining some tradition within his life, which then lead to her father and mother met through an arranged marriage

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This work is licensed under a&nbsp;<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>.&nbsp;Please contact&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ihrc.umn.edu">Immigration History Research Center</a>&nbsp;staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Alaina Qurshi was born in Karachi, Pakistan. She moved to America with her mother at six months old to be with her father, who had been adopted into an American family at a young age. Although her father became very americanized, he still kept close contact with his family back in Pakistan remaining some tradition within his life, which then lead to her father and mother met through an arranged marriage.
Since both of her parents came from different backgrounds, her mother being very traditional and her father being very americanized. Growing up, she had a fairly normal American childhood. She was able to be who she was and wear what she wanted until fourth grade. Then, her mother began to dress her in long sleeves and jeans, even in the summer months. Her mother did this to cover her up and uphold some Paki tradition that was being concealed. Alaina didn't understand why she needed to cover up, so she started to bring extra clothes after school and change in the bathroom. She didn't do this to rebel against her parents, she just felt the need to fit in with the other kids.

As she has grown throughout her teenage years, she no longer feels the need to disobey her mother's rules, but still doesn't agree with them. The rules her mother sets not only affect Alina but also cause many conflicts between her parents. Her father feels like her mother is forcing a culture on their daughter, and he doesn't agree with that. Their arguments escalate until her mother decides to move out of her house and get her own apartment. But, she always returns after a month or so. Having a culture forced among Alina has caused her to have many internal struggles with her identity as Paki or American. She identifies as American but still acknowledges her Paki roots. When she grows up, and if she ever has children of her own, she plans to educate them on their heritage, but not force any traditions on them.