Hopes and Wishes

by Azra Zafar

My name is Azra and I came to the United States from Pakistan three years ago. My husband came to the United States before me. He came to the United States ten years ago and then sponsored the rest of our family into this country. He drives a taxi cab. My younger brother, who is 25 years old, also lives here in the U.S., but the rest of my family is in still in Pakistan.

When I lived in Pakistan I taught middle school. I taught math, science, geography, home economics, Islamics, and Urdu. Urdu one of the main languages that is spoken in Pakistan.

Photo of Azra with her young son, MohammedI have four children, three girls and one boy (Summaya, Asama, Aqsa, and Mohammed Usman). I have one daughter who is about to graduate from the eighth grade, one who is in the fourth grade, one who is in the first grade, and little boy who is not old enough to go to school. I hope that my children will get along. I would like for my children to get a good education. I want my friends and family to be healthy.

My youngest child, Mohammed Usman, is only two and a half years old. I spend most of my day taking care of him, in addition to cleaning, cooking, washing, sewing, and doing other kinds of housework. This makes it difficult for me to learn how to speak English, but I make sure that I read every book in English that I can find and I also write in English as often as I can. My children speak English well and this makes me happy. When I speak English, I sometimes have trouble putting the words into sentences. I would like to get more practice speaking English so that I can put together longer sentences and eventually talk easily with other people from the United States.

I hope I someday that I will learn to speak English well because then I will be able to do other things that I would like to do. For example, I would like to learn how to drive and get my driver's license, but I won't be able to pass the written test until my English is better. I also hope someday to get a daycare license and take care of other people's children at home. I wish I could do nice things for people and for this reason I will continue to study English and Education courses.

I wish I could go to Saudi Arabia. Our family is Muslim. In our religion, it is a life-long goal to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the house of the prophet Ibrahim. A pilgrimage is a long journey to visit an important religious place. In Urdu the word that we use for our special pilgrimage to Mecca is Haij. In addition to my travel for Haij, I someday want to go back to Pakistan because my whole family lives in Pakistan.

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Last Updated By Gail Matthews-DeNatale: 10/08/96