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So. Hi. How You Doin'?

Faiqa Khan: Writer, Wife, Mom, Podcaster, Brown Person You Want to Know

I explore and prompt individual and group dialogues about political difference, multiculturalism and social diversity in the United States.

Social harmony and mutual respect is a real possibility here and everywhere. They begin in the most unassuming and natural of actions: communicating.

In the poem "Native Born," Rudyard Kipling wrote, "Change the skies above me, but not my heart that roams."  He hoped that as the British Empire expanded in the 19th century, British nationals living and being born abroad would keep their hearts in Britain.  Unlike Kipling, I'm not a privileged colonialist with an exceptional knack for storytelling.  I do have strong ties to the Asian subcontinent, though, specifically India and Pakistan, and I understand this concept of a globalism informed by deep emotional connections.

My parents migrated from India to Pakistan as children.  Then to America in the 1970s.  I was born here, and my younger brother was born in Pakistan.  Years later, they became "official" Americans.  My husband was born in India, he grew up in Saudi Arabia and migrated to the United States in the 90s. A few years ago, he became an official American.

We don't just say words like diversity and multiculturalism in this family, we live it.

I don't have two cultures, I have one.  An American one.  By choosing American, I am afforded the opportunity of not having to relinquish the other identities I possess. My childhood was spent explaining American culture to my parents or explaining my parents' heritage to America.  These subjects resulted in awkward pauses, relief tinged laughter, and unexpected friendships.

I don't speak for any group of people, I offer only what I know to be real and true about the world I live in.  I'm not  intent on promoting specific agendas, political or social, but only on illustrating that everyone is coming from somewhere.  That doesn't just apply to geography, but to love, hate, politics and everything else that we live every day.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" has to hold a record for being the most trite phrase in the spoken/written word.  It's trite, though, because it's incredibly true: without taking a step, you'll never go anywhere.

And you know what?

Talking to people walking next to you promises that when you get to where you're going, you won't be alone.  And that you might even make a friend or two.

Welcome, my fellow traveler, I look forward to our walking and talking together.

— Faiqa Khan, Native Born