Taskeen Naz a Pakistani Christian who had fled Pakistan amid fear of persecution has now finally able to live a peaceful life in the United States. The 24-year-old, has recently earned her associate’s degree in paralegal studies from a U.S. college. However, she can still recall the time when she had to quit school back in her own homeland owing to the fear of her security. It was ten years ago when she was forced to stay at home.
Taskeen Naz and her family hail from Rawalpindi. The decision to end formal education was not an easy one, she recalled. 14-year-old at that time was devotedly keen to learn but was confined to her home as her parents feared for her security. “We were troubled. You could feel it in the atmosphere,” she said while adding, “It was better to stay at home and stay safe.”
Taskeen recalled the agony she had to go through when she watched her friends go to school but she was unable to do so. “It was really sad because I saw my other friends go through high school,” she said. “They were more knowledgeable because I wasn’t going to school and I was missing out on a lot.”
As the fears grew, some of her family members chose to leave their homeland in search of a safe life, and, moved to the United States. Taskeen is the only daughter of her parents who were well aware of the dangers she had been exposed to. He parents along with two brothers have settled in the United States, but can recall the days when they were confined to their house because of fear of being killed for their religion.
While narrating the story of her family’s exodus, she revealed that she and her family moved to the U.S. in 2010. She was 18, and had not been to school since four years or so. She knew Urdu and Punjabi and was not well acquainted with English. Shortly after moving to the U.S. she started striving toward learning English, and then started taking college courses.
After arriving in the new country, she had fears to go to school but her fears were soon pacified when she found the community to be welcoming and secure. “I really liked the atmosphere,” she said. “I can fit in.”
While appreciating her progress her brother Khalid Naz said: “What I’ve noticed is that she has grown a lot of confidence. She’s very independent. It was an emotional time for us. We were minorities, things were not fair,” he said while adding, “Going through what we went through, what she went through, and seeing her today, was a milestone. It was emotional.”