How Does It Feel to Be a Token?

My really good friend blogs about social justice issues and her very first post has me in awe. For anyone who is a minority in any way, in any part of the world — this is a must read!

Scars of Resilience


Throughout the majority of my life, I have had the pleasure of being the “token” black girl in predominately white situations. I honestly did not find this unintentional title to be a problem until I entered high school, when I found the status to be much more problematic then anticipated. While reading W.E.B. DuBois work, Of Our Spiritual Strivings, I found myself fascinated with the concept of people indirectly asking “How does it feel to be a problem?” in regards to being African American. I found solace in this concept in regards the multiple roles I have played as the black best friend. Though no one has ever directly asked me what it is like to be a “token,” I have realized that the position of the “token” is regarded as a problem within our social standards. Now, I should mention that I have never, and somewhat still don’t, find…

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Pakistani Truck Art

One thing that defines Pakistani culture around the world is the Truck Art seen on Pakistani vehicles. Truck, rickshaw, van, and bus owners usually paint elaborate designs and decorate their vehicles in ways that express them. Some trucks have calligraphy, geometric shapes, patters, traditional art work, poetry, or jokes intricately designed on them. When I was visiting Pakistan a few months ago, I got to see and photograph some of the artwork on these vehicles, as well as captures some funny photographs. These photographs showcase the rich culture and creative side of Pakistan.

P.S. I heard sometimes the art work costs more than the vehicle itself and the owners have competitions amongst themselves for who has the best decorated vehicle! It is something they are extremely proud of!

Visit for a collection of pictures and information on Pakistani Truck Art culture.

Camera: Nikon D5200



Pakistani Truck Art 2014


Animals, like these cows, are often transported on these trucks. Pakistani Truck Art 2014.


A tractor on the field is also decorated with vibrant colors and designs. Pakistani Truck Art 2014


School boys ride on top of a public transportation Coach bus in Islamabad.


A man looks at my camera curiously as I try to snap a photograph from inside our car. The man is seated inside a passenger van that is also decorated elaborately. Pakistani Truck Art 2014.


The back of truck and a coach bus on our way to Islamabad. Trucks are usually expressive of their owners; some have pictures, designs, poetry, quotes, or funny jokes written for the amusement of the reader.


Pakistani Truck Art 2014.


A van/pick-up truck in Rawalpindi used to transport marble. Pakistani Truck Art 2014.

All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of

Scavenge: My Original Poem 2


I scavenge for you,
Oh Dear Star,
for it has been many nights since
I have seen you

Forgive me,
Oh Dear Star,
for it has been a long time since
I have talked to you.

Forgive me,
Oh Dear Star,
for I have lost my way;
Twinkle* again
so that I may be reminded again
of my Promise to you,

So that I may work hard again
to reach you.

Shine Bright*
Dear Star,

so that I


no longer.


© 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of

The “L” Word

In my AP Language and Composition class in 12th grade, my teacher had us do various writing exercises.  Today, I was digging through old documents and found this particular piece where we were assigned to “imitate” another piece of writing.  I had chosen to imitate a portion of a speech by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.  So, here I am… sharing it with the world!

Without love in our life, we are nothing. Love is something that is unexplainable, unexpected, and uncertain.  It is an emotion that is naturally felt by every human being, one thing that we long for, but also one thing that we end up despising.  It is love that gives us a glimpse of the highs in life, and then gives us a peak into the lows.  It is love, the unexplainable feeling we get, that sometimes makes us blindly content.  Love is something that comes out of nowhere and shows us things we would normally disregard. Love makes us greatly appreciate what we do and do not have in life.

We have a give and take relationship with love.  We like to give love in many forms –we like to compliment, hug, send gifts– but we enjoy receiving it more.  This is where the balance goes askew.  As humans, we tend to like it when our lovers — whether it be our family, friends, or significant others — treat us in a superior manner.  And when we do not receive the affection we crave, we become uncertain of our relationships.  Love makes us feel many things, and in many ways.  But, if we all learn to let go of our high expectations from this euphoria-like emotion, we all may be happy.  If we decided to take what we get and give what we can, we can experience love at a much deeper level.  Don’t take feelings and people for granted, especially when associated with love.  Life is full of love, and love is essentially life. 





No individual or people can achieve anything without industry, suffering, and sacrifice. There are forces which may bully you, tyrannise [tyrannize] over you, and intimidate you, and you may even have to suffer. But it is by going through this crucible of fire–persecution which may be levelled [leveled] against you, tyranny that may be exercised, the threats and intimidations that may unnerve you–and it is by resisting, by overcoming, by facing these disadvantages [and] hardships, and by suffering and maintaining your true convictions and loyalty, that a nation will emerge worthy of its past glory and history, and will live to make the future history greater and more glorious not only of India but in the annals of the world.

Eighty millions of Musalmans [Muslims] in India have nothing to fear. They have their destiny in their hands, and as a well-knit, solid, organised [organized], united force can face any danger; and withstand any opposition to its united front and wishes. There is the magic power in your own hands. Take your vital decisions–they may be grave and momentous and far-reaching in their consequences. Think [a] hundred times before you take any decision, but once a decision is taken, stand by it as one man. Be true and loyal, and I feel confident that success is with you.

-Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Address to the All-India Muslim League, October 1937

© 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of

National Cherry Blossom Festival

This past Saturday, my best friend and I made a trip to downtown DC to see the Cherry Blossom Trees. We took the metro and didn’t realize that it was a Saturday and it was the day of the Cherry Blossom Parade– the platforms and trains were crowded! I have lived in the DC area for over a decade and have gone to see the cherry blossoms many times, but never have I seen a crowd this large! As we were walking around the Tidal Basin (where all the trees are planted near the Jefferson Memorial), we overheard conversations in so many different languages that we couldn’t count. Parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, couples… so many people from all over the world! Good thing that the sun has decided to show up in DC and the weather was ideal for an outing.

So, here are some pictures for those who have never been to DC during the time of the Festival (millions of people come every year!). These trees really are a beauty, thanks to the Japanese!

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S4








© 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of

Thou Shalt Not Insult Chipotle

When I entered high school in 2008-2009, Chipotle had started to become a fad in NoVA. (NoVA is a popular nickname for Northern Virginia, which is in the DC Metropolitan area). All the cool, hip, and young people were eating out at Chipotle, the affordable and quick Mexican restaurant.

I am a very picky eater and I don’t like to try new things. I can’t stand when something leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so I am always hesitant about eating out at restaurants; I am perfectly fine eating comfort foods at home made by my mother. So, I always heard people talking about Chipotle but had never really tried it.

That changed in 2011 when I had my first taste of Chipotle. This might have been one of the most important points in my life. My life changed after that. Seriously. Chipotle was life changing.

In 2011, I got my first job at Dulles Airport in Virginia. As a 17 year old, working at an airport earning at least $1.00-2.00 more than the average teenager was the best thing ever. Not to mention the job was fun and a constant learning experience. And, there was a Chipotle inside the airpot. And that Chipotle was THE spot for all my coworkers. Chipotle was what fueled a group of about 100 students working 8-hour shifts to provide customer service and assistance to the world. So, that is where I got my first taste of Chipotle. And I got addicted.

For $8.53, a teen on a budget could buy a rice bowl or burrito(full of whatever he/she may desire) and a drink that would keep him or her sustained for about 4 hours, sometimes longer.

For myself, it was perfect because I love: rice, beans, vegies, corn, sour cream, and guac. And spicy foods/sauces/salsas. Basically, some of my favorite foods were all put into own bowl and served to me. I loved it. Also, it was seemingly healthier than other fast foods.

I would argue that there is something in those Chipotle sauces that causes one to be addicted because if I don’t eat Chipotle at least once a week, it is a problem.

For the last 3+ years, I have consumed a bowl of Chipotle almost every week. It has become the Dulles Airport employees’ favorite restaurant, our sanctuary. We Love Chipotle. It’s our thing. It’s what connects us all to each other. It’s what we bond over. In fact, we go to Chipotle so much that the wonderful people who make our bowls and burritos know our “usual” and know exactly how much rice or steak we like. (Not to mention the quality of the Dulles Chipotle is much better than any other Chipotle I have had in America).

So, understandably, when someone I meet who doesn’t like Chipotle or likes to talk badly about Chipotle (especially Dulles Chipotle), it really upsets me. Hello?! How can you judge our Chipotle without even trying it? Sometimes, I feel people just hate on things because they want to be “different.” Well, guess what… it’s not cool.

Every time someone says something against Chipotle, I feel obliged to defend it; especially the Dulles Airport Chipotle.
That place has been feeding me and my fellow coworkers for over 3 years now– have some respect people!

Thou shalt not insult Chipotle. That could most definitely be a Dulles Airport commandment.

I recently resigned from my position at Dulles Airport. I will miss my airport family a lot, and needless to say, I will miss my Dulles Chipotle a lot too. I will no longer have the privilege of eating at one of the best quality Chipotle’s and that saddens me.

If you ever travel through Dulles Airport, make sure you try the Chipotle (they have breakfast, too — one of the only Chipotles in the world that serves breakfast!).

Camera: iPhone 4S



© 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of

Rumi 2

Observe the qualities of expansion
and contraction
in the fingers of your hand:
surely after the closing of the fist comes
the opening.
If the fingers were always closed or
always open,
the owner would be crippled.
Your movement is governed by these
two qualities:
they are as necessary to you
as two wings are to a bird.

-Mathnawi III, 3762-66

Camera: Nikon D5200


Source: The Pocket Rumi, edited by Kabir Helminski

© 2013-2014
Click here for Copyright information. All photos shown were taken by me. All photos are the property of