When I began my journey from Pakistan to Bangladesh, the day was very sad and exciting as well. It was sad because I had to leave my family and friends for the first time to go distant, and to live with people of different perceptions, cultures and living standards. It made me very frightened that I was going to spend five years of my life in a new and different place. At first, I thought I would be alienated; no one would be there with whom I would be able to share my feelings. I prepared myself to be independent away from my beloved once. I said whether I would find good friends and caring people or not, but I have to complete my purpose in a good way. I have to go back with great potentials to remove conflicts, and bring changes in my homeland. Therefore, I had to have power to do something different or at least an initiative to change thinking and life standard of my people at some extent.
When I reached Dhaka airport the environment outside of the airport was totally new and strange for me. When I saw so many people laying on the track of train station, it made me very depressed. I was expecting something else and it was totally different from my point of view. Actually, I was thinking that it would be very beautiful and clean; I had no idea that I would be welcomed by so many poor and homeless people. To be very honest that day walking across the track at train station and dragging my luggage, I found myself very alienated although I had my Pakistani friends with me. When we entered into airport everyone was speaking Bengali, so it was hard to convey our message or to ask information.
While standing at the airport, I made two wishes; the first one was that I wanted to go back to home ,secondly, I asked GOD for encouraging me, and making me a successful person, so that I help as many people as I can, no matter which country or region they are from. The first wish was impossible at that moment, but I had a hope that I will achieve my second wish.
Even though, we had many problems while travelling, when we reached hostel at 11 pm, we were warmly welcomed by Ms. Evan, the university’s psychiatrist and two undergrad students, Naznin and Minza. First day and night was painful, but morning was quite different.
Now I would like to move towards the original topic that might be very interesting and informative as well for some people. It is obvious that when we go far from our beloved ones, we always try to find someone who is there to love us or at least take care of us. I am an Ismaili Muslim, and all ismailies around the world live like one family, whether we are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and USA, Canada or any other country. When a girl or a boy leaves her/ his home for higher studies, and moves to any other country, if they hear about jamat khana (Ismaili mosque) it fills their heart with joy and happiness. It is just because, we ismailies have a network that connects us with every other Ismaili brother and sister around the world. We have two leading members of jamat khana which are known as Mukhi (male) and Mukhiani maa (female). These are like our parents. These two members of jamat are selected by present Imam and the recent Imam of Ismaili jamat, Prince Karim AGA Khan.
Well, one day I was talking to my senior Pakistani sister Naznin and she told me about jamat khana here in Chittagong and later I came to know that she is very lucky girl because the first person who introduced jaamt khana to Naznin was Mr. Kamal Ahmed, the founder of AUW.
Naznin told us that she will take us for prayers on coming Friday evening so that we all new girls (Banazeer, Banazir, Arifa and myself Shakila), will recite prayers and we will meet our spiritual parents here.
When I saw the building of Jamat khana, I found it very big and beautiful, I was so happy because I thought there will be many sisters and brothers, but unfortunately later I came to know that there are only few Ismailies because most of the Ismailies migrated to Canada , India and Pakistan after the libration war of 1971.
We have only two Ismaili families here at Chittagong. They were so happy when they saw us .They said you all are our little angels and GOD has sent you all for us. After that I realized that only blood relations are not everything, there are many other relations like friendship, religions, humanity, and that’s what our religion teaches us.
We had no idea that there are more Ismailies in Dhaka as well after sometime when they knew that some of the girls came here for studies from Pakistan, they were so happy and jamat in Dhaka arranged workshop for us, it was a kind of get together to know each other. We met the Ismaili youth over there in Dhaka, we shared our life experiences and knowledge, at the end we became good friends. We were welcomed by a huge group of people with love and encouragement. We got a chance to learn more and something new. We attended seminars on focus first aid, youth got together, seminar on AKES (AGA Khan Education System) in Canada.
It gave us a chance to share our culture, and most importantly to know each other and to share life experiences .We meet our beautiful Bangladeshi brothers and sisters who are highly qualified and are studying at best universities. Now I am in a position to say I don’t want go back so early. I definitely miss my family and friends a lot, but the love and concern of these families’ members is also very important for us. My own family is very stress-free because they know whenever I have any kind of problem, I will find solution and my solution is my family in Bangladesh, I am not alone here.
I personally feel relations are the only beautiful things in the universe which must be based on true love, sincerity, honesty, respect and care.
It is very important to have trust on people and if you love someone truly, then you can be luxurious with the treasure of love that is most precious thing in the universe. When we interact with people we make good and sincere relations and it gives us exposure to fine something new. We have to make this world a “Global Home” where everyone should respect, love and care about each other without any greed, so that we can easily share our sorrows and pains.
I wish and it is my prayers that every girl should be cared like me. Everyone should live with love and harmony, and should take care of each other. Not only Ismailies but also Sunni, Shia, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christians, every brother and sister should live with love and humanity. We should remove the barriers. Why we should be different from each other by the labels of country, religion or gender discrimination. Every human being is same, so our main purpose should be to move forward with a positive approach and for the betterment of the universe.