Sitar-e- Tariq

Relationship: Im/migrant

My Father immigrated to the U.S in 1994 and since then has kept a necklace with him. The necklace was made from thread, and it contains pieces of paper with certain Islamic Prayers. He has wore that since the day he left his native country of Pakistan. He tells me that he knows his life would be very different if he hadn’t wore the necklace all these years. My Father left his family because he wanted to support them financially but his family didn’t want him to leave. He says that it is something he wears that serves as a constant reminder, and it always protects everyone in his family. “I can go to hell as long as you don’t suffer” is what he tells us time, and time again, and that necklace reminds him why he would do that. My Father regrets having to disobey his parents, and the rest of his Family; not following the Religion of Islam and disobeying your Parents are the worst thing anyone can do in Pakistani culture. But My Dad said that his Parents never told him that he disobeyed them in anyway in fact they always smiled. My father’s experience in the U.S was very hard with so much work, and no leisure at all. This necklace helped him persevere through difficult financial scenarios. I know that to work for 13 hours a day for 365 days, and then to come home to be disgusted by his own kids isn’t something he wanted but I know he would do it again, and he proves me right everyday. 

Place(s): Pakistan, and New York
Year: 1994

– Shayan A.

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant