White Sneakers

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Photo Credit : Google
Photo Credit : Google

My family’s immigration story to America begins with my dad, who at the age of eighteen decided to run away from home. He had decided that Pakistan was too confining of a place for his dreams and ambitions to become a reality. Unlike most youngsters at the age of eighteen, he understood that education played an integral and perhaps an irreplaceable role in order to achieve financial and emotional success in life. He traveled to a number of countries before arriving in America, but France was the country he decided to remain in to continue his education.            

My dad has instilled in me the value of an education. One Sunday morning, my dad and I were getting ready to go out for breakfast, and my dad, whose entire wardrobe consists of business casual, wore plain white sneakers, which is the Pakistani equivalents of Converse. I asked him if he had accidentally worn someone else’s shoes, and he told me that these were the sneakers he had worn when he ran away from home more than 30 years ago. Those sneakers became symbols to me of a myriad of emotions and sentiments. They stand for the effort, bravery, and hard work my dad put in not only to running away but quite literally running towards a better education and a better life. He fought his way against all odds to claim the opportunities he demanded from life.  

Place(s): Paris, New York
Year: 1980

– Seher

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant