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  • Born in a land, in a time of war, a just ended world war but a never ending war that had started in my land Kashmir. I became a refugee as my parents left everything ,saved their lives and crossed the borders to a new country called Pakistan-a freedom attained after a struggle and more than a million lives sacrificed for it.
    We were happy but very soon the happiness began to fade as our leader died and chaos reigned supreme.
    I say I was born to struggle-struggle for a home, struggle for food, medicine and above all, struggle for education- the first school years were peaceful in a Convent in Rawalpindi but then came the first 'war of 1965' I heard bomb blasts sirens and jet fighters flying over, nights were in blackouts, and father was away at the Indian border, looking after the injured. 17 days later the fighting ceased but the 'war' was not is still going war on almost all fronts...a war of daily life...war has become a way of life...and 'education'?
    I faced opposition from all sides...I wanted to go to college to get a Masters degree but....
    what will you do with your degree?
    what about the kids? they were quite grownup by then
    my eldest was 17 youngest 6
    I need to ..I wish to help other girls who cannot afford college...I can...and I must...
    those who opposed were MBBS - M Sc - themselves
    'Get all the books you need once and for all,I cannot go to the book shop again and again'
    'Shoot the kids and go to China' I heard this one day and I cried and I became silent.
    I prayed silently. I visited old friends and asked them to help.I waited.
    My heart said' you have waited for 17 years wait a few more...and the miracle happened.
    One of my friends asked me to come at the beginning of the new session and sit for the entry test...'do you find time to read?'
    Ah what a question'
    I prayed and waited patiently. I stopped caring about other people.I focused on what I wanted to do and I was not afraid anymore. I got the chance and as you can see in the photograph I am with two of my gracious teachers , the tall one is the friend who finally helped me.
    Yet many were not happy at my college trips. I hid my books and stayed awake at night to complete my work.My mother fell ill and was hospitalized. I sat in the hospital verandah and read in the dim lights. I prayed continuously. Allah helped me to succeed for He wants that all should learn to read 'IQRA' is the first lesson 'Read in the name of thy Lord' But we must Read Allah's Book and follow His guidance for that is the true learning, all else comes afterwards.
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