Asma Karimi

Asma Karimi

To my resilient mother and admirable father:

Dear Madar (mother) and Padar (Dad) jaan (dearest),

today I am writing the most important letter of my life to you both. To my mother, your love and nurture for me began before I was even born, when you carried me for nine long months in your womb and then gave birth to me with your womanly super powers. To my father, who was the breadwinner and the wisest, most hardworking and admirable father figure to an entire family of eight kids.

To exude my love and appreciation to you both would be an understatement since I don’t think there is a strong enough word to even describe it. As newly-weds and new parents the both of you fearlessly escaped the war and left your motherland, Afghanistan leaving your family, friends, home and belongings during the soviet invasion with two children in your arms and nothing but a suitcase with necessities like true heroes. You left Afghanistan and immigrated to several different countries before finally making it to Canada. You had the courage to begin a whole new life from scratch where you raised and educated eight kids all by yourselves. Despite all of the many hardships that you faced as immigrants from a war-torn country you rose above, created a new home for yourselves and taught yourselves to speak English.

I have learned so much from the sacrifices you two have both made for myself and my siblings. You’ve taught me how to have courage, to love, to be strong and fearless, to rise when I fall and to smile after every hardship for I have learned something from it. You’ve taught me that being myself, embracing my difference and being proud of my identity as a young Muslim Afghan woman of colour is far greater than blending in or trying to be someone I’m not. Your journey of sacrifice and trauma as refugees has taught me to work extra hard for my dreams and to always believe in myself in order to give back to my loved ones, as well as my community and to help those in need. Today and every day for the rest of my life I will be a grateful to be the daughter of the most resilient and loving Afghan parents who fled the war and made it to Canada, a true land of freedom, success and happiness so that I can flourish and have a successful and bright future.

With love,
your youngest daughter Asma