Tuesday, April 21, 2015

An Emigrant's Reasons

Rangers (Pakistan's paramilitary
Border Security Force) warn
Karachiites to carry
computerised ID cards at all times
Immigrants from the #ThirdWorld and those "at home" often agonize about why we left. People from Karachi, we often observe in Silicon Valley and other places, often do not move back home--even less so than, say Lahorewallas. See, for example the poem"Jo thha kya thhora thha?" by the diasporic poet Irfan Murtaza. And maybe the rebuttals like this one.  In a week where Africa's tired and poor are drowning in the Mediterranean as they do something about their yearning to breath free, I can't help but think that too many of people who get the chance to drive BMWs in Silicon Valley and beyond have have convinced even themselves that they left for purely economic reasons.

I remember being given a lift to the airport in Karachi a few years ago (on the last trip while my father was still alive) by a friend. Admiring the ride (it was a 5 Series) my brother asked "So why did we emigrate?" To which I do remember saying "Well, economics is not the only reason."

This morning brings this little gem of a news report that, at least to me, lays out a lot of the why and what.

PS: Yes, I used the word "emigrant" in the subject line very advisedly. The real word that identifies my and mine sticks in too any craws.