Family Reunion

Student shares her experience traveling to Pakistan

Katelyn Collins, Staff Writer

Having family that lives far away can be difficult. That is why sophomore Aliya Siddiqui and her family make it a priority to travel to Pakistan to visit her family that lives there. 

“I stay with my grandma,” Siddiqui said. “Most of the time I’m with my cousins from my mom’s side. But we also visit my cousins from my dad’s side.”

Siddiqui enjoys seeing where her parents were raised and what their lifestyle was like. She is able to better understand her culture and meet the people that shaped her parents. 

“What I enjoy most is to see everyone [and] how they are,” Siddiqui said. “I’ve always heard my parents talk about these people and how they admire them. So I get to see how they really are and spend time with them as well.”

Each day in Pakistan is spent visiting family. She cherishes every moment spent with them since she does not get to see them often. 

“Once everyone finds out we are in Pakistan we get invitations from a bunch of people telling us to come over and spend time with them,” Siddiqui said. 

Siddiqui explains that Pakistan is drastically different from the U.S. 

“There are barely any proper systems or laws,” Siddiqui said. “The other day it was raining. You don’t have any gutters or a proper sewer system, so it was almost flooding.”

Siddiqui enjoys the different foods that are offered in Pakistan. They offer food found in the US but with different spices to create a twist. Her favorites include Chinese food as well as street food.

“There’s a lot of street food,” Siddiqui said. ”You stop on the side of the road [and] have it fresh while you’re in the car.”

Since the trip usually overlaps with school, Siddiqui has to figure out how to get work done for school. She tries to get as much done before she leaves because she is not able to access assignments online in Pakistan.

”In seventh grade, I came to Pakistan for two months,” Siddiqui said. “I didn’t know that Canvas doesn’t work in Pakistan, and neither did my teachers. I couldn’t email my teachers because that wouldn’t send to them.”

When she returned to school, she had a lot of assignments to catch up on. Thankfully this year she did not end up missing as much school since the majority of the time, it was winter break.

“Once I [got] back on Tuesday I have to complete finals,” Siddiqui said. “School just started so I didn’t miss that much luckily.”