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Monday, 4 November 2013

Global Clan-The Human Clan: Journey of an Afghan Man in America

"My senior year with the Porters: Journey of an Afghan Man in America": I came to America in 1963 with one small russet leather bag, presented to me by my paternal uncle upon my departure, packed with two slacks, two black socks and four collared shirts that I purchased from konah foroshi, the used stores in the old outskirts of Kabul where used western clothing was brought for retailing. And the money Babu, my mother, had given me from her small savings had prepared me for my voyage. I intended to bring my Afghani paraan tumbaan, the customary long blouse with hand-stitched embroidery on its
chest with saggy pants that I wore at home in Kabul, but my
sisters advised against it since the Americans might find it
strange. At that time, just about seventeen, this was to be my
first time away from home, although there were occasional
breaks from school where I was away from my family,
especially with Babu for weeks at a time when I visited her
paternal home in the valleys north of Kabul. My mother and I
would visit my grandparents in the summer breaks, the only
pastime I had really experienced. I kissed Babu’s hands as a customary valediction, and she returned the farewell kissing the top of my head, murmuring in her usual soft voice,
“A bird flies by means of his wings; a believer flies by means of his purpose,” sending off her only son to an alien land, blowing her prayers behind me as I walked out the door....

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