Cultural Heritage: Born in Pakistan, Country ofAdoption: Spain & Living in Dubai, UAE | Coursera Community
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Cultural Heritage: Born in Pakistan, Country ofAdoption: Spain & Living in Dubai, UAE

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A woman born in Pakistan was to begin with an experience which greatly strengthened my character. I was given a very liberal education, encouraged to read whatever occurred to me from a vast library at home, and allowed to buy all the books I required from an otherwise austere father, who encouraged one to think for oneself. This on the one hand, and on the other, asked to respect our culture, in which a woman's role was to be refined, educated, and on the arm of a man, preferably from the same family background as one, chosen by parents, aunts and friends rather than myself.

This to me was totally unacceptable, so at age eighteen, I eloped with a Spaniard who was not acceptable in our family set up. I left for Spain, where I learnt to take care of home, a sibling, educate myself and work!! It was quite a change, and exhilarating. I grew my wings, continuing to grow with a free mind, practising the values instilled in me as a child, but very much a part of the Spanish way of life. It helped me to broaden my horizon, grow as a human being, and continue to learn, read, and generally enjoy life.

The marriage did not work, not because of cultural differences but values. However, it was meant to be, taking me to a world that I shall always treasure. The family is Spanish culture is important, as are my friends there. Each one has brought me contentment, many moments cherished, of sharing meals, chatter, laughs as only the Spaniards can. The country with its vast wealth of history and culture again is a gold mine. Seeing it traverse through diverse political systems and its effects on gender have made one experience history as such...

Lastly, in Dubai, seeing how tolerant and innovative the Emirati society has become in a matter of two generations or so, how its governance makes world news, and its cities with infrastructure systems second to none, is yet another place that educates the mind........ I could write chapters on each of the three eras of this life and the cultural effects that have formulated my way of thinking.. the one I most appreciate is how being multi cultural has opened and broadened one's vision of our world, its people, and our oneness in the end....

Find out more about Cultural Connection Week and view other people’s posts about their cultures here.

6 replies

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@lkhan ooh, your life experience looks like a book tale, and i find in the content scenes of superation, drama, motivation, self-improvement and journeys, i hope that in the place where you are right now you keep writing your own history to still learn and sharing your thoughts, its nice to see how the life can have many variances and my expectation is that this book have a happy ending.

Cheers, happy cultural connection week.
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Dear Luis, thank you for your most encouraging comments, all much appreciated. Your insights are indeed enlightening, your aptitude of reading between lines impressive to state it lightly. I began to write a memoir which I have neglected.. You strengthen my resolve to turn to it once again.. Thank you for such encouragement. Wishing you the Best,
@lkhan , you are a woman with such courage to have had the strength to leave your family for a way of life you knew you needed. Your life story is remarkable. Please write that memoir. It will help you gain clarity and help others learn about the world through you.
We are all one and you have reminded us, thank you.
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Dear Judith, these days I am studying.. busy for another six weeks, preparing to mentor Social Psychology (!), to learn about the self and those close to me to write as close to reality as possible.. and yes I will then continue writing! Thank you for your most kind words.. I am deeply touched by the reaction from Luis and yourself... with bowed head once again eternal gratitude.....
I wish you the very best, may you find much success and happiness, @lkhan .
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Judith, your kind words have touched deep chords.. my humble gratitude..... what an honour it is to be amongst the Mentor Community of Coursera... even if virtually.... such a pleasure indeed!!