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70 people have been killed (and counting) in the previous few hours in my country. This is the first news I got when I woke up.

Ever since I have come here (to the US) I hardly read news from back home. For the first couple of weeks I did not have time and then I made a selfish decision – not to read news from home – because I knew most of it would be bad. If you are a Pakistani living in Pakistan you would usually feel normal about the news of a blast killing a hundred people. I know it sounds insensitive even inhuman but this is how you process news where blasts and deaths are part of routine.

This is my first ever visit abroad and I am surprised by the impact news (especially every bad news) from home leaves. I begin to realise how different it feels to live in a country where you don’t have blasts, where you don’t have to think twice before walking out from your home and where most important topic of discussions does not involve any kind of violence whatsoever.

For the first time I am beginning to see the difference between what is normal at home and what is really normal in rest of the world.

I have been robbed, my parents have been robbed, my siblings, my friends and every person who lives in my country has been robbed of – peace – peace of mind, peace of certainty, peace of knowing that future will be better and peace of not expecting bad news, peace of not feeling the need to change things, peace of not feeling bad for your countrymen and peace of going out in the world and telling them that things are great back home.

Hina Ali

Twitter: @uzaam


  1. Hina,

    My heart hurt for you and your family and for those you love while I read you post. Too often we find ourselves taking things for granted- peace especially. It’s easy to forget that in the midst of war lies innumerable innocent people getting hurt, killed, or taken advantage of. This is where people like myself and the other attaches look to you for guidance. Help us to begin to understand that our actions have consequences that aren’t always apparent. Help us to begin to share the weight of fear your people carry. When we understand each other and when we feel each others pain- that’s when I believe that we can find peace. Peace in empathy. Peace in unity. No matter where we came from, we all came from the same place- let’s come together again.

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