Interviewing Pakistani Women Entrepreneurs, Soccer, Laundry and Trash among ‘Firsts at Stanford’

Moizza Salahuddin, HU student attending the Stanford Summer International Honors Program (SSIHP), continues her travel log.

Osama Rizwan, one of my Habib University colleagues attending the SSIHP with me, talked about how we are all experiencing a lot of ‘firsts’ here at Stanford. “We are doing our laundry for the first time, taking out the trash for the first time…,” he admitted. “We are living by ourselves and that comes with new responsibilities. I know no one is going to come and pick up after me and I have to clean up myself.”

A week ago, another colleague Anusha Fatima, attended her first ever soccer match – first ever because she claimed she had never seen the sport, even on TV. And I believed her, especially when she looked at me with the most innocent yet excited eyes and said, “Everyone was so enthusiastic! There were people coming down with parachutes to the stadium!”

Colleague Hasan Naqvi could not contain his excitement either as the 50 thousand seater stadium was almost full, while colleague Sana Gondal took about a hundred photos of a fireworks display.


However, for Anusha, the next day turned out even better. She was volunteering for Hacktivision, a computer-mediated design competition, as a social media videographer. She said, “I documented videos and interviews of entrepreneurs who were there, designing products. I met three Pakistani women, all electrical engineers. One of them gushed about finally being able to speak in Urdu freely with someone, because she had missed it so much.”

Some days are spent struggling with the cold weather and long walks to the classes, while some days under a hot sun. Other days we can’t believe our luck, sitting outside on the quads at Stanford. But we are catching up, settling in. Many of us did not even feel like going to classes on the first day, but by now, I have submitted two assignments already. In traces, tracks, bits and pieces –we are making the most of this opportunity given to us!

You can read the first part of Moizza’s travel log here.

To read more Blogs by our HU Lions, click here.


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