I grew up in the small town of Peshawar, in Pakistan, where education and opportunities for girls were scarce. My mother had never gone to school. My sister and I were lucky though. We had a mother and a father who were determined to have bright, educated daughters, no matter the backlash. I was fortunate enough to not only attend school, but go on to college as well.
At a young age, I learned the importance of education, community, and economic empowerment. I saw how rare and precious these things are, and I took none of them for granted.
I came to America after meeting my husband, Raees, a funny and warmhearted man who grew up here in the US. We started a family together, but I wanted to do more for myself and for our community here in Maryland. In 2011, I opened my own business.
As a small business owner here in the district for the past six years, I have employed local community members and cared for the young children at Kiddie Learning Center. I see not only the challenges of small business ownership, but the empowerment it brings, especially to women and people of color.
Only in America is my story even possible. Only in Maryland could my family discover such an amazing and inviting community. For all that you have done for me, for my husband, and for my children, it would be my honor to serve you and your family in Annapolis.