The Marriott Hotel, Karachi 1984

I am alien

But I speak the language.

I can take you back

To sweltering temperatures and ravishing monsoons.

Back to my mother, grazing buffalos

And the emerald, lily-padded, rain-matted fields.

Close your eyes and imagine the mud huts

Created by ancestors whose hands still tell the story.

But now I stand,

In a lobby,

Of this – gold hotel.

And open the door for a stream of colourless faces.



Aqsa Shaheen Ahmed is a third year English student at King’s College, London

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I RISE Magazine is an online platform dedicated to showcasing the stories, talents and trials of women of colour and non-binary people of colour in educational institutions. Our aim is to collectively represent, lead the way and inspire ourselves and future generations.

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