A life of their own choosing

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After a very traditional start in Pakistan, couple makes new future for their family in Canada

By Anam Latif

Nazia Zeb remembers sitting at home as a young girl, eagerly awaiting a new pair of shoes. She and her three younger sisters all needed new shoes. So a servant went out to the market and returned with a bag full of a dizzying number of shoe samples for the girls to choose from.

Nazia would have much rather picked out her own shoes at the market. But this archaic method was the only way she could shop.

She couldn’t leave her house because she was a girl.

Nazia grew up in a remote village just outside of Mingora in the Swat Valley district of northern Pakistan — the now-famed north Pakistani city where Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai went to school.

While Nazia’s brothers were shipped off to fancy private schools, she and her younger sisters climbed into a minivan to go to an ordinary school outside her village.

“Education for girls was not a priority,” Nazia said. “The priority was getting married.”

Her memories of rickety van rides to school are over 20 years old now as she shares her story from her suburban home in Hamilton.

Read the entire article.

Article and image source: Waterloo Region Record

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