Saturday, July 1, 2017
Before immigrating to Canada, I never really felt attached to a particular land. I didn’t grow up having a sense of nationality to anchor my identity to. My parents left my motherland, Pakistan, long ago. They birthed and raised us in another country (Saudi Arabia) that made sure to tell us we were outsiders, that our rights differed greatly from ‘real Saudis’, and that even being born there didn’t change that.
We existed in a sort of limbo. Though my siblings and I visited Pakistan frequently - being raised elsewhere left us feeling like aliens in our country of origin. Our upbringing in westernized Saudi compounds for expats...left us neither here nor there. There was nowhere we actually felt like we belonged, and this is a story you’ll hear from many third culture kids of the South Asian diaspora, especially those who found themselves in the Middle East.
Canada gave us a place to put down roots. We were *home*….We felt welcomed, and part of a beautiful, inclusive & diverse culture.
In this polarized political climate the importance of this inclusivity is heightened.
I’ve never been one to feel overly nationalistic, since I’ve never really had a strong national identity before. But when I hear the Canadian anthem, I confess to tearing up almost every time…because finally…I’m home.
My illustrations below are a nod to the immigrant experience. So many wonderful communities make up Canada today - that’s what makes it truly special. With the rise of the alt right, the far right…especially in Canada, with anti immigrant sentiment growing & the hysteria around Bill C-16, I feel it’s important to stress themes of diversity and inclusivity.
This took days of drawing, hope you enjoy viewing as much as I did making! 💙
I felt that each of the characters deserved a bit of individual attention! So here they are:
If you'd like to order prints of any of these illustrations, pls contact me via email
A huge thanks to all my patrons, who make it possible for me to spend time on creative projects like this.
If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting via Patreon here - with your help I can do much more!