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A STORY FROM SOUTH WAZIRISTAN

NOTE: THE STORY TELLER HAS GIVEN THE PERMISSION TO USE HIS ACTUAL NAME ALONG WITH ACTUAL LOCATIONS WHERE THE EVENTS ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE.

My name is Daud Mehsood and I was born in South Waziristan. It is the largest of the tribal Agencies of FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). This blog is not the right place to argue regarding the extremist organizations making our faith hijacked by force and by so called persuasion in terms of mindset. In a nutshell, I was born in that area where I opened my eyes to the sun and see nothing.

One night, I was in my room and suddenly I heard the strange noise of bullets; It was usual for me as it used to happen on daily basis but at that instant it was something that I never observed/heard before. My family and my whole surrounding was jolted by those noise of bullets. Those noise of bullets were of military operation “Rah-e-Nijat” against the extremist organizations.

In this war against terrorism I lost my home infact we lost our homes as 400,000 families moved to Tank (southern district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Dera Ismail Khan from South Waziristan. We became IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and after losing our shelter we were bound to live in the open air camps having no facilities at all. Initially, In the camp we were deprived of food and we were humiliated badly. I became hopeless for a year while myself out of energy and feeling acutely down but then I started my real struggle in order to accomplish my goal for a better life.

After years of struggle I decided to check in Islamabad in search of getting better education in order to prosper, so I can have a satisfactory present and future as compare to my past. While my journey to Islamabad, I was investigated on several police check posts and they really treated me badly like an extremist just because I was wearing my traditional dress.

With the passage of time I started improving myself by learning new things and adapting the environment while maintaining the integrity of my own culture. I always wanted to become a model but I was not suitable for this field in terms of physical appearance (as I was weak and feeble) and body language whereas I also used to face the psychology of prejudice because of my birth place i.e. South Waziristan.

After completing my college, in order to pursue my degree in media, I took admission in BS Media & Mass Communication in International Islamic University, Islamabad. During my first semester I referred myself to many fashion designers/modeling agencies for modeling but they rejected me. I never lost my hope and then I accosted to myself that “Ek din mein un sb logo ko Pakistan ka Number 1 model bun kay dekhao ga jinho nay muje humiliate kiyea (because I was from South Waziristan) aur muje reject kiyea”.

Then I joined a gym near to my university and worked hard all days and all nights in order to get my body into shape so I can fit myself into modeling career. With a lot of struggle I dramatically transformed my body into shape. What happened next was shocking for me as my own classmates started getting overly jealoused from me. They used to taunt me by saying “Steroids le kay body banaye hai tm nay and tum kabe model nahi bun saktay” and they never appreciated my hard work.

My elders used to tell me that, happiness and pain is part of life and after every painful moment there’s a happy moment waiting for you but the condition is “Never Give up”. I submitted my portfolio in different modeling and advertising agencies. Soon I started getting calls from the modeling agencies along with fashion designers willing to hire me for their brand shoots. A guy from South Waziristan finally became a model, it’s like “Dream come true”. I will keep on working hard to strive for the best in the future as well. Till now my family don’t know regarding my modeling career as my background doesn’t support me to adopt such career.

My advice for other people is that “Don’t waste your precious time, work hard in order to accomplish your goals as everything is possible with faith and hope. Life is like a roller coaster of emotions so without struggle there is no progress. I am not hopeless and it’s my firm believe that someday I would be able to live my life in South Waziristan in a free and peaceful environment.

“A STORY FROM SOUTH WAZIRISTAN”

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