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Fiza Oral History Interview

Fiza is a pseudonym used to protect the identity of the interviewee. Fiza is an Afghan-American woman who immigrated to U.S. in 2003 through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) after living for over a decade as an undocumented immigrant in Pakistan. She talks about the hardships that she faced throughout her life.

Her struggles started at a young age when her father passed away. Fiza also lost her mother at a young age. This was a turning point in her life as she had to mature and assume responsibilities to take care of herself and of her younger siblings after her mother's passing.

Fiza was married off as a teenager and never allowed the opportunity to pursue an education despite her strong desire. By the time that her older sister, who was able to attend school and college, was getting married, Fiza had given birth to her fourth child. She believes that if given the opportunity to go to school her life trajectory would have been completely different.

Fiza was the fourth wife of a polygamist man. Being the youngest wife traditionally meant that she would be in charge of the household operations while being a young mother. She had to flee her home due to internal geopolitical conflicts as a result of the proxy war between the U.S.-backed Mujahideen and the Soviet Army.

Fiza had to flee to Pakistan where she lived as an undocumented immigrant with her family. With the lack of economic opportunities, she had to act as the breadwinner to feed her children. She worked various jobs as domestic help and as a tailor to make ends meet.

Immigration, Gender & Sexuality

Duration: 00:38:54

Date: February 6, 2022
Subject(s): Fiza
Type: Oral History
Source: Archival Creators Fellowship Program
Creator: Zainab Mohsini
Contributor: Fiza
Location: Bristow, VA

Collection: Zainab Mohsini Fellowship Project
Item History: 2022-06-07 (created); 2022-06-30 (modified)

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