Where are you from?

Pakistan, Sindh (province)

What was it like growing up?

There was no electricity, no running water. The school had only about 40 students.

What brought you to Cleveland?

I found the opportunity of the United States, to be the best country to go. I took some exams, passed the exams, got the Visa and came over here. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I got an offer from a hospital. I knew someone in Cleveland, and he thought I should come here, so I did. I took my chance, and I’m happy that I came.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America?

I had read a lot about America, and my God, there’s a difference between reading and seeing. When I saw things here in person, I was very impressed.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here?

My accent was tough for people to understand. It was tough to learn the different parts of the culture. I didn’t know you were supposed to write a thank you note when someone does something nice for you, but now I do. I was very much interested to learn the cultural norms. I tried my best to learn, I’m happy I did it.

What is your occupation?

I’m an intervention cardiologist.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

Very good, very welcoming. I personally was very welcomed. I had no problem. There were little differences here and there, so you had to compensate for that, but it would worked out very well. I’m proud to be here.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

Not much, really. I keep in touch with the family, that’s all I do. I don’t practice anything. I don’t go to any church or any mosque

What do you love about Cleveland?

It’s a big city, and everything is available. People are very receptive to foreign immigrants.

What is your favorite thing to do in Cleveland?

I was a private pilot as a hobby, but I am older now, so I gave that up. Now, I have a house with a big yard. I’m always busy working in the yard.

Why is Global Cleveland a great resource?

Any organization that helps people is needed. When I came, there was no such organization. It would have made things easier.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

Why not? We’re all the same people. The people who come from foreign countries look to be apart of us, so I welcome them, and do as much as I can to help them. This is the melting pot. This country is made of everybody. Everybody’s foreign.

What suggestions do you have to make Cleveland a more welcoming community?

More organizations like Global Cleveland that can give help and advice. There needs to be more communication to people who are coming here and people who are here. We need to communicate that we are ready to help out.