Friday, November 17, 2017

Pakistani immigrants feel at home in rural Pa.

Akram Khalid
(Public Opinion photo by Ashley Brooks)
In a time where divisiveness and anti-Muslim sentiment grabs headlines, The Public Opinion in Chambersburg, Penn. brings a heart-warming alternative about a Pakistani couple who were welcomed by locals after moving to the small town of Chambersburg.

Amatul and Akram Khalid, along with their children, immigrated from Pakistan to New Jersey in 1990 because they were persecuted for following a minority Muslim sect. After the Sept. 11 attacks, Akram said he was one of several Muslim engineers laid off by his employer, and the family decided to start over in Chambersburg.

Amatul Khalid
(Public Opinion photo by Ashley Brooks)
The couple says Chambersburg welcomed them with open arms. "Folks were always willing to lend a hand, they were always smiling and, more importantly, they appreciated having the two in the community," Ashley Books reports. And the Khalids love Chambersburg. They love their neighbors and prefer the slower pace of life in rural America. And they love America, and cherish their freedom to practice religion as they choose.

And though people in town have become more conscious of immigrants in recent years, they still love and support the Khalids. "Even though they voted for Trump, they want to show me that they are okay with (us) and we are safe," Akram told Books.

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