Several weeks ago I was given an assignment to interview ‘the other.’ The purpose was to schedule an interview with an individual who is different from me in one or more of the following ways: ethnicity, religion, age, career, and so on. I chose to interview a former colleague, named Rabbia, because she has had so many complex and textured experiences with ‘otherness,’ that is, being an outsider, a foreigner, etcetera. It was my sense that Rabbia would have an interesting perspective on issues concerning identity, ethnicity, migration and so on. Our conversation was recorded and uploaded to youtube.com.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWZkbHP4H-A
Rabbia’s parents are Muslim and were both born and raised in Pakistan. Rabbia’s father immigrated to Norway for work then later returned to Pakistan to marry. It was an arranged marriage. He and Rabbia’s mother returned to Norway and started a family. Rabbia was born and raised in Norway, where she lived a somewhat ‘double’ life–part Muslim Pakistani with a specific group of friends and orientation and part Norweigian with another group of friends and orientation. Her perspective became even more varied when she joined a third social space after marrying and American soldier. Rabbia’s story illustrates a relationship with identity that challeges the Western conception of a linear and grounded self as she fluidly moves through multiple social spaces self-identifying at one moment as Norwegian, then Muslim, as American or Pakistani. Her unique talent for articulating her experience creates a rich oral history. Check it out!