Beyond NY On campus Uche Umolu

Get to know Aliyya Noor from Pakistan!

Me (on the left) and Aliyya (on the right) at Wagstock in April

Hey guys! So I decided its time to get to know one of us. When I say 'us', I mean the cool kids club, aka the international students. I decided to interview one of my really good friends Aliyya Noor, to give you her perspective of Wagner, New York and just life in general. Enjoy:

Hey Aliyya tell us about yourself

I am an international student from Pakistan and a Junior accounting major with an economics minor here at Wagner. I work at the center for Intercultural Advancement, tutor five subjects and also a lab instructor for the freshman class, among other things

Wow, Superwoman. How did you you find Wagner?

Wagner was just an empty slot I wanted to fill on my common app. I googled it and liked the campus and location. I had no intention of coming here while applying.

That's very interesting. Would you say there is a big cultural difference between Pakistan and here in America (New York)?

Of course, there is a big cultural difference. For example people here are more casual in terms of dressing. I could never leave my house in my PJs back in Pakistan. Over here it doesn't matter. People here aren't as hospitable as back home. However I didn't experience the "culture shock" because a lot of the things are similar, as we are already aware of them thanks to the media


What would you say your biggest difficulty as an international student here has been?

My biggest difficulty as an international student is being away from my family.

I can definitely sympathize with that. How have you dealt with this personally?

I deal with it by staying in touch with them at all times. I cannot be at peace unless I hear from my mom at least once a day. I skype with them almost every night.

What clubs are you a part of here at Wagner? Any internships? What do you get up in your extra time?

I have served as the Vice President of Muslim Student Association. I was a member of the Anthropology club, the Animal Rights club, Habitat for Humanity. I am also a member of the community standards review board. I am also a volunteer at the YMCA and serve as a translator for Davis Guggenheim for his next documentary.

You definitely keep yourself occupied! What do you plan on doing after Wagner?

I plan on getting my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for the state of New York after I graduate.

As a politics enthusiast, I would not forgive myself if I didn't ask if you were involved in politics? 

Absolutely, I am very openly political. Not only for my own country but also the US and the rest of the world because they affect us too. Most of the time I may not be politically correct but I am proud of my political views. I believe in them and stick to them.

The whole world is aware of  Malala Yousafzai and her struggle, even recently becoming the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, would you say her struggle and experience is an accurate representation of the average young woman in Pakistan?

Absolutely not. I have the utmost respect for Malala and what she has been through. No child should be treated like that. But this was an isolated case in only one small town of Pakistan. By zooming in on Malala's tragedy, they made us ignore the fact that just a little further down from her town, countless school going boys and girls were murdered by the US drone strikes. Her passion for education is commendable but it is not a depiction for the average Pakistan girl.

Thank you so much for sharing your views and letting me pick your brains. I really enjoyed this interview.