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Born in Karachi, Pakistan |

When she was a baby Fatima’s family moved from Pakistan to Dubai but, since her parents were not of Arab descent, citizenship rules eventually forced them to look for a new ‘home’. Canada was the first country to accept them. As a youngster Fatima had the impression that Toronto was perfect, but she has since come to realize it too has its flaws. She admires the city both for its beauty and for its rough edges.

“Toronto is a home in the sense that it’s not perfect.” 

Recently Fatima dropped out of university, and she is trying to get by, doing freelance photography and finding free ways to educate herself.

Toronto as Home

Fatima wanted to be photographed near Sterling and Lansdowne where she used to live. Along the railroad tracks there are abandoned factories, construction sites and graffiti-filled alleyways. She describes the area as ‘unapproachable’ but says that once you get to know it, the area and the people there become “completely harmless”.

“I love this place because of its mess, colour and trashiness. It is where I have had many parties and bonfires, and discovered the wild things Toronto youth are up to. It also goes to show that you can meet interesting people just about anywhere in Toronto.”

Connection with the Past

Fatima was published in this Toronto-based ‘zine’. On the cover it shows train tracks leading somewhere into the fog.

“This image connects me with my view that home is not an outcome, it’s a journey.”

The zine is titled Homebound: Muslim Women Poetry Collection Vol: 1. It was the first ‘zine’ she was able to write for that didn’t involve negotiating between her Pakistani and Muslim identity.

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