Identity Paper

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Mohammed Ustad
ID number - @36820
WRI 102 – 35
March 7, 2010
I, Mohammed Hussain Ustad an Indian from Rajasthan was born in Sharjah; U.A.E. ‘Mohammed’ is the name of the holy Prophet and also my first name which clearly shows that I am a Muslim. My second name ‘Hussain’ comes from Hussain Ibn Ali, the son of Ali and an important leader in the history of Islam for all the Shi’ites (Shi’a) around the world. ‘Ustad’ being my family name means teacher in Urdu and in Arabic. My mother tongue is a mixture of Guajarati and Urdu which has a unique dialect. These are a few facts of my life, but what is it really that shapes my identity?

The identity of an individual can be based on language, nationality or religion and in my case; it is a combination of all these variables along with my attachment to the place I was born, which gives me my identity. My father came to U.A.E 30 years ago to earn a living. I was born in the United Arab Emirates in 1991, since then I have been living in Sharjah. Every year we go to our home town, Rajasthan in India for vacation. These yearly trips give me a feeling of belongingness to one of the world’s largest country which is home to a myriad of cultures and languages. My life in Rajasthan is a stark contrast to my life in U.A.E. Therefore even though these yearly trips are special, I cannot stay in Rajasthan for more than 2 or 3 months because I am so used to the luxurious and modern life in U.A.E. When people ask me from where do I come, I tell them that I am from U.A.E and not from India as I feel greatly attached to U.A.E., my place of birth, it is where my heart belongs. The language I speak is another factor that contributes to my identity, even though I have been residing in the U.A.E. for the past 18 years, I cannot speak Arabic fluently. Being an Indian I can speak excellent Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. These languages give me an important sense of who I am. When I take my yearly trips to Rajasthan and speak in the local...
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