Humans of Blair: There's no place like Oz

Feb. 3, 2014, 10:14 p.m. | By Aidan Keys | 10 years, 5 months ago

"Humans of Blair" inspired by the blog Humans of New York , is a weekly blog that features Blazers and their stories. Come back next Monday for the next edition of "Humans of Blair."

Spanish version here.

"I don't have any philosophies."

"I can't really say I have a single homeland."

Senior Tauqir Abdullah has a slight swing in his voice and sharp articulation that makes it unique from most Blazers. He speaks and walks softly. Abdullah was born in Kagoshima, Japan, where he stayed until the first grade. Since his dad's job as a scientist required him to work outside the country, Abdullah had to move often as a child. "I would say I'm an international. I have an international homeland." Although Abdullah has lived in Japan, the U.S and Australia, Australia (Oz for short) is where he feels most at home. It explains his voice and calm demeanor. "Life is a lot more relaxed. I mean we didn't have any homework in Australia and so I had more time to do a hobby," he says. "We used to build stuff after school because there was nothing else to do and it was a lot more fun. So I would say move to Australia if you could."

Abdullah moved from Australia to the U.S. in the 7th grade. He then he moved back to Australia for the 8th grade but returned to the U.S since he started the 9th grade. Abdullah says the weather defines a major difference between Australia and the U.S. "Our entire hobby in Australia was riding bikes around. And when I got to the U.S, the weather here...changes so much! I can't really have like a continuing hobby." He says that since fewer people go outside, it makes America less people-friendly as well. "Everyone's a bit more isolated here." Despite these challenges, he has found coding in the U.S. and recently he went to a competition for it. The competition, Hackathon, in which participants only have 24 hours to come up with an idea and code it, took place at Yale and Duke.

Even though Abdullah travels between countries so often, he has managed to carry one culture with him. Abdullah's parents are from Bangladesh. Though Abdullah hasn't been to Bangladesh, he feels connected to the culture because of his religion. Abdullah is a Muslim who participates in Islamic groups which try to help youth from believing in Islamic extremists. "I work in groups that help keep people understanding within the Western culture how to live the Muslim way." Though he doesn't let one country identify him, he identifies himself through Islam. "There's also the continuous idea that following Islam requires the thinking about it every moment because you have to pray five times a day, you have to abstain from the bad and be good always. It's just like any religion-it's a way of life." And in a life of flying to other countries, it helps to stay grounded in some way.

Aidan Keys. Aidan writes feature stories and has a beautiful mane of wild hair. She has a cat named Cleo and enjoys learning Portuguese and Spanish for fun. Usually is listening to music, but sometimes she plays it on her violin or her cello. More »

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