The first thing Gul Bakht does when she wakes up is pray. After this peaceful beginning, the rest of her day, she says, is “very hectic.” Gul Bakht’s schedule is not that of a typical 15 year-old here in the U.S. She belongs to a poor family in Pakistan and spends her entire day weaving carpet, from early in the morning until late at night. The only time she is not weaving is during the three hours she spends at school.
Every day for the past three years, Gul has left her house at 3 p.m. to walk to school by herself, while her brothers and sisters stay home and continue to weave carpets. “School is my favorite part of the day because I get to communicate with my classmates and my teachers,” Gul says. “While I am at school is the only time for me to relax and learn new things. Miss Farah is my favorite teacher because she understands us, and her teaching methods are very simple. She teaches us English and that is my favorite subject.” Gul is at school until 6 p.m. and then returns home. She spends the last hours of her day cleaning the house because her family members are too busy during the day to do so. She then prays, goes to sleep, and starts all over again, determined to pursue her education, which she hopes will one day bring her out of this hectic cycle.