Since the beginning of time, there have always been people that have been discriminated against for their ethnicity and background. Being a white female, I have never once experienced the feeling of being scared, uncomfortable or judged In the area I live in. With this circumstance, it can be hard to understand what it must feel like to feel like an outsider or unwanted in the country you live in. I really enjoyed reading some of the perspectives in Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire and it gave me insight to a struggle that so many people have to endure every single day.
Even in the very first page of the book, the readers are subjected to Isma’s experience at the airport. She was interrogated for hours in the British airport based solely off of her physical appearance. While this part of the story wasn’t anything I haven’t heard of before, it was truly heartbreaking that while reading this passage it felt as if Isma’s character was nonchalant about this circumstance and not completely outraged. Though it was frustrating to her character, it was clear that this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to her and that really stuck with me because I truly cannot imagine all of the people in the world that have experienced and felt the same thing.
While reading about the kind of experiences the characters of this book had gone through, I quickly learned that Aneeka became my favorite. Despite the struggles they have all been through regarding their race and religion, Aneeka showed a strong personality that was ready to fight society back. Her actions were driven solely by what she believed what was right and wrong as well as the deep love she inhabited for her brother. I was completely shocked at her calm but powerful movement of taking her brothers body into public as well as overwhelmed by the statement it made. Character’s such as Aneeka are ones that anyone can learn from, and she completely changed my perspective on the subject, opening my eyes a little more towards what other people go through.