By Jonny Wakefield, Contributing writer May 17, 2012
Born in England and raised in Pakistan, Jan knew trauma from an early age. Her mother, a human rights activist with the UN, died when she was nine years old. “After I lost my mom, I didn’t really enjoy my childhood much,” she said. Janattended private school in Islamabad—which she said was more difficult than public school in Canada—and she took singing and dancing lessons in her spare time.
Then in 2005, the apartment building she lived in with her sister and father was destroyed in a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. Close to 79,000 people died in the quake and its aftermath, but her immediate family survived. Shortly thereafter, she and her sister were relocated to Vancouver where she now lives with her mother’s sister.
Jan has always wanted to emulate her mother.
“She was very educated,” she said. “She was a human rights activist in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, [and] fought for the rights of women and children.”
Jan hopes to study International Relations at UBC, with the ultimate goal of returning to Pakistan as a diplomat.