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Cool Bihari: My Father's Land

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My Father's Land

Rummana Hussain is a general assignment reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times who also doubles as an assistant to Sun-Times news and entertainment columnist Michael "Mike" Sneed. She traveled to India and her roots in Bihar, Banauli from where her parents hail.

While growing up, Rummana, a Chicago native, was advised by her parents to steer clear from journalism. Like most natives of India, they wanted her to pursue a career in medicine and engineering. What American newspaper, they countered, would hire someone with the last name "Hussain?" Rummana received a B.A. in Communications from Loyola University in Chicago in 1993. She also has an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. She is a member of SAJA's Chicago chapter and is actively involved with the Muslim Community Center in Chicago.

It was a pleasant surprise to receive Rummana mail today on her recent article, the first of the three in the series on her visits to Banauli,Bihar.

Here’s what she has to say about her ancestral place in her touching post titled “My Dad’s Hometown”

We'd complain about the lack of television and our pesky relatives who'd "borrow" our bottles of shampoo and chew up all of our of Bubble Yum as we'd wilt in the 120-degree heat and were eaten alive by mosquitoes.

The funny thing is that it was you who griped the most about Banauli's poor infrastructure, muttering under your breath and shooing away flies. Your biting comments were perfectly timed, exactly the comic relief we needed when we thought we couldn't take one more day.

In spite of it all, we really did learn to cherish Banauli and our Indian relatives as much as you did.

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