Seeking a better life

Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of profiles of local people and what being an American means to them. Tell us what it means to you to be an American by joining our forum at

Ramzan Haq came to America from Pakistan in 1973 and became a naturalized citizen in 1979.

He said he came to America for the same reasons people have been immigrating here for centuries.

He came for a better life and better education for himself and his family.

“I liked the country and that’s why I chose it,” said Haq, the patriarch of Medina Kabob, a family owned restaurant in the Metro Plaza shopping center in Woodbridge.

Haq said most of the people he knows in Pakistan respect and admire America’s system of capitalism and democracy and truly see the country as a land of opportunity.

When he first came to America, Haq said, he was surprised at the welcome he received.

“I learned that Americans are very broad-minded and they open their hearts to you,” he said.

Haq said he and his family did indeed find opportunity and his children grew up in two cultures.

“They learned about a different culture at the same time we taught them about Pakistan,” Haq said of his three sons and two daughters.

Haq spoke to his brothers about America and told them that hard work was rewarded in this country. Eventually, all of his brothers came and found success.

“They came because they wanted to be with us and there is better opportunity here. The life here is much easier here than it is over there,” Haq said.

“They work hard and they earn a good living. They do OK.

“Back home they don’t have much,” Haq said of conditions in his home country.

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