Sarwari Begum, a longtime resident of Beltsville, MD is turning 100 on January 28, 2024. She was born in British colonial India on January 28, 1924, in the district of Hoshiarpur. Her father was the lambardar (Mayor) of the village of Kabirpur. In 1943 she married Shabir Husain who was an officer in the British Army then fighting the Japanese in Burma during the second world war.
In 1947 she and her husband migrated to Pakistan and lived in the city of Lahore where they raised 4 children. As they grew up, all 4 children migrated to the USA and became US citizens in due course. Her eldest son, Javed Amir settled in Beltsville in 1978. He was then a member of the National Press Club in Washington DC and worked as the Bureau Chief of The Frontier Post. In 2009 when Begum’s husband passed away at the age of 90, her son brought her to live in Beltsville. Subsequently she became a permanent resident of the USA and got her green card.
Ms. Begum loves America. She lives a healthy, active life in Beltsville and, on her good days, tends to her little garden. Along with her 4 children who live in nearby states, she is often visited by her 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Alex Amir, one of her great- grandchildren, who is 7 years old, is learning Urdu from her and boasts a lot at his elementary school of his great grandmother who is 100 years old!
Ms Begum is proud of her large family of successful immigrants who have all achieved their American dream. One of her grandchildren, Sonia Amir Bowie was Miss Maryland 2000 while she still lived with her parents in Beltsville. The Washington Post Style section covered her story in July 2001. Ms. Begum's other grandchildren have also distinguished themselves in their many different professions and are grateful to be living in this land full of opportunities.