Expatriate Americans in Pakistan on Donald Trump’s win

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Al Jazeera: November 13, 2016

Karachi, Pakistan – As darkness fell across America on the night of November 8, halfway across the world in Pakistan, dozens gathered outside the United States consul general’s home in Karachi to watch the election results as they trickled in.

It was a sunny day and a public holiday in honour of a poet and political leader who was one of the nation’s founding fathers.

Inside the residence, cardboard cut-outs of the two presidential candidates greeted members of civil society, journalists and development workers.

Even as many consular officials had a pre-dawn start to the day, they were in high spirits as they posed for selfies, donned Uncle Sam hats, and took part in a straw poll of the most beloved past US president (Abraham Lincoln won by a clear majority).

Officials are not allowed to disclose for whom they voted, but as the electoral map steadily turned red, the hosts got unusually quiet.

They turned their backs to their guests as they stood in tight knots around television screens broadcasting the latest figures.

“Look at their faces,” one journalist said. “They look as though they might cry.”

As guests jostled for a photo with Consul General Grace Shelton, Donald Trump’s cut-out was accidentally elbowed to the ground. “It’s too late to knock him down now,” an elderly gentleman said grimly.

 

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Author: Sanam Maher

Karachi-based journalist and author My work has appeared in Al Jazeera, The Caravan Magazine, Buzzfeed, Scroll, Women in the World, British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound, Boat magazine, The Express Tribune, Herald, Daily Times, The Friday Times and Newsweek Pakistan. My first book, The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch is out in South Asia now, and the UK in 2019. You can find me on Twitter @SanamMKhi Or follow me on Instagram @topbastard

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