Thursday Aug 22, 2019
TORONTO: A female Pakistani immigrant student from Ontario university got the best present from her favourite pop star; the chance to continue her education.
Ayesha Khurram met Taylor Swift a year ago when the singer had a concert in Toronto and while it was a fun memory, she thought nothing of it. It was when Ayesha and her family were struggling to pay her tuition fees for the university that she went online to ask for help.
"When I posted, I was just like venting. It's hard to pay off tuition. It's really expensive," Ayesha told international media. "One of my friends online was like, 'You should drop your PayPal so we can help you out,' and I was like, 'That's not a bad idea, I should totally do that.' And then I did. And the next thing I know, I literally have no more problems anymore."
Ayesha got a notification about an online money transfer by the Taylor Nation, LLC which showed a total of $6,386.47 had been sent to her with a note from Swift saying, "Ayesha, get your learn on, girl! I love you, Taylor!"
It was a special moment. "I can't put it into words. It was insane. I could not believe it," Ayesha said. I literally could not believe it. It was like this guardian angel that kind of popped in and said, ‘Hey, you have troubles, but now you don’t have troubles anymore,'” explained Khurram from her Mississauga home.
Said Ayesha, "It's more than what I asked for. She is just so generous. I literally cried myself to sleep last night. This is the kind of thing you don't expect. You don't even dream about it. In no corner of your brain are you thinking, 'Taylor Swift is going to send me money and help me out.'"
Ayesha is studying accounting and financial management at the University of Waterloo. Recent cuts to Ontario’s student loan program meant that she would be short on funds for school, her parents both work minimum wage jobs and it was already quite tough making ends meet in the household. "It feels like this huge burden has been lifted off me. I literally feel so happy. I'm going to go out. I'm going to eat a burger. I'm going to watch a movie. I'm just going to celebrate, like fully. I can't believe this has happened to me. "She is literally my favourite person on the planet," Ayesha added.
Originally published in The News