Even though Usra Quereshi is only seven minutes older than Isra Quereshi, the difference between the fraternal twins goes beyond their looks. While Usra likes to do different hairstyles and enjoys sci-fi and fantasy books, Isra loves to do makeup and would rather watch a Marvel movie. Isra said another difference people notice are their personalities.
“I have more of a joking kind of personality because I think more logically. I stay reserved until I know your sense of humor first and then, cordially, I would tell jokes. Because she [Usra] can read people much better than I can, she would immediately make friends with you and she will start joking around with you in a like manner,” Isra said.
“I am blue and she is green, and we are the complete opposite of each other. That’s how I feel when we are twins,” said Usra, explaining that a green person is someone more introverted. Usra is more outgoing and communicates better with people. Between the two of them, Usra is the one who has more friends. “I always feel that we complete each other in a sense that we are completed opposite and yet we still link together well,” she added.
They also have different study habits. The Quereshi sisters were born in Pakistan and grew up in Saudi Arabia. They went to the same school from the kindergarten through the 12th grade. Isra was more committed to school than her sister. Even though Usra always maintained her 4.0 GPA, she did not devote as much time to her studies as Isra and would look for her sister to get class notes.
After 11th grade, Usra changed her habits, dedicating more time to focusing on her studies. That was when they switched. Now, Usra likes to study in a quiet room by herself while Isra prefers less-focused study time.
In 2016, the Qureshi twins, their parents and two other siblings moved to the United States. For the first time since high school, they are in the same classes again, but this time their brother Yousha is in the same classes too. The trio is in the class “Honors Philosophy: Introduction to Ethics.” They do not study together but they did make the presentation “Parent: To Be or Not to Be” as a group in the DCCCD Philosophy Conference hosted by Richland on April 24.
The twin sisters have different styles. Usra dresses casual-chic while Isra likes to dress more professionally. But what really calls the attention is that Isra wears a hijab and Usra does not. They made the choice individually. Isra said wearing the head scarf makes her feels safer and more in control of her body. It also helps hide her body language when she is scared, for example.
“I find myself to be more confident with this hijab then without,” Isra said. The second reason she wears the hijab is for religious purpose. She explained that in Saudi Arabia women are required by law to cover their heads.
“This is the manner we are supposed to pray in. We can’t pray with our hair open. We can’t pray with half sleeves and stuff like that. So, in those terms if I can’t stand in front of God like that, I can’t stand [in front of] of another man like that,” said Isra.
Usra decided she didn’t feel the need to wear a hijab.
“My thinking is somewhat different from hers. When I pray, I wear the scarf. But when I go out, I don’t feel the need to wear the hijab. It’s a choice,” Usra said.
Besides the physical and the personality differences, sometimes they still feel connected as one.
“If I see her crying, and I kind of figure it out why she is crying, I will start crying too,” said Isra.
“Even if I am not saying anything why I am crying, she will be able to pin point exactly why I am crying. Same goes for me,” completed Usra.
Just like all siblings, they have moments when they have disagreements or arguments, but the connection between them is stronger. When they moved to America, they stayed in different rooms, but soon after they decided to share the same room again.
“We can understand each other on an emotional level without even talking to each other. And we need to see each other at least once a day. If we are not talking the whole the day, we will stop at each other’s class to say ‘Hi’ and move on with the day,” said Isra. Usra said being a twin is like having a best friend who lives with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.