Latest posts by Sumiya Afzal Khan (see all)
There are various ways we try to bring a change and promise to carry that on every independence day but this independence day we found a brilliant initiative taken by a media student; Omar Qureshi in his photo series known as “Yeh hai Pakistani”, this photo series covers portraits of Indian youth along with their messages that portray real image of Pakistanis.
1-Kanak Priya Singh
In summer, 2015, during my second GCDP internship with AIESEC, I got a chance to know Pakistanis and about this neighboring country. I have always read about the partition between India and Pakistan in textbooks, it told me that it wasn’t just the partition of lands but of hearts as well. And I truly felt the same when I spent my months with them. We used to hang out together and were always there for each other. In my country, people have distorted perception about the Pakistanis. I want to change that. I want them to know that Pakistanis are exactly like us. We smile in the same language; eat in the same manner; play sports in the same fashion. So what’s with all the hatred? We should openly show love and respect for each other.
“Uss samay agar hum na chhortey ek doosrey ka haath, aaj bhi manatey azaadi ki Shaam hum saath. ”
Well, being an Indian, I was always curious about Pakistan. My friends who went on Global Exchanges told me stories about how they made Pakistani best friends and how the prospective that we have about them is actually so different from the reality. This summer was amazing, I met so many Pakistanis and all of them were so cool. I never expected that I’ll have a Pakistani best friend but as it turns out, I got one this summer and she is absolutely wonderful. I miss her and hope to see her again in future. When I tell my friends about the Pakistani friends I made, they don’t really understand how nice they are, and how well we got along with each other. To all my Pakistani friends, Aazadi Mubarakh.
In summer, 2015, I spent six weeks with seven Pakistanis on AIESEC Student Global Exchange Program in Turkey. And I must say that after meeting them, my entire perception about Pakistan and its people completely changed because they turned out to be ‘Just like us.’ They were a bunch of caring, fun-loving people who called us their ‘brothers.’ Also, all of us happened to become such close friends because we talked about our mixed cultures, the sports rivalry, the love for spicy food, and rainwater problems in the same language! I sincerely hope that the enmity dissolves between the two nations, and we start living in peace together.
Pakistaniyo, tum sub ko meri taraf sey dil khol ke azaadi Mubarak ho.
2016 was the year when I first met five incredibly beautiful Pakistanis on my Summer Exchange in Greece. When the first time I saw two of them, I moved towards them and asked, “Aray, Bhai! Tum log bhi India sey!?” And they smiled and said, “Nahi, dost. Hain tou Pakistan magar tumharay Bhai zaroor hain.” I swear to my homeland, guys! The moment they said that, I felt unexplainably special and glad. And then I told myself that if you got to make the most out of this trip, stick to these Pakistanis because they are full of love, passion and adventure! And that is exactly what I ended up doing!
My favorite Pakistanis, you know who you are, thank you for showering us with your utmost respect and love on the trip. You made me feel like a family member by offering me everything from accommodation to tours and food for free, if I even plan and wish to travel to Pakistan. May we start digging peace and unity already! Azadi Mubarakh to all of you, your friends, family and your fellow countrymen.
5-Vikram Pratap Singh
My experience of meeting the Pakistanis was like meeting my long lost people. I never felt like they are any indifferent to us. They all were very nice to me and my fellow Indians. They are the only ones from my Exchange with whom I am still closely attached to. The love which I got from them was like the love I receive from my friends and parents from India. In the end, I was just left with the thought that we are too close by heart, yet separated by a border!
Azaadi Mubarak, Pakistan!
Photo by: Omar Qureshi.
One beautiful word I learnt after I spent a lot of quality time with so many beautiful individuals from Pakistan on my AIESEC Global Exchange is “Masla”. “Toh baat aisi hai ke koi masla nahi hai.” By time, I realized that all these Pakistanis believed in living the moment and not caring about petty issues. The culture I have come across after meeting all those Pakistanis is so beautiful and I can never get enough of it. The language Urdu, the taste of Biryani, the priceless hugs are all so beautiful and common with our culture as well. Every Pakistani I met was special in his/her own way and that was quite amazing. One of them even cooked for me once! And guess what? I fell in love and it reminded me of home.
As Omar Qureshi; who initiated this idea promoting brotherhood says:
While our differences are far from over, I believe that the possibility of harmony is now greater than ever. We are just the same people, but disconnected due to reasons which may simply be dubbed as purely political. So in order to break the wall of enmity and shatter the misconceptions about the relationship between Pakistanis and Indians, I present to you a photo series called “Yeh hain Pakistan”