19th Aman Chaupal: Pakistani Peace Activist, South Asian University student share their experience with Karachi students
On 30th May 2016, SMB Fatima Jinnah Girls School’s Summer Camp organised an Indo Pak Peace Program in collaboration with Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an initiative to build bridges between India and Pakistan. This event was conducted for the students of 9th and 10th grade. The management team invited Mr. Bharat Makwana, a Pakistani student at South Asian University in Delhi, India and Ms. Suraiya Islam, coordinator/representative of Aaghaz-e-Dosti in Karachi, Pakistan, who recently had the privilege to visit the beautiful heritage of India.
This program was held in form of a two way dialogue between the guest speakers and the audience. Students participated enthusiastically in asking questions to our guest about their experience of visiting and living in India as a Pakistani. The speakers corroborated their responses by showing photographs that were clicked by them.
The students asked questions around schooling in India, festivals celebrated in India and most importantly about the food. On food, Mr. Makwana commented that he never missed home because of the delicious DESI food available in India. A student also asked the guests about the recipe of Pao Bhaaji, common dish eaten in India, which the guests could not answer but surprisingly a student in the class was able to share the recipe of Pao Bhaaji she learnt and cooked by the help of YouTube.
Students shared their fear about India based on media representation and asked questions to our guest regarding treatment of Muslims in India, to which Ms. Islam, who is a Muslim, answered by sharing how she was treated well in India and how her encounter with Muslim families living in India taught her that Media representation is not at all the truth.
The event ended at a high note with Ms. Shehnaz, Program Manager at SMB Fatimah Jinnah School and Ms. Sana Kazmi, representative of Zindagi Trust and Head of SMB Fatimah Jinnah Girls School’s Summer Camp appreciating the guest speakers for their time and contribution. Students also showed gratitude and great enthusiasm about visiting India in the future and also applying to South Asian University for higher studies. This event was co-ordinated by the teachers, IT department and Azima Dhanjee of PUAN Karachi.
Report by Azima Dhanjee and Suraya Islam
Aaghaz-e-Dosti Karachi Chapter