Peace Building and Great Friendships: Story of Tulika Bhatija (India) and Raza Khan, Suraya Islam and Zaibun Nisa Hussain (Pakistan)
As part of our call to share about their friend(s) beyond the Indo-pak Border, Tulika Bhatija, an Educator and Peace Builder shares her story of friendship with Suraya Islam, Zaibun Nisa Hussain and Raza Khan from Pakistan whom all she met as part of her peace building activities between India and Pakistan.
I met Suraya Islam first time on Skype, along with my students at Ecole Mondiale World School. Our conversations about cricket, partition and flavours of both countries were filled with humour and interesting insights from both sides. Suraya led the discussion with flair, maturity and helped her students reflect on their thoughts and interactions. I learnt so much from her that day. A few months later, I found a gift on my coffee table, with a note attached to it, ‘To our favourite teacher, With Love, Karachi.’ I was very overwhelmed to receive the Ajrak from Sindh; it was strangely nostalgic. Till date, I keep that note in my purse, and think of my wonderful exchange with Suraya.
I met Zaibun Nisa Hussain through another beautiful letter exchange between Mumbai and Chitral. Zaibun and I connected instantly; we shared similar values as educators and encouraged our students to write heartfelt letters and messages to each other. She is a humble, kind and a loving human being and a teacher in which Pakistan can find hope in to bridge barriers between India and Pakistan. I hope to hang out with her some day and have conversations over many cups of chai. 🙂
Raza Khan and I were introduced through Aaghaz-E-Dosti in the aftermath of the Lahore attacks. We have exchanged stories of peace, pain, sorrow and trials and tribulations of being teachers. I can never imagine what it feels like to teach in a school where children have lost their very own. I am very fortunate to have met someone so passionate and determined like him. He continues to grow as an educator and is always to open to learning and sharing ideas.
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