Last Word on Pakistan

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IMAGE FROM BEAUTIFUL PAKISTANI CHILDREN

A Final Word On Pakistan:

Imagine that every time you have a lapse in judgment, it gets printed in newspapers around the world: every time you lose patience with your children, every time you scream at someone in traffic, every time you drink too much and do something you regret. Each time you slip up, everyone hears about it. The world is never notified about the 99.99% of the time that you are a completely normal, productive, law-abiding citizen. The world only learns about you when things go wrong. Now imagine what the world would think of you.

It’s not that terrorism, patriarchy, and violence aren’t real problems in Pakistan. They exist and the country is battling these issues every single day. Pakistanis are very much aware of the extremism in their midst. The problem is that so many people seem to only be aware of that extremism. Because just as in the hypothetical example above—the other 99.99% of life just doesn’t make the news. When there’s only room in the newspaper for a single column about Pakistan, it’s going to be filled with the most compelling story. And unfortunately, that tends to be the most violent story.

And those are important stories. Those are the types of stories that expose corruption, stop genocide, and alert the world to emerging threats. It’s right for those stories to be told. But when those stories are all that we hear, it’s so easy to imagine a world that’s far scarier than it really is. You lose sight of the 99.99% of the world that’s not scary at all. And living in fear can be a dangerous thing. Because if we’re afraid of each other, we’ll never be able to work together to solve our common problems.

Humans of New York's photo.

I have not been to Pakistan, but I have Pakistani friends. Many years ago, we had some Pakistani students  in our home over a several year period.  After we had been to Egypt and had been treated so very kindly, having meals in people’s homes, being taken to an out of the way village , and taken to a wedding, I wanted to return the kindness of these friendly, welcoming people. I want to the  foreign student office of my husband’s university and asked for a Muslim student .Fayyaz had several roommates also from Pakistan , all in advanced degrees in some engineering department. This began a relationship of dinners,  and outings for fireworks or apple picking. I was told that the number one goal of all foreign students  who come to study in the States is to be invited to an American’s home!   These are the future leaders in their countries and who knows if someday they might remember that some Americans were kind to them when they were strangers in our land.  Gives us all pause!  I am still in contact with Fayyaz . He is married and has five beautiful children.  For years , he would call me on Mother’s Day!

My other Pakistani friend is Meena, with whom I taught for 6 years.  She is bright, an incredible teacher, and a  beautiful American born young woman.  She told me that she was terrified to come to school after 9/11 for fear the parents would attack her.  Thank God that didn’t happen.

I loved talking to and hearing about a faraway culture from precious people who in the long run are much like my family with desires and goals, and relationships and faith on a journey through this world, with hope for the future.  I heard about the Hajj , differences on the story of Abraham, Issac and  his first born son, Ishmael. Those young men knew an incredible amount of American history which amazed us. We were woefully lacking in our knowledge about Pakistan. 

I sincerely think that if just ordinary people could sit and talk, we could  work many of the problems out in the world that are between different people and cultures.  Yes, there are differences but there is so much in common.

A couple of Sundays ago, there were both Indian and Pakistani families at my church. I could not tell them apart by looking. They had lived together mostly peacefully before for many years before  the ill thought out partisan in the 1940s.  One of the Pakistani ladies invited me to Pakistan.

I look forward to the day that is possible!

 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Last Word on Pakistan

  1. ShaunyNews says:

    You get tons of links and low debate. This is a great blog. Why nobody want to talk about it? That is why we blog after all, this is why we visit.

    Shaun x

  2. ShaunyNews says:

    This group is actually called “Humans of Iran” It is mainly Iranian people on this Website Anne. Great share by you!! About time some American realized Iran is smarter and better than the US Government and it’s people are the same as most American people. Refreshing…Good share Anne!!

    • annetbell says:

      Shaun, here is the article that I copied. I did change the little girl’s picture at the beginning as it was blurry. Maybe that is what you are referring to.

      Humans of New York
      August 18 at 8:59pm · Edited ·
      A Final Word On Pakistan:
      Imagine that every time you have a lapse in judgment, it gets printed in newspapers around the world: every time you lose patience with your children, every time you scream at someone in traffic, every time you drink too much and do something you regret. Each time you slip up, everyone hears about it. The world is never notified about the 99.99% of the time that you are a completely normal, productive, law-abiding citizen. The world only learns about you when things go wrong. Now imagine what the world would think of you.
      It’s not that terrorism, patriarchy, and violence aren’t real problems in Pakistan. They exist and the country is battling these issues every single day. Pakistanis are very much aware of the extremism in their midst. The problem is that so many people seem to only be aware of that extremism. Because just as in the hypothetical example above—the other 99.99% of life just doesn’t make the news. When there’s only room in the newspaper for a single column about Pakistan, it’s going to be filled with the most compelling story. And unfortunately, that tends to be the most violent story.
      And those are important stories. Those are the types of stories that expose corruption, stop genocide, and alert the world to emerging threats. It’s right for those stories to be told. But when those stories are all that we hear, it’s so easy to imagine a world that’s far scarier than it really is. You lose sight of the 99.99% of the world that’s not scary at all. And living in fear can be a dangerous thing. Because if we’re afraid of each other, we’ll never be able to work together to solve our common problems.
      Humans of New York’s photo.
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      Sankar Salvady Photography, Dave Krugman, Rehan Allahwala and 519,214 others like this.
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      Anne Bell
      Write a comment…

      Donna Van Fossen Danner Beautiful! You are truly God’s special angel.
      Like · Reply · August 20 at 5:43am

      Ayesha Ali You might be the only foreigner in the world who has had such a great impact on Pakistan. Thank you soooo much Brandon we can’t thank you enough
      Like · Reply · 19,734 · August 18 at 9:01pm · Edited
      123 Replies

      Celeste Winders Brandon, it’s been said before but it needs to be said again… especially after your trip to Pakistan:
      You deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. You have managed to do what leaders around the world have failed miserably at: Getting people to let go of what they think they know about other people and listen, learn and care.
      Thank you. HONY is a gift and you have been so generous with it.
      Like · Reply · 14,024 · August 18 at 9:04pm
      View previous replies

      Rehan Allahwala At least a prize from govt of Pakistan
      Like · 31 · August 21 at 4:05am
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      Pilar Laranga The world is behind you, Pakistan!
      Like · Reply · 20,113 · August 18 at 9:00pm
      344 Replies

      John Jones What you’re doing is Pulitzer-worthy. Keep it up.
      Like · Reply · 17,863 · August 18 at 9:00pm
      97 Replies

      Himesh Sarkar Finally, a message from India. Though there are people here who hates your government but this page showed the other side of Pakistan which was not known to many. Before concluding I’d like to say “Peace be upon us”. Love from India. smile emoticon
      Like · Reply · 3,720 · August 18 at 9:01pm
      248 Replies · 6 hrs

      Piper Kirkpatrick I remember thinking “Why in the world would he go to Pakistan?!?!?” Now I know. Thank you for opening my eyes.
      Like · Reply · 7,658 · August 18 at 9:04pm
      View previous replies

      Rehan Allahwala Hope you come to Pakistan also wink emoticon
      Like · 145 · August 21 at 4:02am
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      Kristi Bauman Biddle I’ll admit I was a little bummed when you said you were heading back out into the world for a while. I thought I would probably glance at what you posted and then scroll on by. The stories and photos you have shared of your time in Pakistan will stay with me forever and have touched me in ways I can’t describe.
      Like · Reply · 1,890 · August 18 at 9:09pm
      13 Replies

      Kim Leonard Thank you for the reminder. Sending love to the people of Pakistan who have shown us that truth in your images and their words.
      Like · Reply · 1,385 · August 18 at 9:02pm
      12 Replies

      Anh T Nguyen “Each time you slip up, everyone hears about it. The world is never notified about the 99.99% of the time that you are a completely normal, productive, law-abiding citizen. The world only learns about you when things go wrong. Now imagine what the world would think of you.”
      True words that leave me speechless. Thank you, Brandon, for everything that you do smile emoticon
      Like · Reply · 864 · August 18 at 9:22pm · Edited
      6 Replies

      Renee Edgley Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the rest of life in Pakistan!
      Like · Reply · 542 · August 18 at 9:03pm
      2 Replies

      Hannah Mangan Pakistan I have fallen in love with your beauty and your people! This American is praying and hoping for the best for you!!
      Like · Reply · 499 · August 18 at 9:06pm
      22 Replies

      Omar Imran Thank you for coming to Pakistan. Each story was touching. You highlighted how tough some people have it there, you highlighted poverty. However, just like media you missed out on highlighting our success. I didn’t see any post about Mr.Edhi the man wh…See More
      Like · Reply · 1,853 · August 18 at 9:53pm
      73 Replies

      Amanda Bigbee “Living in fear can be a dangerous thing.” Incredibly wise words. Brandon, you do humanity a great justice through your work. Thank you for bringing us the stories of the 99.99%. They lift us up.
      Like · Reply · 403 · August 18 at 9:04pm
      2 Replies

      Amber Lowery I have fallen in love with the people of Pakistan! I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to have seen this perspective, this humanity. I had a picture of Pakistan that was shaped by the .01% that’s reported. Seeing the 99.99% has been so inspiring and has altered my viewpoint in the best way possible! Love from the USA to my Pakistani sisters & brothers!
      Like · Reply · 373 · August 18 at 9:17pm
      12 Replies

      Mary Kingston The beautiful Country of Pakistan is smiling at you. She is resilient and proud. Her history is old and learned and her future is bright with promise.There is an innocence captured on film.A wisdom that whispers her secrets.The World loves her no matter what troubles may exist within her boundaries.Pakistan remains a People Of Hope. xo
      Like · Reply · 302 · August 18 at 9:38pm · Edited
      12 Replies

      Caroline Crilly Bromley I’m in love with the people of Pakistan after this series.
      Like · Reply · 270 · August 18 at 9:01pm
      8 Replies

      Aruna Mall Thankyou – from a Pakistani women with Pakistani men in her life that are loving caring and patriotic Americans. My greatest fear is people not understanding that real Pakistan is not terrorism and is in fact family, love, and admiration of America. Thank you for showing Pakistanis as humans part of a this greater space – Dil Dil Pakistan ( heart heart Pakistan) !
      Like · Reply · 247 · August 19 at 8:44am · Edited
      7 Replies

      Omair Shakil Pakistan is like this group of wide eyed children: brimming with possibility and potential, scared of monsters at times but always surviving the dark, ready to rise every morning.

      All we ask for, is an opportunity to change what you think of us, by welcoming you into our homes and our hearts. Give us a chance, world.
      Like · Reply · 513 · August 18 at 10:35pm · Edited
      11 Replies

      Heather Beebe Your page Brandon, ugh.. It offers the best representation of your locale no matter where you are. Thank you for opening the world’s eyes to real life. Real stories. And clearly the real Pakistan. Bravo HONY.. The bar you set is so high..
      Like · Reply · 216 · August 18 at 9:06pm
      1 Reply

      Bianca Bassett Ironically, I feel like a bad person to even say (post) this out loud, that .001% is what I would always think of, when I would hear “Pakistan”…and certainly not that I believed that all Pakistani people were terrorists, but all I have ever known abo…See More
      Like · Reply · 213 · August 18 at 9:15pm
      6 Replies

      Jamelyn Swinney Beautiful words, for a beautiful country full of people who struggle everyday, just like all of us, but are constantly under scrutiny for something they did not cause. I am so thankful for these stories. Thank you for letting me into your lives. And thank you For telling your stories that I will undoubtably pass on to my son.
      Like · Reply · 201 · August 18 at 9:14pm
      5 Replies

      Yasir Khalid This unfair representation is not just a problem for Pakistan. In Pakistan, western countries get represented as full of crazy rednecks with one hand holding a budlight and the other full of dollar bills, and other less descriptive variations of course…See More
      Like · Reply · 180 · August 18 at 9:17pm · Edited
      16 Replies

      Danae Newton You deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.
      Like · Reply · 180 · August 18 at 9:01pm
      7 Replies

      Aasima Ali This is the Pakistan I know and love! Thanx for showing the world what many already knew to be true!
      Like · Reply · 156 · August 18 at 9:04pm

      Sooner Betancourt Brandon, I knew this to be true. But thanks for opening the eyes of those that didn’t see it this way. Your so inspirational to me ,and may you keep bringing people these beautiful stories. To my beautiful Pakistan Brothers And Sisters, I Love You. …
      Like · Reply · 148 · August 18 at 9:24pm
      5 Replies

      Sajjad Hussain Your page has rewritten the rule(s) of story-telling. Kudos to you for showing the human(e) side of the world. Scarcely had anyone done it so compellingly before.
      Like · Reply · 155 · August 18 at 9:03pm

      Lisa Franzgrote To quote Brandon, “living in fear can be a dangerous thing because If we’re afraid of each other, we’ll never be able to work together to solve our common problems”… This should be on T-shirts, bumper stickers and fridges around the world…. And most of all this should be in the back of our minds in our daily life. Reaching out despite fear is how we can change the world around us smile emoticon
      Like · Reply · 134 · August 18 at 9:15pm

      Midhat Ali Zaidi This final post has me in tears. Thank you Brandon, as a Pakistani I feel personally indebted to you.
      Last year I visited the US for the very first time as part of a Journalist Exchange program. Part of my fellowship was to be completed working in a …See More
      Like · Reply · 110 · August 18 at 10:12pm
      1 Reply

      Maham Waseem Couldn’t thankyou enough Hony. You opened this side of Pakistan to the world. Yes we deal with so many problems here and extremism is one of them. Yet we live a normal life with families emotions love hate same as people living around the world. I…See More
      Like · Reply · 92 · August 18 at 9:09pm · Edited
      1 Reply

      Roy Inman “And living in fear can be a dangerous thing. Because if we’re afraid of each other, we’ll never be able to work together to solve our common problems.” Amen.
      Like · Reply · 80 · August 18 at 9:08pm

      Qasim Jehangir Thank you Brandon for the amazing series on Pakistan and for raising over $2 million for such a noble cause. More than 200 million people of Pakistan send their love to you. We will always be indebted to you for all your efforts. Special thanks to all the amazing people on this page for their love and support. God bless you all.
      Like · Reply · 74 · August 18 at 9:27pm

      Uzma Ansari When you’re bombarded with so much propaganda against your own country, eventually a part of you starts to believe it. You want to visit your family, but is it safe? Should we go? When colleagues ask where you’re from, there is always that bit of hesit…See More
      Like · Reply · 57 · August 18 at 9:54pm

      Khatol Saleh You’ve done more for the world in the past couple weeks than the media has in decades. I applaud you, HONY.
      Like · Reply · 68 · August 18 at 9:06pm

      Angie Rauch You put a human face to a place painted as evil. I think you did more than I’ve seen done ever before. My heart breaks for our clouded minds and I pray the 99% prevail above the few bad. That the world’s steps up not in for war only. Thank you
      Like · Reply · 58 · August 18 at 9:04pm

      Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa You are changing the game; and I’m so grateful that you found a voice through the lens of your camera to tell people’s stories and to make us all that much more human. You are changing the world–one photo at a time. I’m so grateful every day for you a…See More
      Like · Reply · 56 · August 18 at 9:11pm

      Krajva Caixeta I’m from Brazil and the only news from Pakistan that arrives here are the bad ones, and even knowing that the brazilian news that the world receive don’t show our reality, i have never thought about Pakistan in that way.. That People work, date, have fun, and all the things that People do everywhere but inside your reality. Thanks for give us a real history class. This page is full of love!!
      Like · Reply · 52 · August 19 at 12:58pm · Edited
      3 Replies

      Goh Guo Hua I went to Pakistan for a month plus. Everyone is aware of the sectarian and extremist violence that can erupt but yes it is a loud but minor story of the everyday life in Pakistan. Islamabad, although not representative of the whole country is modern a…See More
      Like · Reply · 49 · August 19 at 2:41am
      4 Replies

      Wasma Imran All these comments above warm my heart. Thank you so much ALL of you for giving Pakistan a chance. Thank you SO much Brandon, for exploring a country that not many venture into.

      I was in the US recently and realized that generalizing countries or the…See More
      Like · Reply · 58 · August 18 at 9:34pm · Edited

      Joan Warburton My son said the same thing about Afghanistan when he worked for the US Embassy. I found it sad that my friends refused to believe the country is full of wonderful, hard working, industrious, creative people. We only hear the “problems” these countries have here in the states. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you will continue to do to bring some light into these peoples’ hearts and lives.
      Like · Reply · 48 · August 18 at 9:20pm
      1 Reply

      Onnalee Chapman Riley This has been the only exposure to Pakistan I have ever had, other than that of the mainstream American media. Thanks to HONY, I love the people of Pakistan, and their all too human stories. What a beautiful country. Unfortunately I will never have the opportunity to personally visit, so I’m so grateful for this series. Love to you, Pakistan – I’ll never forget you.
      Like · Reply · 48 · August 18 at 9:31pm
      4 Replies

      Kershee Lenise Hurt Promise Smith Brandon wrote this so beautifully. This represents my sentiments on what happens to everyone. Black people got a bad name somewhere along the way too and all people were expected to be unintelligent thugs when they met a black man and lou…See More
      Like · Reply · 47 · August 18 at 9:24pm · Edited
      3 Replies

      Joe Mangrum each of us is a grain of sand in a painting containing billions upon billions representing the living organisms the universe… each grain has its place the whole to make something balanced and beautiful… life’s ephemeral https://www.facebook.com/joe.mangrum.art/photos/a.55198712404.67853.24782742404/10153043296497405/?type=1&theater
      Joe Mangrum’s photo.
      Joe Mangrum
      Finished
      There is a sand painting that grew at Union square
      http://bit.ly/Sandman_nyc

      Follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/joe.mangrum.art
      See More
      Like · Reply · 2 · August 19 at 1:07pm

      Katie Heston Sadly, I was one of the people that assumed that Pakistan was just rife with violence. The word itself drafted images of pilfered cities and starving children huddled in rubble. It wasn’t that I assumed they were sub-human or less worthy; it was an o…See More
      Like · Reply · 48 · August 18 at 9:17pm
      3 Replies

      Cecilia Dinio-Durkin So beautifully said. I’d love more editorial from you, Brandon. While your images and captions are touching, the full force of your sentiment is invaluable in describing the situation completely. I have been to Pakistan and I felt the same way. So much good happens there, not just the bad. Bravo for bringing that to light.
      Like · Reply · 45 · August 19 at 6:46am · Edited
      1 Reply

      Muhammad Bilal it feels strange to hear something good about pakistan from an american…the media is supposed to be informative rather than misleading…no matter how much good things i tell people hear in usa they r not gonna believe it and i dont blame them cz th…See More
      Like · Reply · 49 · August 18 at 9:11pm
      1 Reply

      Lori Hunter When I tucked my girls in last night I thought of all the children in the world that don’t live with the ease & comfort that my girls live with … I made a wish that all the mothers of the world could safely tuck in the children of their families under a cozy blanket in a warm safe environment..!
      Like · Reply · 42 · August 18 at 9:58pm

      Sunnia Talha Brandon, you deserve an award……everytime I read your stories of pakistan, I had tears in my eyes. That finally, someone from the otherside of the world sees pakistan as we do. I hope and pray that before judging Us again, people would stop and think about all the 99.99% people who are beautiful inside out, and want peace as much as anyone else.
      Like · Reply · 38 · August 18 at 9:17pm

      Peggy Lai Brandon what you are doing is giving us a chance to see the real Pakistan and a chance for them to reach out to the rest of the world.

      There are injustice everywhere and only when someone like you who lift the veil and show us the naked truth do we k…See More
      Like · Reply · 37 · August 18 at 9:13pm

      Monica Ferrara Brandon, thank you! I feel Pakistan is the country of my heart and makes me sad looking at the way the media misportray this beautiful country. You did a wonderful job! You talked about the people and the stories behind the people that is the real ess…See More
      Like · Reply · 36 · August 19 at 7:44am · Edited
      50 of 16,156
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      • ShaunyNews says:

        No… x The link leads directly to “Humans of Iran” https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork?fref=ts&__mref=message_bubble
        It is Iranian people living in New York. I seen a few strange comments from Americans over this. One said “Since when did we allow Iranian’s into our Country” My reply was simple and short and took 2 seconds to think about.
        I said “You are walking stupid at Work for all the World to know what your type are”
        This guy has lived, like you and all of the USA beside Iranian’s, Arabs, Muslims and more scary Words your TV Media tell you are bad. Surely you see it with Judge J? She is just hate. She says key words and people then hate. This is how manipulated the Media make some…
        This guy I am guessing watched Fox News to be so down right arrogant and plain foolish in terms of having any kind of social skills or a way of, what do Americans say “People come here always to live” And it used to be true. Why now are people suddenly getting offended with Immigrants when they helped mould your culture for the last 100 years?

        Sorry I see Irony and feel the need to paint it red so others see it 😀

      • annetbell says:

        You are right. I clicked on that title. But the subtitles on the article was talking about Pakistan. In a country that is a huge salad bowl of people , languages, and cultures, you are right, we maybe living next to people from all over the world. From my point of view, as I have shared before, the problems are usually between governments and people who are seduced by power and wealth, not the common people of any country. Judge Judy is a very strong personality. She was a prosecutor and a judge. She has seen and heard many terrible stories involving crimes. I do not what to condemn Fox News either, without Fox, there would be no presentation of the conservative thinking on TV. They have some liberals on for commentary as well and mostly are fair and balanced as the espouse to be. My opinion. We are a nation of immigrants and we are proud of that. I can’t speak for everyone, but my problem is this administration is ignoring the law to do what they want on the immigration question. There is a process that has been in place . . . a law. . . and we are a country of laws not chaos . I see more and more chaos. I hardly recognize my country !

      • ShaunyNews says:

        Anne since we became friends to AMAZING friends I have seen you change you way of thinking and it’s astonishing. But know you are not alone. Many Americans have woken up. But the question of “What can we do” has came and gone. Well for the Elite point of view anyway. Fox News I respect your opinion. For me and Millions of other Fox News is a dangerous mouth piece that caused America to be as it is in many cases.
        Anne I research HARD. I don’t ask anyone to believe me, only to look at facts..
        Well said!! x
        You know I respect opinion..Especially from you x

      • annetbell says:

        I know how much you research your posts, and that is very admirable. I have to admit to being rather lazy often and that is not a good time. Thank you , friend!

      • ShaunyNews says:

        Not lazy. Keep in mind you can do more in life, I am often stuck at a TV or PC/Laptop/Tablet…So I have the time to research. I do understand others don’t…lol x
        But you is waking up, I see it.. x But you never compromise your ethos of being.. x

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