Pakistani students who visited India as part of the Rotary-Aman ki Asha Youth Exchange Programme share their views about the trip
"The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
- Pablo Casals
The ten days I spent in India will be the most memorable ones of my life. The hospitality, the eagerness, the rich learning experience has been priceless. Our respective hosts Mr. Deepak Talwar, Mr. Vivek Nanchahal and Mr. Vimal Singhania, were the most warm and lovely hosts, whose families have given us so much love and support that I didn't even once feel I was away from my family. The trip was overwhelming - from the mind-boggling variety of vegetarian foods and spices, our discussions with some amazing people to the overall hospitality of people we met wherever we went. They say travelling is the best way to learn and explore. I fully agree. Meeting people, learning through witnessing, is the best possible education. This programme is a great initiative for both the countries to be together, providing an opportunity to the youth on both sides to engage, explore and learn. I am indeed very fortunate to have been part of this experience."
- Hira Saleem, L'Ecole for Advanced Studies
"The Rotary-Aman ki Asha youth exchange programme provided me with this great opportunity to visit India. The initial queries in my heart were quashed by the warm welcome of our hosts. Throughout the trip they gave me love and affection which cannot be described in words. The overwhelming friendship and care we received from our neighbours were evident in their hospitality. Sightseeing had never been so interesting, thanks to our day host students who maintained a convivial atmosphere. A thoroughly enriching experience that will always stay with me."
- Mujtaba Suhail Raja, L'Ecole for Advanced Studies.
"I am so glad I got this exceptional opportunity to visit India as a Youth Peace Ambassador of Pakistan through the Rotary and Aman ki Asha Youth Exchange programme. It was a learning experience. We got to present our views and ideas relating to this peace initiative on different levels and got a similar response from Indians, which proved that we share similar thoughts on developing friendship between the two countries. This programme holds great possibilities of promoting peace and better understanding between the people of Pakistan and India. More such youth exchange programmes should be held, as this is a great platform for the youth to interact and help towards the betterment of Pakistan and India.
We visited a lot of interesting places of historical and religious significance, like Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, Akshardham and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. I made great friends whom I got very close to in a very short time, which made it harder to leave them behind. It was a lot of fun and we received lots of love and special care from everyone we met. Especially the home hospitality we got was exceptional. Our hosts treated us as their own family members, and made sure we did not get homesick. The food was delicious and left me craving for more. I have left India with a very positive image and a hope to return soon and get a chance to visit my ancestral city as well."
- Sarah Kidwai, The Lyceum School, Member
Rotaract Club of Karachi Karsaz
"It was a very fruitful interaction and a trip that I'll remember my entire life. It was more then just an experience because I managed to conquer some hearts and I think that was my biggest achievement. We went there as 'mohabbaton kay safeer' (ambassadors of love), and came back with 'aman ka tarana' (song of peace) filled in every single heart. All the credit goes to Rotary and Aman ki Asha"
- Salar Khoso, Greenwich Institute
"Our trip to India was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about the people there. I have come to realise that deep in their hearts they want to have a good relationship with their neighbouring countries including Pakistan. During our interaction with Indian Rotarians, we discussed certain wrong notions that they had in their minds about us, or we had about them. That is how we developed a better understanding of each other."
- Amna Rahman, Lyceum
"I enjoyed this trip so much more than any other tour I have been on. The way our hosts in India welcomed and treated us was beyond my expectations. All our all hosts were amazingly humble, loving, and caring. I found that our languages, food, culture, and customs are very much same - it's like we are twins.
Music has no language, nationality or religion. Being a singer, this was my first time in front of more than a thousand people at the Rotary International Conference where I performed the title song of Aman ki Asha. I don't have words to describe the warm and tearful response of the audience. The collaboration of Rotary International with Aman ki Asha can be very beneficial in improving relations of both countries. Such exchanges will help bring hearts closer and change the perception of ordinary people on both sides."
- Absaar Hussain, Greenwich Institute
"The people were very hospitable and kind. They went out of their way to please everyone. Even the Rotractors, who came everyday, travelled long distances to be with us. Most were students who had left classes to host. The Rotarians made sure that we were made as comfortable as possible. The weather was extremely pleasant good, which added to the pleasure of visiting different places on this trip. We were given privileged preference to most invitations.
The group was extremely happy with the hospitality extended and the warmth shown.
- Tahira Ahmed Khan, Team leader, Assistant Professor &Academic-Coordinator, Student Counselor Greenwich University, Karachi
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Page 178 of 175
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