San Francisco Glacier in Chile

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pakistan

Nilgun's humanitarian work has taken her to many exotic locales. One spot is Pakistan. In fact, it was during her "sabbatical" from work in Pakistan when I met Nilgun in Bangkok. Nilgun was in Pakistan during the aftermath of the tragic earthquake that hit about five years ago. So, on top of being in a tough country, one in which there's ongoing religious and political conflict, she was there during a major crisis. In two images, Nilgun is wearing a hijab. In another image, she's having dinner with her colleagues and friends.

I personally have never visited Pakistan. I did fly to India once, and before getting my ticket, I considered arranging a flight to Lahore, Pakistan, where I would stay a few days before traveling to Delhi. I even visited the Pakistani Embassy in Uzbekistan in order to inquire about a visa. Sadly, through my naivete and my ignorance of the world, I upset the consulate officer at the embassy by asking too many questions about the safety of Pakistan for a solo Western traveler like me. Even then, I was conditioned to think negatively about a "Muslim country." My questions irritated the officer so that he more or less shooed me away. I then opted to fly directly to Delhi. I wish I had visited Lahore.

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