Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pakistan, you will always be home to us.

To Pakistan. To the country the great Jinnah gave his life for. To the soil of the motherland and to finally understanding the love for the mitti1 as our elders used to say, that overwhelming feeling as you step out of the airplane and the airport. Through the smoky air, through the very Pakistani smells, you can almost feel it. These are your people, this is your land, your language, your history. This is your home, my home, our home. 

To Pakistan. To home. Because more than anything, that is what it will always mean to most of us. Wherever we will go, whatever we become, the one place where we will always be welcomed, will be this. Like they say, you can take yourself out of the land, but never the land out of yourself.

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all photos from our time in Bahawalpur in December 2013.

To the people, the land, the food, the beginning of our stories. To all that is good about it that we can never forget. To the country that continues to survive because of the hundreds and thousands of nameless everyday heroes that work for it and get forgotten amid the stories of the many that malign its name. And to the resilience and the courage of its people, to continue in the face of turmoil.

And to all of us that began our stories there, from its cities and its colleges and its universities, but then moved on to greener pastures, may each of us from our corners of the world, find something we can do for its cause and its people. We owe it to it’s mitti.

A very happy Independence Day2 to all the Pakistanis from around the world.

Thanks for reading and much love.


FYI

1Mitti is an Urdu world that means the soil.

2Independence Day observed annually on August 14, is a national holiday in Pakistan, commemorating the day when Pakistan achieved independence and was declared a sovereign nation, following the end of the British Raj in 1947.

Monday, August 11, 2014

AROUND ISLAMABAD: Saidpur Village

Hey lovelies, with 14th August just around the corner, I thought I would to do some Pakistan related posts on the blog throughout August. Despite the political/social turmoil my beloved homeland seems to be in eternally, when you’re there you realize it is so much more than the news stories that come out of it. The people, the places, the smells and sights and sounds, the colors, the clothes, the languages, the hospitality, the family ties, the FOOD. How could I forget the food. There is just so much more to this land that is worth loving, despite all the problems. Hopefully these posts will remind one of those other things.

I’ve mentioned this Islamabad gem earlier too in this post last year, and here is a picture story exclusively of that, Saidpur Village.

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These pictures above from October 2010

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These pictures above from December 2012. More here.

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These pictures above from January 2014

Saidpur Village is a Mughal-era village on the foothills of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad. The village has the traces of various civilizations, including Gandhara, Greek,Buddhist, Mughal, Ashoka and the colonial periods. It was remodeled in 2008 with the help of the French government and is now a popular stop for both local and foreign visitors. It boasts a small little museum, several restaurants and cafes, handicraft stores and galleries, a tomb and a temple. A beautiful mix of old and new makes this a charming little getaway right in the middle of Islamabad.

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

More in this series here.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our Backyard Eid Dinner

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Except for a few pictures in the beginning, most of these taken by the amazing photographer and my good friend, Sumera Naveed.

Here is a picture story of our simple celebration for Eid. It was the perfect example of everything going wrong initially but ending up just right. I ended up with just some simple crepe paper strings, flowers and candles in jars for the decor. The food was ordered at a local restaurant and I laid out some simple snacks on the side to nibble on. A friend brought the yummy cake along with the candles and the kids loved blowing them out together. Our Eid gift tradition for kids continued and has grown so much. The gift corner was literally overflowing and one of the best parts was watching the kids open those gifts.

I have always been unsure of hosting anything for Eid, because I worry about getting so caught up in the preparations that we end up not enjoying it for our kids. But I’m so glad we did it, because it was so totally worth it. Watching our kids and their excitement, the chatter of our friends all dressed up and enjoying each other’s company and just spending the day together, it is what it’s all about. If you haven’t already check out my earlier post on celebrating Eid when you have kids

And only in America can your friends be such sweet guests. As it got dark, our friends helped clear up everything, including loading the rented furniture in our car:p, and sooner than I thought was possible, the backyard was clear. The joys of American Eid, I tell you! Sigh :)

Thanks for reading. And promise this is my last Eid related post. Lots of love.

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