A quirky reflection on the journey: for all you expedition leaders-to-be, look no further for indispensable hints and tips!
So it’s the penultimate day of the expedition. This trip really has changed me not just as a person but on how I perceive everything!
Today we travelled back to Islamabad and continuously went over the speeches for the celebration this afternoon. When we got back to the hotel I had the longest and hottest shower which felt amazing. If you are ever going to spend a night in the mountains make sure you are prepared for a COLD night!
We then went to the Pakistan National Council of Arts for our final celebration where everyone who we'd met over the two weeks came and watched us as we gave our speeches. Giving the speech has actually made me realise just how much my perceptions of this country have changed. Now I feel inspired and motivated and want to change others’ perceptions.
Speaking to all the MP's and people after just made me realise that what we are doing is a really positive thing and if we all carry on working hard we really can make a change.
[Editor’s note: The celebration was attended by the UK Foreign Affairs Committee and the team had a chance to speak with the MPs about their experiences afterwards].
Imran makes the most of the rare peace and quiet and shares his experiences and reflections from the hills above Nathiagali.
The media’s perceptions in regard to Pakistan are very negative in the UK. However, since I have been here it has been the complete opposite. The hospitality that we have gained from Pakistan will be remembered always. This allowed us to feel comfortable, safe and eventually somewhere that we will definitely, without a doubt re-visit.
My experience during our stay in Pakistan has been unforgettable. The amount of knowledge, skills and inspiration that I have gained will influence my actions and change what I would like to portray within the UK. The most memorable moment for me was the day in which we learnt about child labour at the EDIC school. The time I spent with those children from the streets, in poverty and those who work to provide for their families was magical and unforgettable.
In regards to this I have been moved and encouraged to help those of a younger generation in the UK, allowing them to have an equal education, build skills and confidence to better their lives.
I will be contacting difference schools, youth communities/workers and introducing them to the knowledge I have experienced within Pakistan. In terms of my fashion career, Pakistan will have a big impact in the colour, textures, dyes and fabrics that I use to recreate my thoughts and ideas into a Pakistan Inspired Collection.
Pakistan has changed me as a person. Pakistan has moved me emotionally. Pakistan is Beautiful!
Today while sitting up on a mountain near Nathiagali, I realised having seen so many different parts of Pakistan I would never have thought that Nathiagali, the mountains being so peaceful and quiet, is a part of Pakistan.
I realised that Pakistan is a country that holds every aspect of life - you will find what you want whether that’s in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Mirpur or Nathiagali. The country is more then what is projected to us through the media, our families, friends, teachers, books and websites.
Pakistan has talented, skilled people; it is one of the central bases for current Asian fashion because of their unique sense of style, techniques and use of materials although there isn’t a specific style or trend: in Pakistan trend is what you make it.
Along with fashion, Pakistan has explored other aspects of design, looking at carpet designing, painting, stencilling, photography, fine art and many more.
These things are always hidden behind what is projected to us. The media is a story teller which can be true or false. It is up to us what we want to make of it, but tell the two sides of a story.
Although Pakistan holds many positive, there are always negatives like child labour, women’s rights, flooding and poverty but how many of us knew all this?
I think Pakistan is one of those places that you get a bit of everything: you get the countryside, the city, villages and not forgetting many of the highest mountains in the world.
I would like to go back to England and make a change in how people see Pakistan. Using visual pieces I would like to have an exhibition inviting teachers, local people and most importantly young people and students because they hold our future and how we see it. If we can make a difference in what they see then inshallah there will be a change.
Page 1 of 16 pages
What have I learnt?
It’s been ten days and the team have been through so much together. They have worked with students, activists, artists and fashion designers, as well as Islamic scholars and people from all walks of life in Pakistan.
Amidst the emotions at the end of the expedition, we take time to speak to each member of the team to find out what they have learnt about themselves and Pakistan during the past ten days.