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.
What will I do? I’ve been waiting for this question for a longggggg time! Whilst I’ve been out here I’ve been having so many ideas and thoughts that I want to implement when I get back to the UK. In my opinion I’ve been getting these ideas because of the group - I seem to be feeding very well off them in terms of creativity and find myself implementing bits and bobs of their ideas and vice versa.
Today we drove for three hours to Nathiagali, and then we went on a hike further up into the mountains where we spent two hours on our own, reflecting and coming up with the final plans for after the expedition. I composed a 10 point plan and hope for it all to go well.
My main objectives are: to show people what Pakistan is really like and to try and change the media’s and people’s negative perceptions of Pakistan in my area.
10 Stages of my project
1. Think of ways to engage young people.
2. Start off with contacting my old school.
3. Tell them about the project and encourage them to watch the ‘Offscreen’ expedition.
4. Go in to an assembly and talk to the children about Pakistan and try to find their views and perceptions.
5. Take all the information and research what areas I can work with.
6. Draw up sessions.
7. Show schools and ask if I can implement them.
8. 6 weekly workshop sessions (ending in January)
9. Show them what Pakistan really is like.
10. Change the children’s perceptions of Pakistan
The idea is that the weekly sessions will run at the same time as the programmes so each week we can watch and discuss.
What will I do?
The team have been hard at work during the expedition and we head into the hills around Nathia Gali to find some peace and tranquillity to reflect on their experiences so far.
The setting guides their thoughts as they share life lessons and decide what they are going to do when the return to the UK. Each member of the team decides on one action. What will it be and what are you going to do?