Pride in Being Pakistani
What inspires us, adds more meaning to our ideals and convictions. It helps us believe a little more, explore a little more and stretch our imagination to more concrete possibilities. As a Pakistani, today when I think of those proud moments and people who made me believe and walk that extra mile, I am pleased to express that they helped me understand what it truly meant to be Pakistani and brought such joy.
Just recently when our young cricket team won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, it was a moment to celebrate. Sitting in a restaurant, surrounded by different nationalities, glued to the mobile, watching the climax, every Pakistani was awaiting the victory. I can still remember the screams that rushed through with exuberant cries. Instantly, we connected. Our young players had fought through with undeterred spirit to succeed with such excellence. It was such a proud moment. The skill and perseverance was inspiring.
Another moment that made me a Proud Pakistani was the recognition of Muniba Mazari. When she, along with Ayesha Ishtiyaq made it to the BBC 100 Inspiring Women in 2015, it was truly heart-warming. Muniba’s motivational speeches make her a role model for many, but her presence at the Army Public School in Peshawar, singing the national song to the young students truly inspired me. She exudes a faith that crushes all doubts. Her promising presence is a treasure. She makes me a proud Pakistani.
Another time that I truly felt pride being Pakistani came through a catastrophe. The 2005 earthquake that devastated Northern Pakistan. It was a time of darkness and gloom but the way Pakistanis united across the globe to send aid and reach out was a moment for the world to witness the true spirit of Pakistanis. The compassion and the strength that came through those moments remains special in my heart. That reassurance and affirmation of a nation being alive and integrated gave so much hope and pride.
Amongst the many proud moments, Malala Yousafzai winning the Nobel Peace Prize also made me a Proud Pakistani. Promoting education for women across the globe and being listed in the Times’ 30 Most Influential Teens, Malala has become an icon symbolizing determination and hope. Her speech in Oslo, Norway exuded the confidence, strength and humility that always succeed in getting the attention of the audience, the understanding of the cause and the resolve to stand up for it.
And now, if I had to sum up all that pride in ‘Being Pakistani’, I would say that the Google Doodle that honored Abdul Sattar Edhi, made the whole world salute this great humanitarian’s contribution to his country and countrymen. This beautiful gesture by Google appeared to celebrate his 89th birthday, acknowledging his services to humanity through his selfless love and compassion. His Edhi Welfare Foundation runs the largest ambulance service in Pakistan. Whether it was rehabilitating orphans, training nurses, or rescuing abandoned babies, Edhi remained human. When asked why he helped people of all religions, sects and casts, his reply left all speechless: “Because my ambulance is more Muslim than you.” What a great reason to feel pride in Being Pakistani.
Reflecting on all these moments and people that truly inspire me to walk that extra mile, I would conclude that to me, Being Pakistani is all about persevering, fighting odds and taking on challenges, the spirit to get right back up and be heard, it is about being human first.
By Shama Mir