For the first time in the history of The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, three Pakistani-American students are organizing a week-long trip (March 18 - 26, 2017) to Pakistan over the spring break from classes. Please consider making a gift to help 30 future leaders form meaningful connections and perspectives that will lay the foundation for long-term growth, understanding, and peace in the region.
Pakistan is a nation with a troubled past, causing some Americans to dismiss it as a “third world country” without fully understanding its vibrant culture and generous people. Moreover, Western news outlets often cover stories from the country that are sensational in nature, feeding the false stereotype that the country is a security threat and a safe haven for extremists. The aim of this trip is to combat the simplistic narratives and introduce a nuanced understanding of the many views, ideals, cultures, and stories of Pakistan.
Fletcher has a reputation for producing well-rounded practitioners in every dimension of international relations: graduates have gone on to become prominent prime ministers and presidents, successful business leaders, well-known diplomats, and self-made entrepreneurs. By meeting with Pakistani government officials, businesses, nonprofit organizations, NGOs, and educational institutions, this immersion will play a critical role in building partnerships and fostering a long-term understanding of Pakistan in the global context. Pakistan has made great progress restoring macroeconomic stability and improving law and order. Today, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, a nuclear power with tremendous growth potential as a result of China’s investment in the country’s infrastructure, market liquidity, and openness to foreign investment. This immersion will provide our future leaders lifelong experience upon which to to draw, laying the groundwork for a more favorable investment climate, stronger global security, and help create regional peace.
By showcasing Pakistan’s diverse geography, history, culture, and people, we hope to give students the opportunity to paint their own picture of Pakistan. Excursions and site visits will show participants that Pakistan is as rich in history and natural beauty as it is in local hospitality. We have received over 50 student applications expressing interest in the trip. In order to make the trip accessible for all students, we are asking for your support to help subsidize the cost of airfare. Understanding a misunderstood culture through immersion and firsthand experiences is a key first step in lasting global peace.
Mariya Ilyas, Seher Vora and Ahmad Raza