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Portraying the true face of Pashtuns to the world

SPRINGFIELD: Speakers at the Second International Pashto Conference at Springfield Virginia urged the Pashtun living across the world to come up with modern means for promotion of Pashto language and culture besides. Pashtun thinkers, experts and intellectuals across Northern America besides other parts of the world and their families in large gathered to mark the occasion and to discuss the challenges faced by Pakhtuns in the Pak-Afghan bordering regions and other parts of the globe.

Former member of Pakistan's National Assembly Himyatullah Mayar addressing the moot said that Pashtuns living along Pak-Afghan border face a host of problems adding that besides promoting the rich culture, it was binding on Pashtuns living across the world, specially the United States, to strive for resolution of these problems and to portray a positive image of the Pashtun nation.

“Pashtuns in America are very concerned about how to raise their children in a Pashtun environment and how to teach them the language and culture in an alien environment”

Dr Razaul Hasan of Pashtun American Community Association (PACA) said on the occasion.

“We are discussing ways and means to keep the language and culture alive and to promote it”, Raza told the participants including a large number of men, women, children and youth.

“It’s a big challenge but we have to strive for emancipation of the young Pasthun lot”,

(PACA) member Khalid Khan said.

Senior Editor and Communication Director at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York and a senior Pakistani journalist Jehangir Khattak highlighted the role and importance of media for promoting the culture and language.

“Pashtuns don’t have its own media, only a few print media outlets are owned by Pashtuns, I would say the Pashtuns must focus on having their own media, run and managed by them,” Khattak remarked.

Dr Almas Khan, professor at the Virginia Tech said: “Pashtuns can solve most of their problems by having a scientific approach to issues.”

Zebu Jilani, a Pashtun woman volunteer and intellectual, stressed the Pashtuns in America to play their role paying back to the society, adding “the PACA don’t need time but also financial resources for the community.”

Rana Mohmand, a Pashtun poet from Afghanistan highlighted the challenges faced by the Pashtun women. She urged the Pashtun women to come forward and solve their problems and to work along with the men. She said that women should play their own role.

“The basic purpose of the conference is to create an awareness among the Pashtun nation about their language and culture”,

Qasim Yousafzai, the PACA member and moderator of the conference told.

“Languages and cultures are disappearing from the world very fast”, he said. “Every Pashtun should work hard to keep this language and culture not only alive but to promote it on every possible means”, Yousafzai told reporters.

He said that language and culture has become very low priority, “In order to promote it and create awareness, it is the responsibility of every community member to play his/her role”, he said.

Earlier, Asnaf Qadir, another PACA board member informed the participants about the day-long conference. He presented the whole agenda including speeches, youth show, mushaira and followed by music.

Amjad Ali, PACA youth director, presented a youth show including poems by the Pashtun children, paintings and a variety of other presentation.

The youth show was followed by mushaira where Pashtun poets presented their poems and enthralled the participants of the conference.

Engineer Mohmand, a California based Pashtun singer, received great appreciation from the participants of the second Pashtu International Conference. He sung different popular songs of Baba-e-Ghazal Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari, Ghani Khan and others.

Comments (11) Closed

saythetruth Sep 03, 2013 04:59pm

What image of Pathan ? I don't see any of Pathan sister in the picture covering her head with hijab. It is a joke their next generation will melt in the American melting pot.

Amjad Sep 03, 2013 07:47pm

A bunch of non-entities vying for a get-together on weekend.

Pashtun khan Sep 04, 2013 09:29am

They are not portraying our culture but seems a serious threat to Pashtun Culture. Every guy in this event is saturated with western culture. Pashtun's culture is the second name of dignity and Islam. These people might have learned our language but they know nothing about our culture.

farid Sep 04, 2013 10:44am

@saythetruth: Move to 21st century. Hijab is actually Arab culture.

Bob Sep 04, 2013 04:27pm

@saythetruth: Righto bro - take them back to your country and stone them to death.

asad Sep 05, 2013 09:23am

This is a good effort to bring pushtun community together and share their tradition with younger one. I think wearing western clothes and no hijab doesn't showdown the pushtun culture, but it is the behavior and mutual respect that keep pushtun people and their culture alive. Keep it up and try to interact with new generation and inculcate our tradition in them.

tirahwaul Sep 05, 2013 04:22pm

Hats off to the organizers. the real Pashtun Mujahideen. Dress is not all about culture. Important is language and thought process for which the gathering was organized. Go to Arab deserts, if u have problem with their dress.

Adam Sep 05, 2013 04:24pm

@farid: Where do you come up with this stuff. There is a level of being illiterate. I am even amazed that Dawn posts these comments. Pre Islamic Arab culture was not to cover their heads. How can you associate this with Arab culture. Read on History dude.

Culture Khan Sep 05, 2013 11:23pm

Come on guys, there were having get-together while living in a different country and away from their true friends and relatives.

Why on every item report (item song), you guys become so hasty........

bilal habib Sep 05, 2013 11:57pm

Being a participant in this conference, I feel proud to be associated with such selfless souls. They are working on many projects for uplifting the education of poor kids in Pakistan. I feel lucky as well that my views are moderate and not poisoned by Arab culture of intolerance, currently influencing our region named 'Pukhtunkhwa'.

Modi Sep 06, 2013 06:24am

@Pashtun khan: If you don't want to assimilate with Americans and not wear western clothes, then leave the western countries and go back to the caves in Pakhtunkhwa where you came from. At least don't embarrass other Pakistani immigrants!