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from Delaware Valley

Nasim Hassan - Hockessin, DE. USA
MAY 2000

 

This time the spring in Delaware Valley was very short . During the month of May, the weather is generally pleasant and the nights are cool. This time May has ushered in early summer and temperature has started touching 90 0F. Pakistani community welcomed the spring by celebrating Pakistan Day on March 25th in Trenton area of New Jersey. A number of local public figures were invited to join the celebration. Ms. Janice Miller who is an American singer was the featured artist for this evening. She effortlessly sang Pakistani new and old songs. The lady sing sings very well and her pronunciation of Urdu and Punjabi words is excellent although she can not read or write Urdu. 

The spring in the USA starts from the south and gradually works its way up North. The Washington DC has Cherry Blossom. For about one week, the Mall area looks like a valley of flowers in a dreamland. The people come from far away places to see the cherry blossom. Some people go to the mall area near Washington monument very early in the morning before the sunrise to enjoy the first sight of flowers. Gradually, the naked trees start getting new leaves and within a few weeks, the landscape completely changes.

The visit of President Clinton has been a topic of discussion among Pakistanis in this area as well as in all Pakistani communities in the USA. Generally, Pakistanis here agreed that Mr. Clinton did not say anything that Pakistani did not know. However, the balance has been tilted greatly towards India. Mr. Clinton understands the geopolitical situation very well. But American Presidents act only in their national interest. A common American really is not interested in US foreign policy. For ordinary American people, Pakistan, India and China are far away places. When American buy newspaper, the most important news for them is about sports and entertainment. Most of them do not read about other countries.

I have observed a characteristic in Americans over many years. Americans are very friendly people. If you happen to share a ride on an airplane, American sitting next will open his whole life within a few hours. But as soon as he is on the ground, he will go his own way and will not even look back. I have seen people working together in company for decades. During this time they are very friendly but if anyone leaves the company, then association of many years is quickly forgotten and they never look back. American people move fast in search of better career opportunities. Whereever they settle, they quickly start in the church, community and other civic activities. Everything about the past is forgotten. This is obvious in the relationship with Pakistan and Afghanistan. After the defeat of Russians in Afghanistan, nobody here talk of brave Afghan fighters. Therefore, Pakistan should not have any misconception about so called special relationship. 

After having made this observation, I believe that the decision making American people are highly knowledgeable. In April, the Villanova University in greater Philadelphia area hosted a seminar about Islam. The professors of religion from many American universities attended the seminar and read their research papers about various aspects of Islam. After listening to few of the speakers, it became clear that their understanding of Islamic societies and history is better than Muslim scholars. Professor Khurshid Ahmed from Pakistan delivered his keynote address on Islamic Economic concepts.

On behalf of Pakistani community in Delaware Valley, I would like to express my best wishes for Pakistani virtual community around the World. Pakistan is an idea and a dream and the dream is still alive!
The author lives in Delaware, USA, e-mail: nhassa@ yahoo.com