• Ibra Aamir

Through Foreign Eyes - Why Eva Zu Beck's Portrayal Of Pakistan Matters

Pakistan’s image has always been tarnished by the international media. People believe what they see. Mass media has always depicted Pakistan as a country filled with terrorism, fear of life and conservative norms and values. We create a perspective in our minds based on what media chooses to show us. But we all know that what we see on our television screens is only one side of the coin.

If you look at a person’s bucket list of travel destinations, you’ll hardly find Pakistan in there. Pakistan’s security issues have always prevented enthusiastic tourists from visiting the beautiful country. I agree that these issues cannot be ignored while considering a visit, but the problems cannot also hinder you to travel to Pakistan. While some parts of the country may be underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure and security, most parts are filled with delights which is a feast for your eyes and soul.

Recently, Eva Zu Beck, a Polish travel vlogger, arrived in Pakistan and stayed in the country for a span of 13 months. During her stay, she scouted every inch of Pakistan, from north to south and east to west. On every step of the way, she was stupefied by Pakistan’s rich culture, history, tourist sites and of course, its food. “If there’s one word that describes Pakistan in its truest essence it’s “astonishing”, said Eva Zu Beck.

Eva has travelled numerous countries, but no trip has touched her heart like this. In her YouTube series “Eva travels Pakistan”, the vlogger has explained reasons as to why Pakistan should be the world’s number one travel destination. Pakistan is a country that is blessed with almost every geographical feature and the most suitable climate. Being a Pakistani, you might not realize how fortunate the country is, but when you look at it from an outsider’s eye, your jaw will drop in awe.

Pakistan has a bright future and untapped potential in the tourism industry. It has the world’s longest mountain range lying on its border, the Himalayan range, and the second tallest mountain on earth, K2. The Thar desert of Pakistan is one of the most populated deserts. It is rich in culture with many Hindu temples. Moreover, the country is known for its peculiar craftsmanship and artistry in the international market. What is really fascinating is that most of the crafts in Pakistan are hand-made and are still loved across the board. The carpets of the North or the “Ajrak” design of the South, every craft is innovative and clever in design. Eva toured every major city of Pakistan and availed herself of the specialty of each, like the deserts of Baluchistan, the food of Lahore, the art and design of Hyderabad, and the awe-inspiring tourist destinations in the Northern areas.

Pakistan has a diverse heritage with all types of communities contributing to it. Eva spent a fraction of her trip on the Pak-China border while living with a Wakhi family. She described how the family had a profound impact on her and said, “Ultimately, if I ever have a family, I would like my children to spend their summers in the peaceful village of Jamalabad, learn Wakhi and take in the beautiful culture of my favorite place in the world.” Pakistanis are a hospitable nation. They treat foreigners like their own kin. Each time a tourist has travelled to Pakistan, they have had nothing to say, but simply that it has become their favorite place in the world.

Eva’s trip to Pakistan is just one story. There are many other storytellers who have shared their honest and positive experiences of Pakistan and admitted that it is not what the international media renders. When you pay a visit to the beautiful country, on every turn you will find a new and unique aspect of history, culture and religion. However, the country’s charm is not enough. The leaders and the nation need to work together to improve its image and prove its value. Only Pakistanis can wash out the stains on the country’s reputation. Pakistan can become the new Dubai. A country that started from nothing and became everything

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