Tag Archives: Madiha Javed Qureshi

A is for Abbotabad or should I say Abat ta Bad…

9 Jun

In 65 years of Pakistan’s History Abbotabad did what Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore couldn’t do for our country. People in America might know nothing about Pakistan other then the fact that “Abbotabad is In Pakistan”. Most of the Americans I met during my 5 weeks training dint know the geography of Pakistan what to talk of Pakistanis. They would ask me, Is Pakistan flat,does it has mountains, is it close to sea and so on.

Americans as a nation are considered to be curious and their curiosity in knowing about Abbotabad must have broken records if there was a curiosity measuring meter.

During my recent visit to USA for Journalism Training, I was asked the following questions

B: So how far do you live from Abat ta Bad?

Me: Well, I live In Karachi which is in south and abbotabad…

B: What, how did you pronounce it..abb taaaaa

Me: yea its pronounced Abbotabad not Abat ta Bad and its in north of Pakistan very far from where I live

B: What kind of a place it is, does it have mountains?

Me: Yes it is a very beautiful mountainous region of Pakistan.

B: Have you ever been to Abat ta bad?

Me: Yes I have and I have stayed there for 3 days.

B: Is it is a very affluent area with mansions n Barbed wires

Me: Clueless…sometimes I just gave up But I answered these questions almost everyday when I met someone new.

Dictionary meaning for Mansions needs to be re written for both Americans and Pakistanis after Bin Laden episode. By “Mansion” most Americans get the idea of a palace and barbed wires would mean extremely secure area. What they don’t know is mansions like Bin Ladin with barbed wires are common in Pakistan especially in conservative northern region. But how can  American people or American Media  know because finding out how the weather is going to be tomorrow and should he or she take his umbrella seems to be far more important issues than knowing the theory of barbed wires and mansions in Pakistan.

Before my visit, I had an idea from my various American Return Friends that America is not well known for its general knowledge but I thought things might have changed after Pakistan and America being called allies on the war on terror and that somewhat 30,000 people in Pakistan have died in Pakistan fighting this war in addition to 3000 who died during the 9/11 attacks

Irony isn’t it !!!