Aneeq

Pakistani Delegation, 2003

IMPACT: SOCIAL

How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?

Going to Camp and sitting through the dialogue and co-existence sessions were a lot about “representing Pakistan” for me. A lot of it came from what I had been reading throughout my life—the Urdu dailies, the largely xenophobic textbooks—and simply the ample patriotism I grew up with.

Though I’m still characteristically patriotic, I now realize why Seeds of Peace opted for the word “seed” when choosing its name. It’s a slow, gradual process of humanizing the world beyond each participant’s borders, as it was for me.

Three years later, when I returned to Camp as a Peer Support, I had only reached the question, what is Identity? I actively sought to answer it with all the opportunities available. I scoured the textbooks for hate material and the official national identity being imparted for a report for Davis Projects for Peace, for Paul Rockower’s chapter on Muslim Perceptions of Jews in Pakistan and culminating with my senior year thesis at college.

How are you impacting your community?

Beyond the research, I believe in direct engagement with the leaders of tomorrow. I co-founded Rabtt, an organization that seeks to redress deficiencies in the Pakistani public education system through educational camps and the promotion of critical thinking.

‘Rabtt’, which literally means ‘connection’ in Urdu, is a voluntary youth organization that aims to promote independent and critical thinking through educational camps, bringing together students and mentors from different classes of society in an environment free of judgment and control, introducing new fields of knowledge and broadening the scope of future possibilities for students.

Rabtt exists in a society which actively turns minds inwards and, I daresay, violent. The curriculum taught at school, the divides that run through this society at large—all offer immense opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders to opt for narrow, biased and often violent solutions. The Rabtt curriculum actively seeks to address these issues as we bring together instructors and students from across the economic and social divide.

EDUCATION

• BA, Lahore University of Management Sciences, 2010

AWARDS/HONORS

• 2012 Fulbright Fellow (Public Policy with a specialization in Social Entrepreneurship)

WORK

Founder and Executive Director, Rabtt »

“‘Rabtt’, which literally means ‘connection’ in Urdu, is a voluntary youth organization that aims to promote independent and critical thinking through educational camps, bringing together students and mentors from different classes of society in an environment free of judgment and control, introducing new fields of knowledge and broadening the scope of future possibilities for students.”