You Cry Twice

Says Clara Arrighi who was sent to Pakistan by her company against her wishes. Clara Arrighi at Lahore Fort
Clara Arrighi lives in Barcelona, Spain. She had studied at UADE and worked in UK.
In Pakistan she lived in Lahore, Capital of Punjab province.

Here is her narration of Pakistan.

When was told I was going to Pakistan I started to think about all the reasons not to go, how to convince my office not to send me. I did not want to spend the next six months of my life in between mud roads and traffic, dirt and smelly donkeys. I definitely did not want to share my time with radical people, extremists, and walk around all covered.

“Prepare to get sick and food poisoned,” they told me. “You should change your job”.
“No, I´ve never been to Pakistan but I´ve been to Bangladesh and I know its the same”… or India, or Afghanistan.
Luckily, someone also told me: “When you go to Pakistan you cry two times: when you are sent there and when you have to leave”.

Seven months afterwards I indeed have cried two times.
The untouched gorgeous beauty of Pakistan is impossible to describe with words.
Everything in this country is untouched; the nature, the culture, the cities.
Women in their colorfoul dresses and the way they allow their Pashminas to fall loose over their heads, showing their dark hair.
Men playing cricket, such a refined English sport to be played in white clothes drinking high tea, is here the street sport by far, played in every corner of every street.
I have climbed stunning mountains, swam in incredible clear lakes amidst the most beautiful hills, visited majestic mosques and drank uncountable types of chai.
I tasted lots of different dishes.
I did not get myself sick or food poisoned at all, but I definitely got myself a bellyache for not being able to stop eating such delicious food! And the mangoes, oh the mangoes.

However… it doesn’t matter how beautiful a country is, you will always remember how it made you feel. And this is what makes the difference in Pakistan. I have never seen so much hospitality anywhere in the world. Incredibly warm people, genuinely kind. I have never felt so welcomed. There is this tendency to smile. A society that has been for so many years oppressed and still can be so tolerant.

I challenge you to come to Pakistan and don´t like it. Cause, so far, I haven´t met anyone who didn´t.
I spent seven beautiful months in Pakistan and I encourage everyone to give this amazing country a chance.
Shukria Pakistan! (Thanks Pakistan!)

Annual Report of Blog from WordPress

For 2010 my this blog was ranked among the top 10 blogs
And it is keeping up.

Here is brief of the Annual Report of this blog received from WordPress.com

Crunchy numbers

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 77,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2012, there were 93 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 908 posts.
There were 31 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per month.
The busiest day of the year was August 9th with 2,594 views.
The most popular post that day was Roman numerals .

Attractions in 2012

You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats
These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.

1 Roman numerals 2 comments March 2010
2 The First Great Terrorist Act 2 comments August 2010
3 Be ware of Photo Shop 0 comments January 2010
4 Sun in Hands 0 comments August 2010
5 The Amazing Pakistan 2 comments June 2011

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2012.
Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

The Amazing Pakistan

Payaam Trust has started a new project; “Amazing Pakistan” through which they will show the world how ‘Amazing’ our Pakistan is. Share this album with all your friends who live here and outside Pakistan to help them plan their summer vacations!

This album hosts amazing pictures of Pakistan, taken with high-quality camera with expert precision in focus and theme of each picture. It shows the natural beauty of Pakistan, which is not known to most Pakistanis because of lack of awareness and because of apathy as well.

Katas Raj Temple

Located 40 km from Chakwaal in salt range of Pakistan. This is one of many forts, temples, and places of historical and archeological interest in the Salt Range, Punjab province of Pakistan, as this was part of the Hindu Kingdom of Kashmir in 10 AD. It is a picturesque sight. It’s been nominated for UNESCO world heritage site. Very popular among tourists.

Hingol National Park

Is this Grand Canyon or Texas?
No. It’s Hingol National Park of Baluchistan, Pakistan. It got Mysterious Mud mountains, beautiful blue water Hingol river, desert and deep blue Arabian sea. [3.5 hrs drive from Karachi on Makran coastal highway]

Cold Desert of Skardu

Cold Desert of Skardu in Pakistan. This is one of the most beautiful tourists attraction of Northern areas of Pakistan. There are huge sand plains in Skardu. In the background you can see snow covered mountains.
This is also the highest desert of world. Even Pakistanis don’t know about this beautiful desert!

Baifo Glacier

This is not Fox and Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand. It’s Baifo Glacier of Pakistan. It’s about 200 km from Gilgit. [It is considered to be the most beautiful glacier of the world]. It is also called as “Heaven on Earth”.

Saindak & Reko Diq

The Land of Gold & Copper. This is Saindak Dam in the middle of Barren desert of Saindak-Reko diq, Baluchistan. [Located 50 km away from Iran Border near Taaftan]

Great Trango Tower

The east face of the Great Trango Tower (Height = 6,286 m or 20,608 ft) features the world’s greatest nearly vertical drop. [aka Tallest vertical mountain of world]. Located in Gilgit-Baltistan Region of Pakistan. This is one of the most difficult mountains to climb. A perfect attraction for Base Jumping, 2 Aussies made world record of base jumping here in 1992. A very few Pakistanis have knowledge about Trango!

Rohri to Quetta

This is an amazing view of a tunnel and bridge over a river on the railway track from “Rohri to Quetta”. This track passes through 20 tunnels and over 368 bridges. It’s the longest Railway gradient of world, and most scenic Railway ride of Asia. This track also extends from Quetta to Turkey through Iran!

Wall of Sindh in Ranikot

Is this Great Wall of China?
No. It’s Wall of Sindh in Ranikot [3 hrs drive from Karachi]. It’s the part of one of the Largest Fort in World, Fort of Ranikot.

Kund Malir Beach

Kund Malir Beach with desert ending on shore in Baluchistan, Pakistan. This beach and desert is adjacent to Hingol National Park. A Beach with Desert!

Ataabad Lake

Largest Lake on Earth in Hunza ,Pakistan. [Atabaad Lake]. This lake is the result of a natural disaster. Indeed a very beautiful lake – it can be a huge tourist attraction!

Astola Island

This is biggest island of Pakistan – “Astola Island” [near Pasni Baluchistan 40 km from shore]. It appears and disappears as water level rises, it appeared in March 1999; then disappeared now it has appeared 2 years back and it’s there. It releases Methane & other gases, which proves predictions of scientists of availability of Oil & Gas in Baluchistan sea bed.

Mud Volcano

This is a ‘Mud Volcano’. There are 80 mud volcanoes which are not active. [only 200 km away from Karachi]. These volcanoes keep the region save from any huge disaster. In Azerbaijan these mud volcanoes are million dollar tourist attraction but sadly we Pakistanis don’t even have knowledge about these volcanoes!

Lansdowne Bridge of Rohri

Lansdowne Bridge of Rohri, Pakistan. A marvel of Nineteenth century engineering, it was the the ‘longest “rigid” girder bridge in the world’ at that time. It’s one of it’s own kind, and gives a glimpse of Sydney harbor bridge.

Shehre-e-Roghan

Ancient City of ‘Shehre-e-Roghan’ near Jamshoro, Pakistan. This cave city is larger than any other in world. There are thousands of cave houses in rocks extends to 2 – 3 km. In Turkey and other European countries, these cave cities are million dollar tourists attraction. Locals say, this was constructed by Prince Saif-al-Maluk. Sad part, hardly only a Few Pakistanis know about this ancient wonder!

Arror Rock

“Arror Rock” [near Rohri in Sindh]. The shape of rock was caused by unknown natural forces.
There is also a Shrine on the top. In France, there is a famous similar shaped rock on sea shore caused by huge water waves but in the middle of barren Arror – such a shape is an Amazing Wonder. Near this wonder, there are ruins of Bin Qasim Masjid [First ever Masjid built in Subcontinent; during reign of Muhammad Bin Qasim]

Headmarala

Headmarala, Sialkot. Mountains of Jammu & Kashmir in the background.

Dudiptsar Lake, Kaghan Valley

Epic Lake Saif ul Muluk

Visit to Dubai

I was in Dubai during October – November last year to be with my younger son who joined a bank there early last year. This was my second visit to Dubai. I had first time visited Dubai, in fact UAE during 1975. I found it a totally changed place. Here are some pictures of high-rise buildings