EES organizes seminar on The Role of Minorities Sep25


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EES organizes seminar on The Role of Minorities

The Ewing English Society in collaboration with the Faiz Foundation Trust organized a seminar highlighting the roles of minority on 22 September 2016. It was an interactive session between the speakers from Faiz Foundation and the students concerning the plight of minorities in Pakistan and the hardships they have to face due to discrimination. The primary focus was to not only identify the stigmas attached with the minorities but also to find practical solutions for their better representation in the mainstream stratum as well as advocating better rights for them.

Faiz Foundation Trust is a non-profit organization promoting the progressive and humanistic ideas of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, embodying the struggle for social justice through the arts. It is one of six partners implementing the project focused on promotion of pluralistic thoughts among students. The project aims to contribute towards the elimination of persecution of minorities in Pakistan, and create a conducive environment for diversified communities to exercise their rights.

With regard to the above mentioned targets, FFT has published two books named ‘Leading Lights’ and ‘Beyond the Other’ for highlighting harmony and inter-faith cooperation throughout the sub-continent, and contributions of outstanding Pakistanis from diverse religious communities. Adeel Hashmi, Cecil Choudhry and Shaib Mir gave insightful and astute speeches about the purpose and the need for publishing such books. They also shared some heartfelt personal experiences about their interaction with the minorities. Apart from the talks by these respectable gentlemen, the audience also watched some really captivating videos about the unsung heroes of our nation belonging from the minorities. It also highlighted the culture, traditions and festivals of the minorities celebrated throughout Pakistan by not only the members of the minorities but by all people irrespective of their religion. Some of the festivals include Basant, Gurpurab, Easter, Holi, Lohri etc.

“Leading Lights”, a book penned down by Bushra Sultana is a small acknowledgement to the achievements and struggles of the people from marginalized communities who put their blood and sweat for the amelioration of Pakistan but were never given credit for their legendary works. The heroes mentioned in this book belong from the Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Ahmadies, Bohras and Ismailis. They were affiliated with respectable professions like defence, civil service, literature, arts, judiciary, medicine, sports, academia, politics, education, science and technology and the creation of Pakistan. This is a concise book only targeting a few unappreciated names. There are hundreds of more people whose accomplishments and valor could not be acknowledged and thus Leading Lights is dedicated to all such unknown champions.

“Beyond the other” is written by Haroon Khalid which discovers the roots for religious syncretism in Pakistan. It further analyses the reasons behind the compartmentalization of different religions which such rigidity that the people believing in one religion become hostile towards the others. This book actually reveals certain traditions and practices that are similar in many religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism etc. This book is actually written to find the common grounds of different religions and find the overlapping spaces between them in order to reduce hatred and anger, and to promote acceptance and tolerance for other religions.

This seminar was not only an educational experience for the students but also a thoroughly enjoyable session. The Faiz Foundation Trust also provided the students with information kits which included pamphlets, CDs containing the videos and the books at a discounted price. It was a great experience for the students where they not only got an opportunity to learn about some hard realities about our society but also got a chance to understand and critically analyze this problem.