Lahore


Far from the border of Afghanistan and the right wing Islamification of Pakistan, lies the ancient city of Lahore.  A strategic trade route through Central Asia, Lahore has been fought over and conquered by marauding invaders since it was first written about by a Chinese traveler in 630AD.

Lahore is the cultural, artistic and intellectual capital of Pakistan.  Once you get past the heat, noise and crowds streets, Lahore’s inner beauty unfolds with gardens, mosques and Sufi shrines, providing blissful tranquility from the mayhem outside.  The city seems to politely ignore the influence of the Taliban, cinemas play Indian fims, CD and DVD stores flourish and women hawk their wares in Pakistan’s only red light district.

Foreigners, however, are hard to be found.  As I walked the streets, exploring the old city, Shamsi, my 78-year old self-appointed guide, complained to me of the lack of tourism in very broken English.  “The Taliban has ruined all of Pakistan.  No tourism.  Clean them all.”  The last comment referring to the Pakistani government’s offensive in Swat.

This has been the prevailing sentiment for all Pakistanis with whom I have spoken (though some do blame the US for pushing the Taliban out of Afghanistan into Pakistan).  They are victims of the Taliban; they live in terror of suicide bombings and losing their freedom.  “This is not Islam,” Shamsi states.  “Islam is peaceful.” Get rid of the Taliban and return Pakistan to the Pakistanis.

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4 Comments

  1. Jeremy June 29, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    Wow – your work is amazing. I saw the “In Harm’s Way” documentary and I must admit – I developed a small crush – :-)

    Be safe – and good luck.

  2. Adil March 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Wonderful photography of my hometown. Thank you for letting me see it through your eyes again, when all I see recently are stories of bloodshed, bomb blasts, and death….
    Lahore has SOOO much to offer, and someday (hopefully not too far away), it will be a beacon of learning and tolerance again….

  3. Captain July 15, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    hi i am redesigning my blog and would love to use one of the 2nd picture as my blog’s background. I seek your permission to do so =)

  4. shehryar niazi September 13, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    i miss being in lahore cos i moved to the US for my bachelors.. i googled ‘lahore’ and found your pictures there! i just saw ‘in harms way highlights’ too.. i feel honored that you came to lahore. your pictures make baadshahi masjid look even prettier.
    thanks.

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