CHICAGO: Cultural exchanges play a key role in strengthening bilateral relations between nations, Pakistani Consul General in Chicago, Faisal Niaz Tirmizi,said as he addressed seven American students who recently returned from a study tour of Pakistan.
The students, who were accompanied on the trip by Professor Jade Stanely, chairman and professor of social work of the University, praised the hospitality of the Pakistani people, saying they learned a lot about the country.
The students -- Omar Alba, Julia Ramirez, Wannea Mcdaniel, Kim Miller, Nicole Babbini, Claudia Lopez, and Frank Belizaire -- were participating in a "Pakistan Symposium" organized by the university. Consul General Tirmizi was the keynote speaker.
The studnets termed Pakistani people as very welcoming and friendly, saying the perspective they had about Pakistan through the negative media hype has changed. The versatility of Pakistan ranging from centuries old streets and architecture to good quality motorways and passenger buses offering complimentary high-speed WiFi had impressed them.
The students also shared photos of their visit to Pakistan at the symposium. Pakistani women, they noted, were active in all walks of life.
They visited historic sites and educational institutions in Lahore and Islamabad and met government officials at city, provincial and federal level.
Consul General Tirmizi thanked Professor Stanely and students of the Northeastern Illinois University for the initiative to have first-hand knowledge about the country.
Pakistan, he said, is a mosaic of different cultures and civilizations.
He also briefed the audience about the growing economy of Pakistan, a fact acknowledged by leading western publications like The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Forbes magazine.
Tirmizi urged the students to share their experience with their friends and families so that they may include Pakistan in their travel plans and experience the vibrancy and warmth of Pakistani people. (APP)