Coffee, Tea and Politics

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, Maliha Masood, lecturer and author of “Dizzy in Karachi: A Journey to Pakistan,” spoke at Bellevue College’s quarterly event Coffee, Tea and Politics.

Masood was born in Karachi, Pakistan. She moved to the United States at age 11, growning up in Seattle and attending university in Boston. In her lecture, Masood described how difficult it was watching the media’s portrayal of Pakistan while her childhood memories were so happy. In 2003, Masood decided to return to Pakistan after being gone for almost 20 years. Her book documents her experiences.

Trevor Tate, a BC political science instructor, said that there are many amazing things to learn about Pakistan. And it is particularly interesting to learn about the political situation from someone like Masood  who grew up in America, but has many personal ties to Pakistani and Muslim culture.  In addition,  the lecture provided students the opportunity to explore Pakistan without prejudice. Tate expressed a hope that students learned a lot from the presentation.

Masood set out to break through the streotypes of Muslim and Pakistani culture and to present Pakistan in a positive light. According to BC students Cailtlin Strand and Arlene Matyasi, she did. They found the lecture informative and thought-provoking. Matyasi  noted that Masood’s description of  Pakistan and the struggles many face there differ greatly from the media’s representation of Pakistan. And Strand noted how  interesting  Masood’s story was  in spite of how unstable Pakistan is.

Aside from wanting to promote her book, Masood wanted to promote a positive attitude. She hopes that her book will open people’s eyes and change their attitude towards the political situation in Pakistan and Muslim culture in general. She explains that although her home is in America, Pakistan is a part of her and she hopes people will show more respect towards Muslim culture.