Activism on Wheels
By Shahbano Nawaz
Pictures by Annie Athar

On January 29 th, 2015, the Pakistan Arts Council of the USC Pacific Asia Museum hosted a screening of Moin Khan’s documentary “Rediscovering Pakistan-The Untold Tale” in collaboration with the Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, CA.

The film features Khan as he travels by motorbike with nine international bikers to the northern areas of Pakistan to experience its unmatched beauty and to dispel some stereotypes along the way. Moin Khan is best known for his solo journey from San Francisco to Lahore on his motorbike in 2011.  His motivation for that journey was to introduce people he met along the way to a “real” Pakistani.

The free-spirited Khan, addressing the audience in a packed auditorium that evening, stated that he is tired of the news regarding Pakistan, strewn with negativity, that continues to show a one-sided vision of his country to the world on a regular basis.  Moin hopes to provide a more balanced picture of his beloved country by showing its natural beauty and the beautiful spirit of its people. He later stated in a personal interview, “Some might say that I am turning a blind eye to some of the terrible things that are happening in Pakistan, but I grew up there and know that in the midst of it all, there is beauty hidden under the bad media, a beauty that I needed to share…a glimpse of the Pakistan that gave its heart and soul to me and raised me to be the man I am today.”

He accomplished both goals with the nine international bikers.  Their testimonials in the film affirm that Pakistan has an unparalleled beauty that they were captivated by, and that the people of Pakistan they came across are as hospitable as they are kind. Khan also impressed the culturally diverse audience in the auditorium that evening, many of whom testified to have not known much about Pakistan beyond what is reported in the media.

Khan will continue screening his film throughout the United States and into the UK before he makes the film public on YouTube. He hopes to start a new solo journey on his bike in the upcoming year, from Alaska to Argentina. For updates, please follow Khan on his Facebook page at Moin Khan-A Different Agenda or email him at adifferentagenda@gmail.com .

 

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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