Alaap Invites You All

Ceciel Shiraz Raj

We invite you all to join us in documenting, promoting and strengthening the positive realities of Pakistan.
We begin with paying tribute to the collective soul of Pakistani people, their cultural depth, creative potential and progressive ideals. These ideals are rooted in the humanism of great mystics, creative artists, soulful thinkers and visionary founders who believed in human equality, cultural diversity, individual freedoms, peaceful coexistence and gender equality. An ancient abode of many mainstream religions, Pakistan’s cultural and intellectual heritage spanning over 7000 years of remarkable humanist endeavors, still remains the safest resort for sanity to prevail.
These foundational ideals of openness, acceptance and non-violence form the flesh and blood of our collective self. We see with pride that the people of Pakistan refuse to surrender these ideals. We see that they carry on moving ahead even in worst of times. We see that beneath apparent chaos, insecurities and multiple expressions of imposed extremism, lies an unshakable commitment with democratic, progressive, prosperous and peaceful Pakistan.
This claim might bring discomfort to many who form their opinions on the basis of continuous flow of “bad news” from Pakistan. Without denying the existence of extremely worrisome facts and patterns, we humbly say that a country of more than 200 million people deserves a better judgment. It is the resilience of Pakistani people that keeps alive the dream of a multi-cultural, multi-religious, progressive and democratic Pakistan. Alaap’s research study, “The legendary Women of Pakistan” gives remarkable example of how Pakistani women proved themselves despite all the societal repression, state negligence and governmental compromises. Today, slowly but surely, the trend is reversing in the favor of women. We are sure that people of Pakistan shall reverse the current trends of extremism and radicalization by owning their true cultural and spiritual identity.
This website is another expression of the same resilience. Needless to say, the realization of this dream depends upon contributions from so many of you. A cursory glance at these pages depicts a gigantic task, which is impossible to achieve without a large team of passionate volunteers who want to move forward from “positive image” to “positive reality”. Secondly, an active support from governmental departments, ministries and institutions shall make this task easier to achieve. We invite individuals and organizations striving the same, in their respective fields. This initiative is taken to “give” the credit, not to steal it.
Focusing on arts, culture, intellect and positive social expressions, we address Pakistani Diaspora as well, which seems to have lost its pride in its own cultural vibrancy. The Pakistani Diaspora is another great victim of the onslaught of the “bad news” that makes them more hurt, depressive, worried and dejected. This phenomenon results in collective embarrassment and isolation rather cultural “ghettoization”. We have to reassure ourselves of our beauties and goodness to achieve self-respect that is vital for respectful interaction with other nations.
In a nutshell, it is an effort to rejuvenate our lost pride and trust in our collective worth and goodness. We shall do this by invoking memories, preserving masterpieces, showcasing contemporary excellence and encouraging young potential.
Alaap Declaration of Peace is the only criteria for joining us as volunteer or appearing as a profile in this website. This declaration is the announcement of our ideals that constitute upon the core of our collective soul. Please come forward, endorse the declaration and write your peace message.

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