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Gulmarg!

Posted in 2010 Summer Public Service Program, Tabir by kashmircorps on July 8, 2010

Gulmarg is a mountain resort resting at 11,000 feet above sea level.

This week so far has been amazing! On Sunday, the only day of the week that there was no strike, Aya, Belal, and I went to Gulmarg. Gulmarg is about an hour drive outside of Srinagar and is known for its snow capped mountain tops and incredible views. We took a dangerous SUMO ride up the mountain, where our tour guide, Mir, took us to a incredibly dangerous yet incredibly beautiful path on the side of the mountain. It was raining so the clouds were literally sitting on the top our heads. It was just amazing. We then took a gondola up 13,500 m to the Apharwat mountain peak. It was very cold but worth it. I think its safe to say that Gulmarg is now officially one of my favorite places in the world!

The following day, I experienced my very first Wazwan courtesy of Farheen and her family. A wazwan is a traditional Kashmiri feast that consists of several courses and varieties of primarily mutton and rice. The wazwan is eaten in groups of four with your hands. The wazwan was a rich experience and definitely gave me insight into the emphasis of community in Kashmiri culture.

Today, on our way back from Ms. Nighat Shafi’s house (founder of HELP foundation and always a pleasure to be around), we happened to drive by a women’s protest. Aya, who is in the process of doing a story on the women’s movement in Kashmir, wanted to interview some of the ladies protesting. On our way back from the protest, there was firing in the distance so our driver had to take an alternate route to the hotel. Though I think there have been amazing new experiences for all of us this week, certain images and sounds of conflict keep things in perspective. Though my project is at a halt since there are no school days, I hope to do whatever I can in the days that I have here and try to make every minute count. There is a curfew in place tonight and Boulevard Road which over looks the Dal Lake is a ghost town. However, what I’ve learned since being in Kashmir, is that things here can change very quickly.

Tabir received her bachelors degree in Philosophy and Religion from Brooklyn College in 2009 and has since been doing research at the United Nations on topics concerning women’s reproductive and sexual rights. She will be working with the Kashmir Education Initiative to aid in developing evaluation measures for the organization’s scholarship program.
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One Response

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  1. Rowshanara said, on July 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Beautiful shot of the mountains! I love reading your blog…keep them coming please!


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