Building understanding through books
Learning and understanding other cultures can be achieved through reading.
With that in mind, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Samoa and New Zealand, Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi, presented a donation of books for the Nelson Memorial Library to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.), Afamasaga Dr.Karoline Fuata’i this week.
The books are based on Pakistan and were written by Mr. Hashmi himself. According to the High Commissioner, the books will help add context to what people already think of Pakistan.
“It is my hobby to write books in my spare time. I have written about five or six books. These are two books; one is Ancient and contemporary Pakistan,” he said.
“It’s a 900 page book. The other is on foreign policy of Pakistan, our relations with different countries of the world. Many people understand Pakistan the the media and whatever they’ve read. These books are a personal initiative of mine.
“Ancient and Contemporary Pakistan took me around 15 years to write. I did all the research myself; I typed the material myself in my spare time. I have read around 10,000 books to write this one book.”
Mr. Hashmi also explained that the books will help Samoa develop further understanding of Pakistan and will contribute to strengthening the partnership between the two nations. “There are certain aspects of Pakistan that people are not really aware of,” he said.
“For instance, you are educationists, you are connected with intellectualism. One fascinating piece of information relating to Pakistan; its ancient history, archeologists around the world say that the first ever university was set up in Pakistan.
“So with this, I thought I should present these books with the benefit of the future generation of the country. Whoever would like to understand Pakistan better, these books can be consulted.”
On behalf of Samoa, Afamasaga accepted the books with gratitude.
“High Commissioner of Pakistan and your good lady,” she said.
“It is my great pleasure on behalf of the government and the people of Samoa to accept the books you are donating to our public library.
“I further wish to extend to you and your people our utmost gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for your generation donations.
“Despite the powerful impact of technology and the fast growing intervention of E-resources. Samoa still very much appreciates the use of traditional library resources such as books.
“Library resources are a critical part of education and Samoa has three national libraries.”