After a freshman year full of uncertainty, sophomore Mohid Ali (‘24) was ready for an escape. Mohid’s summer trip to Pakistan was full of memorable and impactful events. Along with his parents and two younger siblings, he visited several locations throughout the country. During his vacation, he made lifelong memories with his family and came to observe many things about the people of Pakistan.
Visiting Pakistan has been an annual tradition for Mohid’s family for as long as he can remember. These trips hold a special place in Mohid’s heart because he gets to see his extended family on both his mom’s and dad’s side. When asked how he felt about his stay in Pakistan, he responded with a smile; “Pakistan is a place that I love very much, so every time I go there I feel connected to it. Each time, I meet new people and make new friends, so I’m grateful to go!” Mohid explained that his family travels to a new location in Pakistan every year that he goes.
This year, he visited three places. Faisalabad, a city in eastern Pakistan, was Mohid’s first destination. His mother’s side of the family lives in this city, and Mohid participated in several exciting events there for two weeks. First, he volunteered at a famous lab, getting to “use lab equipment and learn about experiments.” Next, he celebrated the holiday of Eid al-Adha, which honors Ibrahim’s faith in God. For Eid, Mohid visited a small village to pick up animals and celebrated the holiday with his family. He then traveled to Lahore, the second most populated city in Pakistan. Here, Mohid spent most of his time with his cousins and his father’s side of the family. Lahore is famous for its large malls, so he went shopping very often in the city. Mohid’s final destination was the Galyat Range, a mountain range in northern Pakistan. He spent a week living in Nathia Gali, a neighboring town, and trekked the nearby mountains. Mohid said that “In the mountains I spent a lot of time viewing the scenery. I also got into a competition with my cousin over who could take the best pictures by the end of the trip.” Although the visit was full of memorable events, such as horseback riding and sightseeing, Mohid fondly remarked, “The best part of the trip was the drive there. Me and my cousins blasted songs on the speaker and played games, and we made memories that will last a lifetime.”
As he continued to return to Pakistan every summer, he began to notice some interesting things about the people and culture. Mohid emphasized that “[my trips] gave me a different view on the world because they’re entirely different people that we don’t know about.” Mohid spent much of his time there playing cricket, a game similar to American baseball. He would stay outside from the afternoon until midnight on some days, playing with the local children and his cousins.
Mohid emphasized that the people of Pakistan have a hard-working and dedicated culture. With the rise of Covid cases in Pakistan, many people in the country have gone through a tough period of time, similar to others throughout the world. Mohid explained: “A lot of people there work non-stop even if they don’t get the pay they deserve.” His own family story is a great example of how strong the culture of diligence is in Pakistan. Mohid shared that both his mother’s and father’s side of the family were in a very tough situation in the past, struggling to find a home. His maternal grandfather also suffered the loss of his father early in his life. Despite all these hardships, his family pushed through and became successful, and his grandfather started his own laboratory. Mohid expressed that “his hard work paid off, and it shows the work ethic of the people in Pakistan.”
Mohid had a truly unforgettable time in Pakistan, spending time with his family and fully experiencing the culture. He recommends that anyone who has the chance to visit should book a flight to Pakistan.