Momal Mushtaq, Founder ‘the Voice of Youth’, shares her experience on winning Runner-Up World Summit Youth Award 2011
We had four flights to Islamabad, Pakistan from Graz, Austria. Both of us knew that it’s probably the last time we visited Graz. If not the last, we were sure that it’d take us a very long time to get to visit this city again, but we stayed silent. Not a word was spoken regarding this as we flew all the way back to Pakistan and shifted from Austrian Arrows to Emirates to Pakistan International Airlines. It’s only when we finally reached Islamabad and drove back to our home, the reality struck and it did hard. As soon as Seemal and I stepped inside home, we burst into tears. We couldn’t help it. Our parents looked at us worriedly and asked if everything was alright. With tears flowing down my cheeks, I responded, “Papa, who duniya dekhne k badh Pakistan ko dekh kar boht afsos o raha hai! Humara mulk boht peche hai!” (Translation: Father, it’s sad to see Pakistan after seeing ‘that’ part of the world! Our country stands way behind!”).
It’s been four days now. I can’t get over Graz. I can’t get over its near to perfect public transport system. I can’t get over its flawless shopping stores. And most importantly, I can’t get over the fact that I could safely walk around the city at 2 a.m. in the morning. It’s sad that Pakistanis can’t enjoy such luxuries even in their capital city Islamabad.
World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) Festival 2011 was a life-changing experience for me. The nights I spent crying in the bathroom (‘cause I so badly wanted to win it), the day I promised myself I’d never give up on ‘the Voice of Youth’ (‘cause I didn’t win it), the moment I ended up being announced as a Runner-Up (when I least expected it) and the dozen times I walked daily from one place to the other (to secure funding for the trip)… everything… every bit of it… WAS WORTH IT!
Thank you team tVoY for the great work you do! Here, I’d like to especially thank Fahaad Humayun, Fakiha Hassan Rizvi, Hira Zainab, Majid Mahmood, Mohammad Qamar, Naveed Hassan, Omar Iftikhar, Tayaba Iftikhar and the newest additions to the team!
Thank you team WSYA for making it possible for me, Seemal and ‘the Voice of Youth’ to make it to an international platform!
Thank you Rector NUST, Dean NBS and all those in between!
And most importantly, thank you, dear parents, for helping me be who I’m today!
I’d also like to request Pakistani youth to explore opportunities and to represent Pakistan at world forums. We’ve got talent; let’s work together to bring about a change. Pakistan badly needs us as the future of this country lies in our hands. Do something please.
© 2011 – 2012, the Voice of Youth. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.
Hey, I'm Momal Mushtaq, Editor-in-Chief tVoY. Wherever there's tVoY, there's Momal. Catch me on tVoY's official Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ID. In case of any queries, write to me to firstname.lastname@example.org.