Peace through Islam
It’s been 5 months and it’s been a lifetime. I am home. Every Pakistani dwelling is my dwelling, every man my brother, every kid running the streets my son, my daughter, my friend, but also my host. Yes, this culture has no age for hospitality. In no other country have I been been offered food by a 10-year old saying “it’s on me, brother!”
But it was also a thrill, an unforgettable quest to cross the forbidden areas where I am told religious conflict lurks, areas controlled by the army and long closed to tourism. To my surprise I was given the greatest of honors and my mission for peace was revered by the authorities: they did everything to make my walk possible, providing men to escort me for a whole 18 days until I had crossed Chillas, Kohistan, and the entire region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Which, I might add, was of ethereal natural beauty.
It also meant 18 days of constant hospitality: being lodged, fed, and taken care of in every way, given a bed in police stations during the night and being invited to meals throughout the day. Now that being complete as well as my crossing of Pakistan, here I am in the city of Lahore, just kilometers away from the Indian border. India, the destination of this 4-year walk: my mission is on the brink of being fulfilled.