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Pakistan: No Longer Enemies


Seeta and Kamilah are teenage girls from a village in Pakistan. They were students at the village high school in the fall of 2005. Their favorite subject was art. Like many Pakistani girls, they used their artistic talent to draw designs on the backs of their hands with henna dye. Since this was forbidden at school, Seeta and Kamilah drew designs on only one hand and kept that hand hidden in their clothes!

The two friends enjoyed learning languages. They can speak a little English, as well as two Pakistani languages. They also loved to watch television, but they were able to do that only when visiting cousins in a city. Their homes in the village didn’t have television.

Seeta and Kamilah no longer attend school, study art, or learn languages. They don’t even live in houses anymore; they live in tents. Life is more of a struggle now.

On October 8, 2005, an earthquake shook the ground for six minutes in and around their village. When it ended, much of the village was rubble.

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The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad, named in honor of Islam, the religion of Muslims.

Pakistan is about the size of California and New Mexico combined. Its population is more than half of the population of the entire United States.

Main Languages
Urdu, English, Punjabi

At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 5:00 p.m. in Pakistan.

Interesting Facts
Steering wheels are on the right side of the car in Pakistan, and people drive on the left side of the road.

Only about half the adults in Pakistan can read.

Pakistan was part of India until 1947. Muslims in India who wanted a country of their own started Pakistan. In 1971, East Pakistan left Pakistan to become Bangladesh.

Most of the people in Pakistan are Muslims. By law, the president of the country must be a Muslim.

Many Muslims in Pakistan get along with Christians. But Christians are harshly persecuted by Muslims who are radical in their faith. Muslims who decide to follow Jesus often face the worst persecution. Even their families treat them badly.

Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws” say that no one may say anything against Islam or damage the Muslim holy book, the Quran. Even Christians who do not do these things are sometimes falsely accused of blasphemy.