Many people asked why I choose Pakistan for an exchange. Actually, I think Pakistan chose me, like a calling I couldn't turn my back to.
To be honest, I didn't plan on going to Pakistan at the very beginning. I didn't even know it was an option.It just appeared, and not only did it perfectly suited my ideal type of internship, but also my dream job: reporting while traveling in a foreign country. Most importantly, it was an opportunity to break down stereotypes of Pakistan! It was an opportunity I thought would only be available to me when I become an experienced journalist many years later. But to my greatest surprise, and honour, I received the acceptance note from AIESEC in Lahore very soon after my application, and without having interviewed.
"Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear."
I struggled for a week, not just with myself but with my friends and family as well. After all, it’s undeniable that Pakistan is under the shades of violence and terrorism.
"Is it really worth risking my life for just an exchange programme? Maybe I can go to Pakistan later? Why not choose another country?" These questions kept popping up and bouncing around my head.
Luckily, Talha of AIESEC in Lahore assued me that safety is not an issue. Most importantly, he reminded me the significance of this journey. To be more accurate, he reminded me of why I am running 傻的 媽 Utopia in Hong Kong.
“This project you applied for is for those who believe what media tells them. We are rebranding Pakistan through people! I think you should come to Pakistan, to stand up for your values.”
His words were like a calling to me, and gave me the final push I needed to choose Pakistan.
As usual, once Jessie decides to do something, no one can stop her. So, one by one I successfully and PEACEFULLY persuaded my parents, ep manager and vp to let me go. Yes. For the very first time, my mum didn't argue back. Instead, she asked when I can apply for a visa and even helped checked plane tickets to Pakistan!
Today, I am very proud and happy to tell the world that I #ChoosePakistan!