Pakistan-India relations are rather shifty these days and tensions are brewing on both sides of the border, especially post the Uri Attack. The landscape is particularly distasteful: Political talk shows on both ends are having a field-day by reviewing policies and bashing their “arch-enemies”, armchair analysts are furiously engaging in drawing room debates and keyboard jihadists are busying themselves with a special kind of digital warfare that involves heavy cussing and name calling. And now India and Pakistan are at a war of words over alleged ‘surgical strikes’ that India claims to have conducted and Islamabad denies.
Amidst all this ruckus, one Pakistani guy decided to extend a hand of friendship despite being personally attacked by an impressionable young teen.
Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi, or more fondly known as “The LolzStudios Guy”, is no stranger to the public eye.
His brainchild “Lolz Studios” initially kicked off with personal landscape photography in and around Islamabad that soon took a life of its own. Last year, his video on the Paris Attacks made international news and was even picked up by CNN. Now the re-branded “House of Lolz” has 267,029 strong fan-following on Facebook and is popular, nationally and internationally.
Muzamil is a firm believer of spreading love and over the course of his personal and professional journey, Pakistan witnessed heart-rendering motivational and inspirational videos coming out of his platform. Be it massive campaigning for voting rights in the election days, highlighting the positive side of Pakistan by stating all that we have achieved as a nation over the year, tugging on our heartstrings with random acts of kindness or making us chuckle with good ol’ desi comedy, Muzamil is a entertainer like no other.
And it was because of this very streak, Muzamil was able to counter the dirt thrown his way.
Yesterday, Muzamil shared a series of screenshots on his personal Facebook page in what looked like a hate mail all the way from India.
The rather colorful email includes words like “hate you all” and “whole country is full of terrorists”, among other very disturbing things that the sender chose to say in not so many words.
Instead of simply ignoring the message or responding with an equally hateful tone, The Lolz Studios Guy decided to extend a hand of friendship.
The rather tedious email was Muzamil’s way of winning over a teen who was barely legal and yet, held such animosity in his heart.
“I don’t know what compelled you to write such horrible things considering by the looks of your email, you’re almost going to be 19 years old soon”, he wrote in his reply. “Nonetheless, I will take this opportunity to request that you don’t let your emotions take the best of you. I would recommend reading up a little bit about Pakistan and its people.”
“I full believe that you will realize and understand that hating 200 million people is not the most mature and practical thing to do”
He continues to stress that the differences in dialogue and foreign policies on the part of the respective governments should not skew their better judgment. Finally, he asks for the person to sift through his Facebook page and see for himself how much of a terrorist he really is. “I would love to answer any questions you have regarding Pakistan and its people for you to understand more about your neighbour[sic] that once-upon-a-time lived peacefully with you for almost 5 centuries”, he concluded.
To Muzamil’s surprise, the person actually complied and sent him a message on Facebook:
The journey from from terrorist to friend was indeed a shocker and definitely an example of what all can be achieved with dialogue.
And the judging from the comments on his public post, people lauded him for it:
While speaking to MangoBaaz about the episode, Muzamil says, “I just feel we’re so close yet so far away. So many people on Facebook and Twitter from both sides are busy hating on each other, why can’t we use these platforms for trying to get to know each other better?”
And we couldn’t agree more. ???
Would you use social media to get to know your neighbor better?