This American Filmmaker's Photos Of Her Trip To Peshawar Went Viral For The Wrong Reasons, Now She's Speaking Back

By Biya Haq | 14 Nov, 2018

Uh oh, we’ve got trouble in Peshawar ki streets


Cynthia Ritchie, an American Filmmaker now based in Pakistan has been exploring our beautiful country for quite some time now.

Everything from venturing out to Kashmir,

View this post on Instagram

Beautiful #Kashmir.

A post shared by Cynthia D. Ritchie 🌎 (@cynthiadritchie) on


To really acclimating herself to our way of life.

Through food, obviously, the REAL Pakistani way


Recently, Ritchie was in Peshawar, where a fan caught some glimpses of her going about her business in the streets, riding her bike and exploring the town.

However, soon after, Cynthia’s picture became the topic of discussion but for the wrong reasons…


People on Twitter began calling out the Filmmaker, stating that Pakistani women are unable to lead the same kind of free life as a foreigner.

Basically, pretty offended.


Women were especially offended when a fellow foreigner jumped in, supporting Cynthia and he basically said that if women feel oppressed in Pakistan they can just go out bicycling like Cynthia did

Is it that easy to just go out bicycle on the road, in Peshawar, for women? These Pakistani women shared how this was not the case.


Since the images have made their rounds and the conversation has started, Cynthia spoke up to those speaking against her.


Many people were happy with Cynthia’s response.


When it comes to showing a ‘positive side’ to Pakistan, the debate is that we only find it effective and justified if some foreigner comes in and portrays it as opposed to our own people.

People have criticized the fandom around foreign visitors to Pakistan like Jeremy McLellan and Eva Zu Beck who, according to the critics, are trying to teach Pakistanis how to love their own country, in a freaky repeat of colonial practices.

Source: Jeremy McLellan/Facebook

Many people are speaking out against white folks teaching us how we feel about our own country, especially because these people are not experiencing the country the same as many of its oppressed residents actually are.

So, on one hand, the tweets criticizing Cynthia’s experience were not completely false in stating that the true image of Pakistan is one that is only really pushed out by people who have experienced very little of it.

However,Β on the other hand, why should we be upset with other nationalities enjoying our country? When people like Cynthia or even the German Ambassador come in and show the world the brighter and best side of Pakistan is something we should be grateful for, not critical of.

Either way, this is clearly something that needs to be addressed immediately.

Have you seen the image of Cynthia? What do you think? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Love you.


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Cover photo source: @MOOSA_PATRIOT Via Twitter

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