Pakistan: Land of Seasons and Sceneries





On Saturday 08 January-2011, my head was held in pride when I attended a book launching ceremony hosted by H.E. the Ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia – Omar Khan Ali Sherzai. The book per se was entitled, “Pakistan: Land of Seasons and Sceneries”. Interestingly, this was authored in Arabic by a young and talented Saudi journalist – Yousf Safarallah.


Yousf Safrallah is a journalist of a long and prominent standing in Saudi Arabia. He has been long associated with the leading newspapers of the Kingdom.


In his speech he informed the attendees that he always longed to visit Pakistan and finally his dreams came true when two years ago he went on a long tour of Pakistan. During this trip, he said he travelled across the length and breadth of Pakistan. According to him, in the beginning he was a bit worried about the security situation there because of the negative media portrayal of Pakistan. “However, during my first hand encounter with the Pakistanis of various places and background, I was surprised to discover a completely different Pakistan”, he said. He also added that he found Pakistan to be a completely safe place and the Pakistanis to be a peace-loving and hospitable people. He informed he travelled to almost all the places of Pakistan – visiting many cities, towns and villages, mountains, rivers, deserts and meadows, gardens and the crop fields. He added, he captured the majestic scenes of all these places and transformed all of them into the shape of a book in Arabic on Pakistan.



His Book, “Pakistan: Land of Seasons and Sceneries”, is a 129 pages of pioneering work – a first ever book of such a kind written on Pakistan in Arabic. He said he wrote this book to introduce to the Arab world the historical inheritance and beautiful sceneries of Pakistan which remained unrevealed to many, especially the common man, in the Arab world.

The book per se has scores of talking pictures which are very appealing indeed. It portrays the rich historical background of Pakistan and it can serve as a good guide to the Arabic speaking tourists who might plan to undertake such a trip to Pakistan.


The author in his speech often used the term “motherland” for Pakistan which showed his great love for Pakistan and its people. While describing the rich God-gifted nature, he made especial mention of the majestic mountains, flowing rivers, and gushing streams. He talked about his impressions of the Lahore Museum, the Wagah border and the daily ceremony of flag-raising at the border post of Wagah border. He talked about the remains of the Moghul-era forts in and around the historical city of Lahore. He also said he met lots of foreigner tourists at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. He mentioned about the ecstasy during his visit to the famous Faisal Mosque (named after the late King Faisal) in Islamabad. He spoke passionately about the beauty of the northern areas of Pakistan, including mountain ranges of the Karakorum and the famous peak of K-2, etc. He also mentioned about the panoramic scenes that he witnessed in Gilgit, Hunza and Skardu. Getting down from the mountain ranges, he visited Bahawalpur in the south of Punjab. He also gave his impressions about the Noor Mahal, the fort of Darawar (400 years old), the mosque of Darawar, the mausoleum of Utch Sharif and other places in Bahawal Pur. He talked passionately about the historic city of Multan and its mysteries. He also mentioned Murree and the appealing scenes at the Mall road there. He also mentioned about his visit to the historical ruins at Taxilla, which is now a UNESCI heritage site. In his short speech he tried to cover all the places that he visited and which also formed a part of his book per se.


In the end, he commented that through his visit to Pakistan and its various places, he was able to come in contact with many common Pakistanis. And, his candid opinion was that Pakistan was a peaceful country and completely different from what the media usually portrayed it to be. The author Yousf Safarallah finally concluded his speech by extending his thanks and gratitude for the Custodian of the two holy mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Premier Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and the Second Deputy Premier Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. He also expressed his thanks for Khalid Al-Maeena (Editor-in-Chief Arab News), Tariq Mishkhas (Editor-in-Chief Urdu News) and finally to H.E. the Ambassador of Pakistan - Omar Khan Ali Sher Zai.


The book launching ceremony was very well moderated and conducted by Dr. Kazim Niaz – the Community Welfare attaché at the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh. Introducing the author to the audience, Dr. Kazim commented that his book would go a long way in portraying a good image of Pakistan in the Arab World in general and in the World at large, in particular.

H.E the Ambassador Sherzai – the Host of the function- commended the author – Yousf Safarallah – for his passionate endeavor in writing an excellent book on the subject issue of Pakistan. He said that the post-9/11 situation has been very cruel to Pakistan as the media has been projecting negative images about her. He added that Pakistan was the land of the Sufi Saints and was a peaceful country – different from the negative media projections. He said the list of the beautiful places in Pakistan is very long. In short, he mentioned that four out of fourteen World’s tallest mountain peaks lie in Pakistan, it has the World’s largest Glacier, and above all it is the land of the World’s two great civilizations, namely the Moenjo Daro Civilization and the Gandhara Civilization. In the end, he prayed for the quick recovery of King Abdullah and for his early return to Saudi Arabia.


The Chief Guest of the occasion was Tariq Abdul Hameed Hamad Mishkhas – a noted writer and journalist and the current Editor-in-Chief of Urdu News. He said he also visited Pakistan two years ago and this is when the idea of writing this book came up into the minds of the author. He said there was a lot to see in Pakistan and added that he found Pakistan to be a great country entirely different from what the media portrays it to be. He commended the author for a superb work and also praised H.E. the ambassador for hosting the book launching ceremony.


Dr. Kazim Niaz wrapped up the program by thanking all for attending this program and making it a wonderful evening. The program was attended by several Saudi guests and a large number of noted Pakistanis in Riyadh including their spouses. About 250 invited guests attended. The program concluded with a sumptuous dinner that included a complimentary copy of the author’s book for all the attendees.