Rukia sets off for Pakistan

A TALENTED young photographer has left for a two-week trip to Pakistan after winning a place on what promises to be a “unique’’ cultural experience.

Rukia Begum, 21, of Chadd Green, Plaistow, is among six young people in the UK embarking on an incredible journey to discover the country behind the headlines.

All were given the chance to go to Pakistan with Offscreen, a UK-not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with the British Council.

Offscreen run student exchange programmes to promote cultural understanding between the UK, Pakistan and the Middle East.

As a British-born Asian Muslim, Rukia plans to use the trip to develop her skills to convey the real Pakistan to her peers. “I’m excited but a bit apprehensive,’’ she said. “We hear a lot about terrorism connected to Pakistan. But I don’t let that take over my judgment. I want to see the country for myself. I’m excited about meeting the young people there – I’m keen to know what they think of British Muslims. I can’t wait to meet young artists and designers and see the techniques and materials they use. I hope I’ll get plenty of inspiration – maybe they’ll teach me a few things too.”

The youngsters will take part in workshops with fellow Pakistani students, artists, musicians social entrepreneurs and politicians and make a multi-media travelogue of their experiences. It is to be used as an educational resource in schools and will be accessible through the website www.offscreenexpedition.com