Pakistan Peace Rickshaws: Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Youth Leader, Spreads Anti-Violence Message

Pakistan Peace Rickshaws: Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Youth Leader, Spreads Anti-Violence Message.

I love this guy, why not give peace a chance? You never know Pakistan you might like it. In Karachi, Pakistan, youth leader Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi has found a way to counter the violent message preached by the radical Islamic groups in his country. His weapon of choice is his three wheeled motorized rickshaw with his overwhelming message of peace you can’t miss. Radical Islamists have used the rickshaws to market their religious warfare slogans to gain support in India and Afghanistan and foster hate in the United States. Zaidi is turning that message on its head by running a fleet of rickshaws with peace slogans and decorated in colorful designs. According to the Huff Post, Zaidi the head of the Pakistan Youth Alliance said,”We need to take back this romanticized art form and use it for peace sloganeering and conflict resolution.” Domestic Taliban militants have waged a bloody insurgency across the country killing thousands of people in recent years, while many militants have focused their fight on U.S. led forces in Afghanistan and battled for control of Kashmir with India. Zaidi’s crusade is focused on Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and home to 18 million people, to begin his peace rickshaw project. The Youth Alliance worked with 200 students in the conflict prone city to come up with designs and slogans utilizing common Urdu street expressions with a peace twist like “Hey dude, don’t tease” into “Hey dude, don’t fight.” One of the more direct slogans being used is “I’m driving a rickshaw, not a bullet.” Initial funding through donor who wish not to be credits has allowed the group to decorate 5 rickshaws and plans to decorate 50 more in Karachi. The plan is to spread the fleet through the country once more funding is available. A radical Islamist group such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa have long used rickshaws to promote their messages and pay their drivers $5 to carry their slogans like “War against India will continue until the liberation of Kashmir.” Mohammed Salahuddin, a driver of the peace rickshaw, says it has helped his business even made people choose his rickshaws over others. Zaidi is also discussing putting a peace rickshaw in front of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington with Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. Sherry Rehman. Like Zaidi, I know this won’t solve the problem in Pakistan but maybe it will help the people to find peace and move toward a more peaceful society there and in the world.

3 thoughts on “Pakistan Peace Rickshaws: Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Youth Leader, Spreads Anti-Violence Message

  1. Oscar Hausler says:

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  2. Alissa Fonville says:

    You’re so interesting! I don’t believe I’ve read through a single thing like that before. So great to find another person with genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!

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