Sharing My Culture Through the Outreach Lecturing Fund

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Bushra Yasmin, Associate Professor of Economics, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Pakistan
2016-2017 Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Harvard University

It was a matter of immense pleasure for me to step out from Boston’s chilly milieu to be welcomed by warm and pleasant weather and most notably my Outreach Lecturing Fund host, Daris Hale, Fulbright Scholar Liaison and Senior Lecturer School of Music at Texas State University.

The series of lectures I delivered at Texas State University and San Marco Public Library were a great, great pleasure. I spoke to three groups at Texas State: one of Dr. Sidney Anderson’s Marketing students group, Amanda North’s Honors English Course, and Dr. Linda Nasr’s honors group. The students at Texas State University were very receptive and asked many questions, not only about the traditions and values in Pakistan, but also they were interested in discussing the effects of anti-globalization. I very much liked the approach of instructors at Texas State for exposing their students to other cultures. Students were surprised to hear about the problems confronting the developing world and acknowledged efforts made by the people of Pakistan to overcome obstacles, specifically in the realm of higher education. I presented Pakistan’s predicament by not only looking at where Pakistan stands but also at what can and is being done.

The students were curious about my life experience in Pakistan as well and were charmed by me mentioning how important my parents are to my success story. I think it is something we have in common. My mother supported me along every milestone but kept reminding me that “life is not a bed of roses.” My father was a role model for me in my professional career. He showed me how a self-made person could excel in life with his endless efforts and honesty. He believed in hard work and proclaimed that there is no short cut to success. I was happy to share with the students that I try my best to follow a balanced approach towards my responsibilities as a good mother, a helpful wife, and as a professional woman.

My talk at San Marco Public Library was more diversified as the audience there came from a variety of backgrounds. The senior citizens had a wide exposure to life and they were also aware of the issues at my dear homeland Pakistan. Their participation made the lecture a good discussion about finding solutions.

My children Dua, Izza and Mubashir joined me on the visit and they never got tired of spending all day wandering around the university while I was presenting. The credit, no doubt, goes to the students of Texas State University’s Music School, who got my kids involved in walking, playing Monopoly, reading books, and playing games. My children even taught the students how to count in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language. By the end of the day my daughters started speaking in Urdu, and the students were able to understand what she was saying,

My children and I also enjoyed shopping downtown, visiting Lady-Bird Lake in the heart of Austin, watching sea life at the Aquarena Springs Tour, eating chalupaa at a Mexican restaurant and above all, finding a Pakistani restaurant and having dinner with Daris and her sweet daughter.

I wish to pay my gratitude to my generous hosts at Texas State University, San Marcos Public Library, the Fulbright Scholar Program’s Outreach Lecturing Fund, and the Fulbright Commission in Pakistan who were instrumental in making my visit a success.