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ShantiSalaam (2006-07)

From December 2006 through January 2007, I joined two dear friends (Hawah and V:shal) for a two month voyage across South Asia promoting Hindu-Muslim harmony. At the time, I wrote a series of blog posts recounting our adventures, which I've collected and posted here:

  1. My first day in India

  2. The Universe greasing our rails

  3. Eating without utensils 101

  4. Kismet

  5. Why not?

  6. Eid or Christmas?

  7. Gushing

  8. The Maelstrom that is Mumbai

  9. Mookuhdur

  10. Transitions

  11. Hyperdrive

  12. Dancin' in the Street

  13. Time on my hands

  14. Improv in a dojo

The ShantiSalaam tour was my first time ever visiting India, and my first trip to Pakistan since 1974, when my parents brought me shortly after I was born in England. We moved to the US in 1976 and, mostly due to  bigotry against religious minorities in both Pakistan and the UK, never returned.

It was a profound honor to visit my native region in the context of a mission combining my passions for art and peace. I was humbled by the reception we received from every smiling face we encountered, and was especially grateful for the chance in Srinagar, Kashmir to play (after organizing) the first concert in 17 years not sponsored by the Indian government. The tour was an inspiring—though ultimately fleeting—moment in time for many, and it will always remain among the highlights of my life.

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