American travel blogger 'silenced' at Pakistan Tourism Summit for being too critical

Published: April 15, 2019


American travel blogger Alex Reynolds, who runs the blog Lost With Purpose was due to speak at the Pakistan Tourism Summit last month but her speech was cancelled at the very last minute. She recently shared a 15-minute clip on her travels in Pakistan.

Organisers believed her opinions were too critical of the country and didn’t quite fit the summit’s agenda. Therefore, she was forced to find an alternate platform to share her thoughts: Facebook.

She begins the video by giving a little background and sharing that she has been visiting Pakistan since 2016 and this was her fifth visit to the country. “I’m just some freaky girl on the internet who likes helping people travel to Pakistan.”

She further explained, “The other week, I was supposed to present at the Pakistan Tourism Summit. The subject? Social media and how it can affect Pakistan’s perception. The organisers just wanted me to talk about how awesome Pakistan is and how great my experience has been.”

“If people are at a travel summit, presumably they already know that Pakistan’s pretty cool. So what’s the point of preaching to the choir?” She questions. “Instead, I decided to be a little bit more critical and came up with a talk on how social media coverage of Pakistan right now is actually dangerous for the future of the country’s tourism. And of course, what we can do about it.”

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There is always more to see in Lahore. I've spent countless weeks in this city over the last few years, but every time I return I learn of yet more places and spaces I never even knew existed. Take this stunning 17th century Mughal mosque for example. Dai Anga Mosque was built in honor of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's wet nurse, Dai Anga. It's right by the Lahore Junction railway station, but you'd never find it unless you already knew it was there. It's at the end of a dead end road, and I only ran into it because I was looking for something else on Google Maps. Aside from the rattle of the occasional passing train, the mosque is peaceful. Birds chirp from the leaves of a tree growing over the small complex, water trickles from a fountain filled with goldfish. Unfortunately, many of the mosaics have succumbed to the passage of time, replaced by much less masterful tiles in recent years. Nevertheless, plenty of work from the Mughal era is still visible, and the mosque is a sight to behold. I've driven through this area so many times, but didn't learn of Dai Anga Mosque's existence until my *fifth* visit to Pakistan. This is one of the reasons I keep coming back, this is one of the reasons I'm of the opinion you can never learn EVERYTHING about a city. In that line of thought, hey to you Lahoris! Do you have recommendations for more places I should visit in Lahore?

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“The people at the tourism summit, weren’t ready for real talk, but I know some of you are” she stated. “Luckily, we live in the internet era. If a voice is silenced in one place, it can simply appear in another.”

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Shuaib
    Apr 16, 2019 - 2:42AM

    That is unfortunate. We need more people like her, she is helping Pakistan.Recommend

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