Last month, as we prepared to unearth the wisdom of Pakistan’s women in our new, interactive emagazine, a rare voice came across our desks, stopped us in our tracks, and changed our course.
"You cannot use my real name,” she said. “We are so scared for our lives. But we are so tired of being a side note to India and Pakistan. We must be heard.”
Our writer, who has chosen the pen name Fatima Sultan Syed, was speaking of her homeland of Kashmir, the rich and fertile valley at the center of a 60-year conflict between India and Pakistan. As I read Fatima’s captivating story, it became increasingly clear that Kashmir is a missing piece in a complex regional puzzle, one that is too often overlooked by those attempting to bring stability to the mountainous borderlands of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
In Fatima’s world we see families sipping saffron tea, talking of the crisp weather, the snow-capped mountains, the large boats floating down the rivers outside their homes. We can feel the creep of Indian troops who patrol the banks of Dal Lake, and the militants who hide with their guns poised and waiting in those same mountains. We can hear the gunfire outside their windows, see the war unfold in the streets around them, and understand their cries for freedom.
Now, you can slip into this hidden world, and, thanks to the new format of our magazines, you can immediately join hands with the women of Fatima's region to create change. After reading our feature article, voyage to the pages of PulseWire where you can dialogue with Fatima herself, and take part in an unprecedented Internet-dialogue that has begun across the barbed wire separating the women of India, Pakistan, and Kashmir.
This will not be the last time that World Pulse’s editorial coverage will take an unexpected turn. Fatima’s story is just one of many that would typically never see the light of day. Hers is the story of the women of Chechnya, of Zimbabwe, of Colombia, of Appalachia. Hers is not the only truth, and she is just one of the many yearning to inform the world of her daily realities, ready for cross-border dialogue to incite solutions.
Increasingly, we’ll take editorial cues from these fresh and vibrant voices erupting from over 115 countries on our global community newswire, PulseWire. As more and more news bureaus cut back on their international coverage, our wires are humming with the voices of women around the world. Immerse yourself in PulseWire and feel what vibrates around us day after day—the undeniable power of women uniting across borders, no longer bound and defined by time zones, by “tradition,” by caste, by the barrel of a gun.
We have the power to be an unstoppable pulse for a new world. A world where a single voice, like Fatima’s, can move mountains.
Read Fatima's story in My Life, My Kashmir.