World Pulse

She Speaks of Kashmir

Jensine Larsen
Posted February 25, 2009 from United States

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.

Love, Founder,


World Pulse

Read Fatima's story in My Life, My Kashmir.

Comments 2

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Dennis Karamuzi
Mar 04, 2009
Mar 04, 2009

Hi Jensine, I occasionally take time off to read the life stories of the women sharing with us their worlds and i cant stop learning how to appreciate our situation! Rwanda is steadily moving in the direction of empowering our women from a past full of oppression and worse still of genocide that left many without families,with HIV/AIDs and e.t.c the list goes on... Reading from the stories around the world Iam drawn especially to the Kashmir story, the Iranian lady Bahrami and i can't help feeling what they feel. What is it that these so called bodies, UN and sister orgnizations do? Do they really serve a purpose? Do we live in the animal world where "the fittest will survive"? Too many questions on the unfairness of this world!! However,going by the trend of things here in Rwanda,I seem to learn that a deliberate move to empower our women is changing things alot morally,socially e.t.c..and for the better! We got to change this world..our forefathers may have overlooked an important element in our women or actually just shied away from this. Women have influenced so much in their homes and ultimately in their's only the fear to appreciate their contribution that continues to hold us back! Can we learn to appreciate and live a better life..I wish I could pass this to all the men leaders,it is our responsibility to recognise this inorder to change the trend of things. Otherwise, I see conflicts growing and growing... Thank you Pulsewire..I can hear from the deepest thoughts of women around the world. DK

sabiha nazli
May 05, 2009
May 05, 2009

Hi Jensine,

My heart is really touched and I became more sensitized about the kashmiri women. Because I have seen that area and still remember and feel the freshness of the breeze of Kashmir, I know how beautiful,innocent and soft spoken are kasmiris but now they are dying day by day the whole Kashir is sinking in blood.

The same is the case in Swat (Northen area of Pakistan), named as heaven on the earth, the people over there are polite, they are so beautiful and they welcome all the forgeiners, that area is the best tourist zone of Pakistan, but what's going on there God knows better? the people from that area said that there are some people, who we don't know , we don't know which language they speak and they covered their faces with masks so we could not recognize them, they are unfamiiar to us. they are bombing over the girls educational institution and they are saying that women have no right to get education, to move outside their without the company on tteir family member.

I think you all read the news of a Swat girl who was tourtoured in a gathering of society men because they found her walking with a men who is not her family member so they punhished her in front of all of them and no one have the strength to stop that butcherly act.There are many things to write and share. Once again thanks to world pulse for giving such space.