August 14 Brings National And Personal Freedom For Pakistani Teen Journalist

A woman shops at a vendor stall set up in the Shadman neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan for the Independence Day holiday. (Arooj Khalid/YJI)
LAHORE, Pakistan – As I wait for tomorrow’s sun to dawn, I am thrilled by the fact, that 65 years ago, on the same day, billions of Muslins attained a separate homeland. They were our great-grandparents who fought and were even martyred in struggle to set foot on this land. 

Hearing their inspiring and motivating stories from our grandparents, I can’t imagine who those selfless people are, who are busy in ruining this proud country.

Patriotic wares for sale at vendor stalls in advance of the Independence Day holiday. (Arooj Khalid/YJI)

Pakistan is a country like no other. It wasn’t always there – it is the world’s first ideological country that appeared on the world map on Aug. 14, 1947, after years of non-stop efforts.

Arooj Khalid

It is said that in the struggle to acquire a separate homeland, the bones of Muslims were used as bricks, their flesh as cement and blood as water.

Only then, on the blessed 27th night of Ramadan, this wonderful country came into being.
Then, I recall last year’s Independence Day, and I cannot forget the email I got that same day, telling me I was a YJI student.
This is also something to be proud of. I have spent one year with this superb organization that helps students like me, from all over the world, dedicated truly to journalism.
Teaching honest and right ways to put forward news, opinions, reviews, stories, features; whatever it may be, YJI works tirelessly day and night to connect more and more teens around the globe who have aspiring thoughts in their heads and are ever ready to put them before the world.

Patriotic pins for sale (Arooj Khalid/YJI)

For me, YJI did wonders. Direct contact with the editors getting tips and learning the ethics and manners of journalism has helped me improve a lot.

And I am quite sure this is going to pay off all my life.
I still remember the smile on my face when I came to know that I was finally a YJI student now! And the happiness with which I called my brother to tell him the good news.

In May, Arooj Khalid made YJI-themed soap in her school chemistry lab. (Arooj Khalid/YJ)

I won’t forget last year’s Eid when several of my relatives came to greet us for the holiday at the close of Ramadan and offered their congratulations to me on becoming a part of such an organization, and then me showing my first-ever published article, “Ramadan Bazaar,” to everyone.
I’m grateful to both, my ancestors who gave me a free and independent country to live in, and to YJI, which offered a platform where the world can hear my voice.
Arooj Khalid is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International in Pakistan.

A street in the Shadman neighborhood of Lahore is decorated for Pakistan’s Independence Day holiday. (Arooj Khalid/YJI)

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