Aliya Harir

Aliya Harir (Pakistan)

Aliya grew up in the remote Chitral province of Pakistan facing persecution and discrimination both as part of the Ismaili minority and as a woman. She was accustomed to the dominant narrative that there is no greater enemy to Pakistan than India. As she explains, “My definition of loving Pakistan meant hating ‘the enemy’: India.” While studying abroad, Aliya was inspired to actively promote peace between the two countries. Upon Aliya’s return to Pakistan, Aliya co-founded the Indo-Pak friendship initiative, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, which stands for “Beginning of Friendship”. Aaghaz-e-Dosti works primarily through “peace education, countering stereoty pes and negative images of the other, and developing critical thinking and faith in dialogue and peacebuilding for conflict resolution”. By now they have trained more than 5000 young people in schools and colleges across India and Pakistan.