|Blog: Can't Live Without Geography
||Hallo... dug this up from the
ashes of November 1999 - unedited letter I wrote to an ezine...
Enjoyed your article, “George W.’s Naiveté” (M. Faiz Rehman, Nov. 12)
and found myself nodding in agreement as I recalled my own encounters
with those who haven’t the faintest idea about geography beyond their
borders. Before I set foot in America, I was well prepared to expect
questions, and I felt I was on a crusade to destroy all the myths and
re-educate my college mates! After a while, it got tiring and a group
of us decided to print t-shirts for the International Students with 10
questions on the front and their 10 respective answers on the back.
Unfortunately, we never got around to that mission due to financial
constraints; however, we did print and sell a t-shirt with a world map
and some slogans reminding our geography-deficit colleagues that a
world beyond the US of A does exist. That was our mini-crusade!
Many moons ago, my father was on a flight to somewhere and seated
beside an American businessman - a famous chap from a famous company,
definitely not your average Joe from the barnyard. The American was
amazed that his foreign flight companion knew the state he was from in
the USA and even those around it. The American challenged the
foreigner to name some other states.
Without hesitation, he named every state in the USA and even all those
provinces and territories up in Canada! World geography was something
he had learned in grade school. The American admitted he could not
name all 50 states, and he regretted not being taught world geography
at school, but he enjoyed his business trips to Asia and was eager to
learn more about this part of the globe.
Those who seek political office should know for a fact, that they will
be walking into the face of world affairs and dealing with their
counterparts virtually on a daily basis. It is deplorable that
politicians such as George W. are confined to politics that perhaps do
not extend beyond their shores.
Maybe a few sessions at the games, “Diplomacy” or “Trivial Pursuit”
will shoot up their IQ - Information Quotient. My college mates don’t
need it, the businessman on the flight does not need it, but if anyone
needs to be up on world geography and affairs, it is definitely that
sole politician who will head and control a world power!
EZINE = Pakistan Link
March 30th, 2005