I can definitely say that the guest lecturer that stood out the most to me was Soren Larsen. His presentation was able to take me on a story about the Cheslatta people and how they were affected by the government of Canada. It was extremely sad to hear about how the dam negatively effected the native people there, in which many were forced to move and many of their dead rose from the ground because of the water. It was interesting to learn about how he was able to go there and become a part of the culture there. He was able to bring technology to let the children and students there recreate many of their historic folk tales and exposed students to technology that they may not have been able to use without him. It was also interesting to learn about the fight between the Cheslatta nation and the Kenny Dam, and how eventually the Cheslatta people wanted to create their own smaller dam in order to bring some economic activity to themselves as well. The way he crafted his presentation made me pay attention the entire time, through many of the photos and maps of Cheslatta Nation.
I thought Professor Allen’s presentation was very interesting as well, especially since the topic he covered was about drones, which was what my first paper in the class was about. I found that many of the points that I brought up in my own paper were similar to the points that Prof. Allen talked about well. Specifically, he talked about how drones could be used to reach natural disasters and survey damage better and quicker than humans could, which is one of the points that I brought up in my own paper. Something I did not know as much about was the certain FAA regulations that were imposed on drones, such that there were differences between hobbyists using drones versus being
used for commercial purposes. Some of the points that I did not talk about as much in my own paper were privacy concerns, which is something that Prof. Allen brought up. Some people might be a bit worried to see a drone in their backyard recording them, which is a reason some people are against drones. It was especially interesting to hear about how drones had began to be used for journalistic purposes, which Allen specifically talked about the Standing Rock event and how drones were used there. It was a bit scary to learn that the police there had been using guns to shoot down the drones, even though it was technically above public property, which the FAA states it is fine to fly over. I think that drones are an interesting development, and will be debated about much more in the future.
Over the course of the semester, I learned much more about Pakistan as a country, and as the place where my parents were born. Overall, it seemed that Pakistan did not perform well under most of the topics we researched about our countries. Socially, economically, and politically, Pakistan did not seem to be doing well to improve overall. I did learn about some changes that the country was pushing, but the country still seemed to be lacking something over each topic we researched. I personally believe that the most important issue Pakistan has is its extreme elite and corrupt leadership. I think that after researching about Pakistan, it has a promising future and has what it needs to become a successful and thriving country, such as: a growing population, growing foreign investment, changing social beliefs, increased pressure on counter-terrorism, and a general national spirit in the country. However with all of these qualities, the promise of Pakistan is still hindered under its corrupt elitist leadership. The President seems to be more focused on benefitting himself and the rest of the elites than progressing Pakistan as a whole forward. It is not surprising to know that the President, Nawaz Shariff, has a whopping net worth of $1.4 billion, which wasn’t the case before he was President.
The country also has an ever increasing younger population, which I think will begin to recognize the squeeze that the current politicians have, and will elect a new younger politician focused on bettering Pakistan and not their own pockets. China has made a great investment in Pakistan as well, and companies from all around the world are beginning to pour in their money as well, and if such investment can make it to all levels of Pakistanis, then the country can truly grow.
My mother left the country to pursue opportunity in the West, and has always told me there was no hope for her back in Pakistan. She would always mention that I should be so grateful to be born in America, whereas I could have been born to become a beggar or servant in Pakistan. While my mother still seems to have the same attitude of Pakistan, I think that the country is growing to become a major player on the global scale, and with the right leadership it will not longer be the country that the hopeful leave for opportunity, whereas they will be able to stay in their home country and still be as successful.