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Fauzia Minallah

Learning to Appreciate South Asian Religion

What the Middle East is to Abrahamic traditions (particularly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), South Asia is to Dharmic traditions (particularly Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism). And while life is a messy mix of the good and the bad for all of us, historically the Dharmic religions have a much better record of interreligious tolerance and mutual respect and appreciation than do the Abrahamic traditions.

Seeking Peace through Art for Children

Fauzia Minallah is an award-winning Pakistani artist who uses her formidable gifts to help the world’s children know peace. When asked about her hopes and dreams, Fauzia offers a very long list: that girls will be valued as much as boys, that impoverished children have opportunities to read and to create art, that Pakistan will cherish its religious heritage and diversity, that visually-impaired kids will have safe places to play, and that all Pakistani children have access to clean air and water. It’s tempting to wonder how one woman, even one as creative and energetic as Fauzia, might accomplish all that in a single lifetime. She is the first to admit that her work is never finished, but a quick dip into the inspired waters of the Funkor Child Art Center shows how, in little more than a decade, thousands of children have been lifted up and served.

Who Cares About Living Peacefully?

A TIO Editorial

Who Cares About Living Peacefully?

by Paul Chaffee

Interfaith dialogue is sometimes characterized as wine ‘n cheese talk-fests for progressive religionists. In fact, the interfaith movement is strongest in countries where people are at risk, though their stories don’t often get told. Preparing for TIO’s launch, we discovered the painting below, the work of at-risk children in Pakistan who yearn to grow up in an interfaith-friendly, peaceful land. TIO is a site where voices like theirs will be heard.

“Multicultural Harmony” was painted by Sara, 10, Zehra, 12, and Ayla, 11, students at Funkor Childart Centre for disadvantaged students in Islamabad, Pakistan. In a troubled world, their clear yearning for friendship and goodwill among the world’s races and religions shines like a beacon for the rest of us. The mural was painted under the guidance of artist Fauzia Minallah. Learn more about Funkor’s work and ways to support it at www.funkorchildart.com.