USA’s South and Central Asian Region Legislative Fellows Program
May 9, 2013 by TMO
By Muhammad Akbar Hoti
|Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee poses with participants in the World Learning program.|
The World Learning (WL) program has developed The Legislative Fellows Program (LFP), among other programs. The Legislative Fellows Program is a two-way exchange program for professionals and young leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the US. The project is intended to strengthen the understanding of the US legislative process and civil societyâ€™s role in the political process, and to foster relationships among Asian and American institutions. The US Department of State funds and runs the program.
This year 40 young leaders attended this program on invitation, 19 from Pakistan and 21 from the other above-mentioned countries. They came to Washington DC on April 13, 2013 to participate in various fellowship programs.
During their 4 day orientation program, from April 14th to April 18th, they visited US political institutions, especially the US Congress and the Library of Congress. Their poster show in US congress building was noticeable.
The Congresswoman Sheila Lee Jackson, a representative from Houston-TX, met with the delegates to exchange views. The other dignitaries present were US State Department officials, Officials from the Pakistan Embassy, Vladimir Spencer, Manager Development & Innovation World Learning Exchanges and Training Unit, Amanda Bischoping, Jessica and Laura Horsting of WL.
The Pakistani young leaders presented a very positive and forward looking aspect of Pakistan in their poster show.
Following the orientation and visits to various institutions, on April 19th, delegates were sent to different US states to explore and to avail themselves of opportunities to understand US political and social systems.
Accordingly, four of us ended up in Chicago, including two Pakistanis, Muhammad Akbar Hoti (me) and Qurban Ali Solangi from Pakistan.
Rahol Ray from India and Golam Rony from Bangladesh were also in Chicago, lodged with families from their respective countries.
I worked as a fellow with the Chicago Cultural Alliance and Qurban Solangee worked with the Albanian Educational society. During their stay at Chicago the fellows visited historical places; they also observed and studied the social life of the American people.
Akbar Hoti visited so many museums of different ethnic group i.e. Ukrainian, German, Polish and African museums and also attended many workshops about cultural activities, and studied about the political, economic and social life of the different races of Chicago.
It is a big and magnificent opportunity for the fellows to get positive experiences for their countries and share their experiences with Americans peers. I am sure it will have a very positive impact on our return.