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Two Chitrali women win peace award in India

alya Aliya, 24, and Suraya, 23, have been utilizing social media space as a bridge of knowledge to enhance p2p communication, and to advocate for Indo-Pak peace and friendship. Through the usage of social media, they have been able to connect thousands of Indians and Pakistanis, facilitate sharing of knowledge, views and facilitate to develop a bond, a memory and a hope for peace and progress from the last three years. On March 15, in New Delhi, Aliya Harir (Convener of Aaghaz-e-Dosti) and Suraya Islam (Karachi) were felicitated with an award by Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), India, at the 3rd Social Media for Empowerment Awards & Summit. Aaghaz-e-Dosti project was shortlisted as finalist for the summit. Both the girls headed to New Delhi and presented their project at the summit among 60 other shortlisted projects. DEF India received more than 266 entries this year. Hence emerging as one of the finalists is no mean feat. By the end of the day, when winners were announced Aaghaz-e-Dosti was winner in the category of Advocacy, Communication and Development Activism. The award was supported by Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, New Delhi. Aliya Harir expressing her happiness says that “the award is a testament to the mutual desires of peace and friendship that rest in the hearts of the common people on both sides of the border. Peace is a much underestimated field in both the countries. Since Aaghaz-e-Dosti is a women led initiative, the award also highlights the role of women, from rural areas like Chitral, as peacebuilders, not only as custodians of traditions, customs and values.” Suraya was of the view that “A lasting peace between India and Pakistan is long overdue and crucial, the award is an encouragement for us to work harder. It is a motivation for our friends from Chitral to join us in the endeavors. Chitrali women are capable of bringing change by transcending borders.” Aliya and Suraya have dedicated this award to everyone who supports ‪-Indo-Pak peace. “It is a victory for Chitral and the whole of Pakistan,” they said. ]]>

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