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Gandhara Art Exhibition in Seoul

APP, Jul 7, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Writer and poet, Esther Park, is leaving for South Korea on Friday with a bag full of photographs about Gandhara civilization that will be exhibited in art gallery at Seoul, South Korea, later this month.  This Exhibition is fully sponsored by tourism and culture ministry of Khyber pakhtunkawa.

Esther Park settled down in Pakistan in 1999 and has never looked back she is pursuing her PHD. She has many a feathers in her cap in boosting the soft image of Pakistan all over the world.

She has written poems and co-authored books about Gandhara culture home of world oldest civilization. The selected photographs taken by Gulraiz Ghouri and German professor Dr Hauptman will be displayed during the month at an art exhibition at Na Mu gallery inside Jo Gye temple and will continue for 10 days.

The most interesting thing about the photographs is that it depicts the peace and tranquillity in Swat region in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province which has been disturbed since long owing to militancy.

The exhibition is done with the sole objective to give an insight off the area to Buddhist community in Korea which Esther Park believes can attract large numbers to Pakistan.

Buddhism in China, Korea and Japan has its birthplace in Pakistan and Monk Maranantha born in Chota Lahore, Mardan in Khyber Pukhtoonkwah was the person to spread Buddhism in all these three countries.

“The exhibition is special,” said Esther adding,” It is displayed in Seoul with Buddhist perspective in mind and its importance to Buddhism religion as a whole.”

The idea is to show the world that Pakistan has great religious tolerance and Buddhist religious places in the region are safe and there is no threat.

Esther Park has plans to write a book about the region covering the Buddhist perspective as there is no literature to date available about the area covering the Buddhism religion. The material available has been written by western writers and it lacks the Buddhist philosophy and faith.

The Mahayana Buddhism originated from Pakistan and Esther Park documented many a sites that are off great spiritual importance to Buddhists in Korea. She aspires to write the book for all Buddhism followers in China, Japan and Korea and is working on getting funding for the project.

Esther in her endeavours has also formed Gandhara Arts and Cultural Association which is headed by Anwer Saifullah Khan and association member Zulfiqar Rahim needs special mentioning who played a vital role in Esther Park endeavours in pursuing her passion about Gandhara civilization.

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