A Pakistani descent American, a motorcycle and Facebook

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

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“I am so happy I didn’t plan anything, because everything worked out,” said 25-year-old Moin Khan with a laugh.

That laugh must hurt. After all, his ribs are broken from an accident in Arad, Romania, which has forced him to pull the brakes, temporarily, on his ‘epic solo motorcycle journey.’

With a Pakistani and an American passport in his backpack, Moin is travelling from San Francisco, California to Lahore, Pakistan on his Honda F4i.

After posting dozens of videos and thousands of pictures on his facebook page “ADifferentAgenda” from the 15 countries he has already conquered in more than a 100 days, a man crashed into him on October 20th deconstructing his bike and hospitalising him.

But Moin doesn’t seem the slightest bit disappointed.

For him the crash has simply given him an opportunity to cement “ADifferentAgenda” just a little bit deeper in Romania. His first post after the horrific crash was titled “My bike’s totaled, a couple (of) bones are broken and new Romanian friends are made.

The man who crashed into him visited him everyday in the hospital. And local bike enthusiast Daniel Jula, after hearing about Moin’s crash, showed up at the hospital and offered to help put his bike back together. He searched for parts all over Romania, and even managed to procure some.

As Moin recuperates at a newly discovered distant relatives place in Bucharest, Romania finding a radiator proved to be a huge challenge. But then another complete stranger named Adi, showed up at his doorstep with a brand new radiator, which he called “a gift from the (bike) stunter community in Romanian” in the video below.

The video elicited dozens of thanks and prayers for Adi from Moin’s fans in Pakistan on his facebook page.

Moin has been overwhelmed by the kindness extended to him from complete strangers, ever since he bid farewell to his friends at the Golden Gate Bridge on July 10th.

“Before the trip, I would have never have thought of inviting some stranger into my house,” admits the biker who grew up in Lahore.

“But it happened to me, not once, but a few times on the trip; in Canada, in Germany and even in Switzerland, which was so random and so beautiful. “

Here’s a video where Moin introduces us to his new friend and host in Martini, Switzerland. After a long journey on the road, Moin arrived exhausted in the enchanting town, only to realise that all hostels and affordable motels were booked. He was parked on the street, when after a five-minute conversation Moin got an invitation from a local to stay at his home.

The ignition

In 2005, Moin moved rather reluctantly from Lahore to California to start college. “My parents forced me to go to the US for college,” he admits. He soon made friends and started loving life in the Bay area.

“After waking up, I’d go to Dawn.com or Geo’s website,” said Moin in an interview on skype.

Everyday Moin would be rudely greeted with a headline bearing bad news. “Starting from Lal Masjid to the drones. You barely hear anything positive out of Pakistan.”

“I am not political in any way. I just wanted to tell the world that we Pakistanis are just regular people,” said Moin.

And one day while he was sitting with some friends it hit him. “I’m going to drive my bike from San Francisco to Pakistan,” he announced.

So started Moin’s mission. He worked two jobs, 7-days a week, and survived on ‘rice and ketchup’ to save up for the trip and to buy a bike and gear worthy of the journey.

“I didn’t make the Facebook page or the website, till the 3rd or 4th day into the trip, I wasn’t expecting anything at all.”

Moin now has more than 5,000 fans on his facebook page.

The journey

Moin’s Honda F4i’s tires have already touched concrete in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

One of the key things keeping fans hooked to his journey on facebook, besides his skill to always find an Internet connection to upload pictures and videos, is his storytelling ability, which is playful and informative.

On the 15th day of his trip he uploaded some pictures from Yellowstone Park. One caption read, “I had to stop to take a picture with the Lulu Pass board, haha.”

“These (are) some pictures of the mud volcano in Yellowstone, it smelled of rotten eggs. I wonder why people drive thousands of miles just to smell rotten eggs. Well, I too sadly rode 3000 miles to see this. Yes I reached my 3000 mile mark today!” exclaimed another one.

I asked him which place surprised him the most.

“The Selvio Pass in Italy … I have never seen anything like it,” replied Moin who started pinning up motorcycle posters in his room when he was just 7-years old.

“My love for Pakistan has always been there, nothing can match that, but motorcycles have been a big part of me and riding through the Swiss and Italian Alps was a dream since childhood.”

Moin’s first time on a motorcycle is just as epic as his journey. At the age of 11, a carpenter was working inside his house, when he decided to steal his motorcycle and cruise around Lahore.

“I didn’t know how to ride it,” admits Moin.

“I was somewhere in Cantt, it was summertime, (I had) no helmet, no gloves, nothing at all. I was wearing shorts and buzzing through cars. The way the wind hits your face. It’s just an amazing feeling,” he recalls with amazing detail.

“Since then it has only been about motorcycles and motorcycles,” he said with a grin.

The family

“My parents didn’t know anything about this trip.” Moin told his mom about his plan two days before he left San Francisco. When she found out how hard he had been working overtime to make it a reality, she backed him up.

When he crashed in Romania, he skyped his parents from the hospital, to show that he was okay. His mom suggested that he fly home, but his father was even more determined for him to continue.

“My dad’s first reaction was ‘so when are you getting a new bike, then’?”

“My parents have been amazingly supportive. Pakistani parents aren’t ‘supposed’ to be this supportive. (My parents) have proven this stereotype wrong,” he said proudly.

The agenda

Before Moin started his epic journey, he was worried about how some people in remote places in America would react to him being ‘from Pakistan.’

“I never had to face racism. San Francisco is very chill like that. But I had heard stories. I thought all they know about Pakistanis and Muslims is through Fox News. So, I was a little scared,” he admitted.

“But whoever I talked to, the first thing I’d say is ‘I am from Pakistan and I’m going from San Francisco to Lahore’.”

And that line, along with Moin’s charm seemed to do the trick at many places, even in British Columbia where he met a man named Phil Dawson at a gas station.

Phil invited Moin to his place. “His wife made us dinner. We had a bonfire. We watched movies together. I spent the night there,” narrates Moin.

“I think not only am I educating people I am being educated myself, anyone who can learn through me (and my experiences) that is the idea of this whole journey.”

And from the dozens of comments he gets on his videos and stories on facebook, it is clear he is changing perceptions in Pakistan.

“This is just amazing … there are no boundaries or countries or religions … just simple human beings. This is just the perfect example you want people to see, how we all can help each other to live happily, survive perils and support one another to grow,” commented one fan.

“The friends you are making are the bridge to (the) future. Congratulations and safe travels,” commented another.

After his crash, Moin posted a list of bike parts he needed on his Facebook page. The response from his fans was tremendous. Bikers around the world pitched in to help him find parts. And in Pakistan many offered to raise money.

“Moin Bhai I can put posters of Moin Khan – ADifferentAgenda all over my university (University of Karachi) and ask people to make donation online.” offered Fowad Khan Niazi.

Another 15-year-old fan from Dera Ismail Khan edited

from the trip to help raise funds.

I asked him if the journey has changed his perceptions.

“I don’t know why, but I had a bad image about Germans. Maybe because all I had heard about Germany was Hitler. This is how the media plays with you. I just thought Germans are really negative people,” he replied, “but Germans are the friendliest people I’ve met on this trip.”

“Some random people took me in.” He stayed with them in Germany for 5 days. “They took care of me like I was their little child, it was just amazing.”

They introduced Moin to their friends and even entertained him. “They took me to the BMW motorcycle museum and the motorcycle factory.”

Moin also got some stellar coverage in Germany press. DW-WORLD.DE even published an article on him in Urdu.

The road ahead

For Moin the best part of his trip lays ahead — Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, and then finally Pakistan.

“Before the journey started, the two places I was most excited and looking forward to were Iran and Balochistan in Pakistan.”

“Everyone talks trash about Iran and Balochistan, I think people just hear stories and get scared, I want to go check it out for myself.”

Iran is the only place Moin actually made an effort to get a visa for. He took a detour and flew to DC from New York in the first leg of his trip to go to the Iran embassy.

“I know it’s going to be very hard to get into Iran.” But Moin is excited about trying. I asked him if he was worried about travelling through the Iran-Balochistan border.

“Nothing is decided before hand in my life, and so nothing is decided before hand on ADifferentAgenda either. I’ll cross Iran and go to the Balochistan border, if they let me, I’ll ride through Balochistan but if not, then I’ll figure something out there.”

Moin says he never really saw much of Pakistan, besides Lahore. “Just an occasional trip to Islamabad and Murree from Lahore. And once on the train to Karachi.” So he is ‘stoked,’ about riding his bike through the country.

He showed me his helmet on skype. The asphalt marks ran deep. “If I didn’t have this on I would for sure be dead.”

“Whenever you crash it’s hard to get back on the bike, because that whole feeling comes back. But I’m really excited and cannot wait to hit the road again.”

After his crash, which from the pictures seems pretty horrific, his doctor told him to rest for two months.

“I have been breaking bones my whole life. And I know doctors tend to be extra-cautious,” said Moin.

“So I think I should be back on the road by the 20th of November.” He hopes to reach home by December 20th.

I asked him about the kind of a reception he was expecting on his arrival in Lahore.

“It will be awesome if some biker fans from Lahore can join me from Thokar (Niaz Baig) to my house in Cantt. There we can talk for some time,” said a rather excited Moin.

“Then everyone can go home and I can go inside with my mom’s parathas waiting for me, that’s really what I am looking for.”

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http://www.dawn.com/...d-facebook.html

i think its misleading to say just Pakistani in the heading to make it appear as if this dude is the native of Pakistan, He is an American of Pakistani descent. Below are some points I want to make as I am someone who has traveled the world extensively thanks to nature of job at multinational bank here in Pakistan which require me to visit their foreign branches as internal consultant.

- With Pakistani passport the reputation it has now a days this dude would not get even visa for more than half of the Muslim countries for what he is doing let alone applying for western or far eastern countries would be major league out of question. And considering the processing time for visa which could take months for each country just to find out you got rejected.

- With American passport this dude by default can travel half the world without visa and those one which require visa most of them give visa at the arrival at the border or airport without any questions asked.

- Lot of people ask Pakistani experience in foreign countries well there is no one answer to it 'cause its different for different Pakistani like it or not it all comes down to the skin color, Whiter Pakistanis would come across literally zero discrimination of any sort compare to darker Pakistani, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpu-lPxUugA.

%totally agree and I have edited the topic.

@ Good and valid observations Kamran. Still let's give thumbs up to this guy who did'nt feel ashamed of his Pakistani roots and is making a positive image for our country.

How many native Pakistanis would do such an act? :unsure:

[quote=“docfrog, post:4, topic:16009”]

@ Good and valid observations Kamran. Still let’s give thumbs up to this guy who did’nt feel ashamed of his Pakistani roots and is making a positive image for our country.

How many native Pakistanis would do such an act? :unsure:

[/quote]

I think this dude is wasting his time, and I find it very insulting and hypocrite that he is an American citizen and he is going around beating drums for Pakistan while enjoying the all the benefit and protection of being American citizen. If his ass gets in trouble in any of the foreign countries he is passing through its the American Embassy would put all their resources to protect him. and they always do.

Pakistan is a failed state and lost 'cause, for example no matter mod here Asad a member of educated 15% to 20% native Pakistani would try to do social good, which is does by volunteering, blood drives and of many other likes of him also do similar efforts socially, but their efforts will always be bulldozed by the always dominant feudal elite. so there is nothing to be gung ho about, Zardari time is up get ready for Nawaz and Company,

hmmm Imran Khan revolution brother not at least in mine and your lifetime 'cause his supporters leave Pakistan in thousands every month for other countries phenomenon also know as brain drain, to give you very recent example of brain drain our cheif minister of punjab also minister of health and minister of many other ministries should say super minister, took panga with doctors demand for better paycheck due to that in last verified count 55 thousand doctors left Pakistan in past 5 months alone and 35 thousand of them are hired by Saudia (Follow Mubasher Luqmans past programs you’ll know)

^you sure that 55 thousand doctrs left Pakistan in last 5 months?

Do we produce so many doctors? This figure is too much yar.

I think you meant 55 hundred doctors. :mellow:

^Don't worry we will import more doctors from china and then it will be all over the news Doctor 10 10 rupay!!!

Its just like Amir khan boxer, a "Pakistani" boxer won! lols!

[quote=“Imran, post:6, topic:16009”]

^you sure that 55 thousand doctrs left Pakistan in last 5 months?

Do we produce so many doctors? This figure is too much yar.

I think you meant 55 hundred doctors. :mellow:

[/quote]

IMRAN boss sorry i wrote it wrong, you are right its more like 5000 to 5500 doctors left the country in recent months and according to Luqman show about 2000 or so are expected to leave in coming couple of months.

Watch the first 1 minute of video below aired couple of days ago numbers will be verified and if you got time watch rest of it even top doctors leaving.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v4VIFeVjzQ

Very sad!!!

You talking about doctors and I will say even plumbers, masons and skilled workers are leaving for KSA, UAE and other Gulf countries.

I had to built a building and when I tried to contact masons and plumbers I was told that the skilled labor you talking about has gone to Gulf countries.

And I am not kidding coz I had difficulty to find people who knew work. People are unable to cope with financial, social, law & order, inflation and bureaucratic hurdles coz all these things are on extreme level.

On the side note Mubashar Luqman knows how to deal with "kharpainch politicians". Geo Mubashar.

There is excess supply of skilled man power in Pakistan since 65% of population is below 25. Its not entirely bad for an economy when someone leaves, they will be sending back valuable forgein currency back to the home country! Other then that, these expats will serve as strategic resource since they should strive to penetrate deep in foreign economies and work hard to achieve top most positions and help the home country even further.

Mubshir Luqman the dumb-ass can only find negative waves in everything around him. A sorry lil pessimist, whose life will end behind a tiny desk.

metaltongue i don't know how old are you, your whole post is like written by some 15 years old kid, at first i thought about not responding you but any way i did...

[quote="metaltongue, post:10, topic:16009"]
There is excess supply of skilled man power in Pakistan since 65% of population is below 25.
[/quote]

- skilled hmmm.... what is your definition of skilled? we don't live in iron industrial age era of 1800s those skills don't make you competitive in 2011

- excess supply more like over population, i think 20% educated class people among those who are married in average have 2 to 3 children while uneducated 80% got in average 6 to 8 children.

[quote="metaltongue, post:10, topic:16009"]
TIts not entirely bad for an economy when someone leaves, they will be sending back valuable forgein currency back to the home country!
[/quote]

- dude have you even taken at least high school level economics 101?

- sending according to you "valuable foreign currency" and what good that currency does 99% of time lets see

1) senders majority of that currency is used to pay for month to month expenses of his/her family living in Pakistan could be old parents or wife and kids living in Pakistan while husband works in foreign country

2) if investments are made by the sender for his/her benefit in Pakistan then 99% of time its invested in to buy land/plots or apartments or building houses for personal use which is more passive investment 'cause this ain't really creating permanent jobs since no industry is being setup, may help construction people for one time job until in case of house is built.

3) and given the climate of trust today in Pakistan, majority of people working outside feel more safe to keep their money major savings outside Pakistan and at a time send only the amount needed to run 1 to 2 month living expenses of their family in Pakistan.

[quote="metaltongue, post:10, topic:16009"]
Other then that, these expats will serve as strategic resource since they should strive to penetrate deep in foreign economies and work hard to achieve top most positions and help the home country even further.
[/quote]

- this is the most stupid thing i have ever read, well if these Pakistanis are achieving the pinnacle of their respective professions then all the good luck to them which obviously gonna benefit their host country big time, but how the heck its gonna benefit Pakistan??? Eisenstein ever heard of term "BRAIN DRAIN"

[quote="metaltongue, post:10, topic:16009"]
Mubshir Luqman the dumb-ass can only find negative waves in everything around him. A sorry lil pessimist, whose life will end behind a tiny desk.
[/quote]

- overall media is very young in Pakistan it sure does need maturity, Luqman shows reality he may sometimes appear immaturish but his program content is not. so if you wanna close your eyes and think Paksitan is Sweden then don't watch his show.

^Your whole post has little sense in it. I do not want to debate as it hurts big time, and Mubasshir Luqman, stinker big time. Not only him, the whole news media is.

[quote=“blogger, post:12, topic:16009”]

^Your whole post has little sense in it. I do not want to debate as it hurts big time, and Mubasshir Luqman, stinker big time. Not only him, the whole news media is.

[/quote]

blogger you wanna know the truth, Pakistan is called the third world country this term is used for backward ass countries and you do you know who makes this country third world well thats people like you.

who give a rat ass about some third world TV channel dude like Luqman, he is one of you hence backward ass, but in terms of doctors which i quoted the numbers from is that true yes it is. i didn’t write poems and qasseedey about Luqman…

P,S: MOD please check blogger ip looks like his other appearance is metaltounge.

[quote=“kamran1x1, post:13, topic:16009”]

blogger you wanna know the truth, Pakistan is called the third world country this term is used for backward ass countries and you do you know who makes this country third world well thats people like you.

who give a rat ass about some third world TV channel dude like Luqman, he is one of you hence backward ass, but in terms of doctors which i quoted the numbers from is that true yes it is. i didn’t write poems and qasseedey about Luqman…

P,S: MOD please check blogger ip looks like his other appearance is metaltounge.

[/quote]

haha. You are funny.

[quote=“kamran1x1, post:13, topic:16009”]

blogger you wanna know the truth, Pakistan is called the third world country this term is used for backward ass countries and you do you know who makes this country third world well thats people like you.

who give a rat ass about some third world TV channel dude like Luqman, he is one of you hence backward ass, but in terms of doctors which i quoted the numbers from is that true yes it is. i didn’t write poems and qasseedey about Luqman…

[/quote]

Well that’s sums it up, couldn’t have put it better myself. thumbs up.

Its time for your negative streak to be broken. Probably doesn’t matter to you but at least I feel like it.

Keep it up.

Kamran Dada is just rude critic. I do not mind if someone abuse me as his language in all his posts here and there is very annoying.

@blogger

don't pass one liners explain if you find something wrong in your view, otherwise one would assume lack of knowledge from your part.

.

@Faisal

- i don't want to fight with anybody here but i don't like people dropping by with insulting one liners without any relevancy.

- blogger says "my post has little sense in it"..... well he should have explained instead of giving one liner.

- i only took doctors number fleeing from the country from Luqman show thats it i never gave my personal opinion about Luqman being momin or shaitan like bloggee did.

-

[quote=“kamran1x1, post:17, topic:16009”]

@blogger

don’t pass one liners explain if you find something wrong in your view, otherwise one would assume lack of knowledge from your part.

.

@Faisal

- i don’t want to fight with anybody here but i don’t like people dropping by with insulting one liners without any relevancy.

- blogger says “my post has little sense in it”… well he should have explained instead of giving one liner.

- i only took doctors number fleeing from the country from Luqman show thats it i never gave my personal opinion about Luqman being momin or shaitan like bloggee did.

-

[/quote]

Nice point about doctor. But this thread is no place to exploit or expose any one. Secondly, I do not like back biting that’s why I am silent. Otherwise, I have solid points to expose media anchors. There can be difference of opinions but one thing is common in most anchors, arrogance.

@ Blogger

I agree with you regarding the hypocrisy of Pakistani media, but from now on we should talk and explain our positions to each other instead of trying to let each other down, like right now there is no reason for us to fight among our selves 'cause we have nothing to fight about, its the third entity "pakistani media" is in question and not you and me...

kamran, like many others suffers from pessimistic paranoia, he thinks everyone is young whilst he holds a phD. His paranoia makes him think that same person is singing up from different usernames just to argue with him on this sorry-ass topic. Get a life dude. We all have a job. '1x1' - Its not Pakistan's fault that you cudnt score a good degree and face humiliation in finding a job or can't get a visa cuz u wana get out. I hardly know anyone who has a degree and ain't working.

And btw, mubahir luqman sucks-donkey-ballz. . cheeerrrrrrrrs :D

Let me give you a lil economy lesson since you just woke up.

Remittances

The remittances of Pakistanis living abroad has played important role in Pakistan's economy and foreign exchange reserves. The Pakistanis settled in Western Europe and North America are important sources of remittances to Pakistan. Since 1973 the Pakistani workers in the oil rich Arab states have been sources of billions dollars of remittances.

The 7 million strong Pakistani diaspora, contributed US$11.2 billion to the economy in FY2011.[103] The major source countries of remittances to Pakistan include UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), Australia, Canada, Japan, UK and EU countries like Norway, Switzerland, etc. .[104]

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced that remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers have crossed the $10 billion mark for the first time in the country’s history as the figure reached $10.1 billion in 11 months (July-May) of the current financial year. The 11-month figure was $2.07 billion or 25 per cent more than $8.09 billion worth of remittances received in the same period of the previous year. In May, overseas workers remitted over $1 billion, which was the third consecutive month that remittances crossed this mark. The country received $1.05 billion, $1.03 billion and $1.05 billion in March, April and May respectively. Citing reasons for the sharp increase in remittances, analysts say that a crackdown on the illegal Hundi and Hawala money transfer systems, swift processing and transfer of money by the banking channel and incentives for overseas Pakistanis have encouraged them to utilise legal channels. The flow of charity money after last summer floods has also given a boost to the remittances this year, they say. In the July-May period, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), UK and EU countries were $2.38 billion, $2.33 billion, $1.86 billion, $1.18 billion, $1.09 billion and $320.93 million respectively. In comparison, remittances stood at $1.72 billion, $1.84 billion, $1.61 billion, $1.13 billion, $793.91 million and $229.74 million respectively in July-May 2009-10. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the 11 months amounted to $926.86 million against $740.96 million in the same period last year..[105]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Pakistan#Foreign_trade.2C_remittances.2C_aid.2C_and_investment