Facebook: US Consulate launches essay competition in Pakistan

The US Consulate General Lahore, Pakistan has launched an essay writing competition, “Islamic Life in America” for Pakistani citizens through social networking website Facebook. The first of its kind competition has a prize of Video iPod Nano 8 GB for the best essay writer while five runners up will win gifts of books.

The competition will continue until the end of the ongoing holy month of Ramadan and winners and runners-up will be announced on September 5, 2011. The competition is seen as a positive step by the US Consulate in the ongoing Ramadan.

The fresh initiative is also being welcomed, especially in the wake of US Embassy Islamabad’s event held on June 26 in honour of gays and lesbians which had attracted widespread condemnation. The event had undoubtedly led to rise in anti-US sentiment among people in Pakistan.

“There are around 7 million Muslims in the United States, who represent a mosaic of ethnic, linguistic, ideological, social and economic groups. Islam, as we know, is part of America. And like the broader American citizenry, the American Muslim community is one of extraordinary dynamism and diversity – with families that stretch back generations and more recent immigrants; with Muslims of countless races and ethnicities, and with roots in every corner of the world”, reads the Facebook page of the competition.  One of the comments about the competition post reads “Excellent approach” which highlights the fact how this initiative is being welcomed in Pakistan.

US Consulate General in Lahore’s page has so far 27,892 members. It is expected that this number will also rise owing to the competition as the participants have also been asked to tag at least 20 friends to their respective essays.