By Stephanie Stanislao
Forum News Service
FARGO, N.D. – Traveling overseas is not the only big change for Masroor Afzal Pasha.
Not only will he be experiencing new reporting duties, he’ll also be adjusting to a vastly different work environment.
Pasha, who is from the Karachi region of Pakistan, joined The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead newsroom staff in mid-October for a five-week journalism fellowship hosted by the International Center for Journalists. During his fellowship, Pasha will be covering ethnic culture in the Fargo area, whereas he normally reports on business and economic affairs back home in Pakistan.
Pasha has been working for the Daily Dunya, in Pakistan, for more than a year.
Here in Fargo though, Pasha said there has been no lack of interesting people to interview.
“I like the diversity in this town,” Pasha said. “There is lots of diversity of Asian, European and other nationalities, you know, mixed together and live side by side.”
Pasha said he sees how the various cultures in Fargo-Moorhead have contributed to the community. For example, he spoke about the importance of the building of the Islamic Center, a non-profit organization serving the area’s Muslim community.
Pasha said the exchange adventure has provided an opportunity for many new experiences, one being North Dakota’s chilling climate.
“In Pakistan, where I live, it’s a tropical part of the globe,” he said. “I feel the weather is too cold here.”
However, even if the local climate may have greeted Pasha with cold winds, he said the residents he’s met have been very inviting. He said the locals have been friendly, calling them “very helping” and open to answering questions.
He also said he finds the area’s low-key way of life appealing. In comparison, he said his hometown of Karachi is a constant, bustling and busy city, home to more than 20 million people.
“I have never seen such a peaceful town in my life,” Pasha said.
Pasha’s last day will be Tuesday.
The Forum is owned by Forum Communications Co. Forum Communications is a multimedia information company based in Fargo, and owns dozens of newspapers, websites and television and radio stations, and commercial printing plants in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.