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AIF SummitThis past April, DIL 8th-graders from Karachi had the opportunity to visit a school in the United States for the inaugural Menlo / American India Foundation (AIF) International Youth Summit.

Bringing together students from Pakistan, India and Bay Area schools, the event focused on commonalities in leadership, art and culture among the students.

Through its cross-cultural exchange and educational initiative called “Our Family, Our Neighborhood, Our World,” AIF has been working to empower youth and innovate in education using creative methodologies in the greater Punjab area for the past two years. The project is helping to strengthen civil society in India and Pakistan by building communities of service and cooperation, while inspiring young people to think globally and act locally.

The event featured a variety of leadership-building activities including a competition to see which team could build the tallest tower out of paper. Students participated in singing, poetry and dancing, followed by a collaborative screen-printing demonstration.

Zaryab Ghori, one of the DIL students, had waited two years to attend the summit. Once Zaryab got the opportunity to talk with his U.S. peers, it became apparent that they had more common interests than expected, including sports, video games and music. It was this realization that encapsulated the summit’s goals.