UAE - Though the Pakistan Pavilion will not be preserved in its physical form at the Expo 2020 Dubai site after the world fair, its legacy will be celebrated digitally through a short docu-film at the next Expo event in Osaka, Japan.
The brand ambassadors for the pavilion, Mahira Khan and Ahad Raza Mir, visited the pavilion on Thursday to interact with the media and announce the news. The documentary features the two stars exploring the visuals seen in some of the spaces of the pavilion.
Speaking to the media, Khan said she was amazed that Pakistan had so much to offer and that all the visuals she saw on screen at the pavilion were far more beautiful in real life. Mir added that he was thankful to the members of the media for supporting the pavilion and its journey the past few months.
The pavilion is a favourite at Expo 2020 Dubai, thanks to its distinctive outer structure and various interactive spaces. The pavilion recently welcomed one million visitors in just five months.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Khan said the Pakistan Pavilion was better than what she expected.
"When you actually come and see the installations and the music, it’s just beautiful. When you’re talking about something as an ambassador, it’s great because you believe in it. But when you actually go and see something, it is another experience altogether," she said.
She added: "The idea that we are putting out is not unreal, it’s the truth about Pakistan. And that’s the most fulfilling part of the Expo 2020 Dubai. Every time I come here, I feel proud. I feel proud of the people who’ve put together the Expo, the curators who are involved in it. It’s been a great experience overall.”
Commenting on the digital legacy of the Pakistan Pavilion, Mir said: "You used a very powerful word, which is 'legacy'. And it’s an honour for me to be part of something like that. It’s showing a totally different side of our country. I hope that people realise that this isn’t made up, we haven’t created it out of some kind of fiction. It’s really what’s there."
He added that much of Pakistan is waiting to be explored. "It's kind of untouched and raw, and beautiful as it may be, it still needs to be developed. So, I hope that people see it and realise the potential of the country, whether it’s tourism or just realising that there’s so much more to the country than we or internationally people see us.”
Does Raza Mir feel that he and Khan have set any benchmarks as brand ambassadors of the pavilion that add significantly to the legacy?
“Mahira and I have done our part as artists,” Ahad answered. “We entertain, we tell stories, we try to get people as involved as possible and promote things – but at the end of the day, the effort that other people put in … such as the public that came, the media that promoted the pavilion … all of this is in front of everyone.
"It’s one of the top pavilions at the Expo and the numbers speak for themselves. We did our part, but the people did even more than we expected. That’s something I am really happy about.”
Does he think that people will now explore and invest in Pakistan? “I’m not just hopeful,” Ahad said. “I’m confident that they will.”
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