LAHORE: American publication, The New York Times recently shared its list of 52 places to love in 2021 and our beloved Lahore made it to the list.
“We asked readers to tell us about the spots that have delighted, inspired, and comforted them in a dark year. Here, 52 of the more than 2,000 suggestions we received, to remind us that the world still awaits,” read the publication as it shed light on the motive behind the news piece after a testing 2020.
With 51 other travel destinations, including Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, Kaliya Dhrow in neighbouring India, Siwa Oasis in Egypt, Punjab’s capital city Lahore was included in the list where the author Haneen Iqbal expressed her love for the city that is celebrated for its rich culture and lively atmosphere.
Iqbal is a 29-year-old freelance writer in Toronto, Canada.
“I was 18, and I hadn’t been back to Lahore for 12 years. It was winter. At the open-air Liberty Market, my mother and I wandered the stalls as cloth vendors unfurled bright bolts of fabric, beckoning us to come to look. At dusk, with pashmina shawls wrapped around our shoulders, we devoured a bowl of spicy chicken karahi, using piping hot khamiri roti bread to wipe the bowl clean. The food practically sang as it made its way into our mouths,” Iqbal wrote.
“Pakistan has a bad reputation and is often overlooked by travelers who come to South Asia. But Lahoris are some of the kindest, most hospitable people,” wrote Iqbal, sharing that she loves to watch the Punjab locals feasting on terraces of restaurants overlooking the grand Badshahi Mosque.
“They are just regular people living their regular lives, and they are so alive in the present, while always connected to their past,” the author described.
The article was later retweeted by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant for Tourism Zulfi Bukhari, saying that “Lahore’s rich culture, warmth, hospitality & the most amazing food in the world awaits travelers.”
“A must-have on everyone’s list!” he added.