Indo-Pak friendship: Bonding beyond borders in UAE
The friends are now dreaming of a vacation together - a visit to each other's country.
While India and Pakistan are known for their rocky relationship, expats from both countries say they have only grown fonder by discovering incredible similarities.
Dubai residents Manvi Gupta, an Indian residing in the UAE for the last 20 years, and her two Pakistani friends - Zahra Taimoor Murtaza from Karachi and Nazia from Lahore - bonded as their kids were in the same class at school.
"We got along so well and made a WhatsApp group called Saarc Summit, where we also had another Sri Lankan friend of ours. Though she left the UAE, we retained the name. Not a day goes by when we don't chat or do a Zoom call or have some kind of interaction. They are more like sisters to me," said Gupta.
"Our friendship was natural..... common language, love for desi food and similar parenting values. We bonded over coffee mornings, chat meals and playdates. Unlike the usual kitty formalities and superficial social get-togethers, hanging out with Zahra and Nazia was unwinding and I am always looking forward to our next outing.
"Our conversation began with Indian food. I was amazed by their love for India - street food, festivals, culture and Bollywood. I invited them and cooked Indian delicacies - that is how our friendship took off," Gupta said.
Gupta said the friendship has only grown stronger with their husbands joining the club. "There is no celebration that is now complete without our Pakistani friends."
The friends are now dreaming of a vacation together - a visit to each other's country. "We hope our dream materialises soon."
"None of us a rigid in how we think. We are open with each other and are excited and happy to learn about each other," she added.
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