I do not know if others have noticed this yet or not, but I suspect (and hope) many of you soon might.
If you are on Twitter, and to a lesser extent on Facebook, and a Pakistani you might have noticed that over the last few hours more and more of your friends are ‘going green.’ At least in the design of their avatars (display picture).
I had noticed a similar display of national pride happening during the run-up to the T20 Final game (in fact, we had encouraged our Twitter and Facebook readers to join in). I knew that my friend and social networking guru Awab Alvi could not be far from the action behind this movement. Indeed, it seems he is. But from the best I can find (and I have only followed the Twitter chatter on the subject) the real force behind this one is a certain Farhan Masood, from Lahore, who has been urging his friends on Twitter and Facebook to turn their avatars (DPs) ‘green’ in the month of August during the build-up to August 14.
In fact, Farhan has been offering to make DPs and avatar’s for people with the Pakistan flag (most of the ones in the picture above seem to be from him) if they email him at GreenKaro@gmail.com. It turns out that word is spreading fast. Many have already converted to his avatars and many others have been changing to green avatars of their own. The idea is to turn the avatar (DP) panels green as we approach August 14. Hence, Sabb Green Kar Do!
We, here at ATP as well as on our Twitter and Facebook pages, do tend to use a lot of ‘green’ anyhow. Invariably, we end up using green even more than usual in August. (As someone who works on environmental issues, my allegiance to green is even broader than just that!). We realize, and are quite consciously careful, that this not turn into jingoistic nationalism. Pride in identity should never become arrogance. Nor should it ever detract us from pointing out and trying to change things that are wrong. More importantly, the pride in that which we are must never turn into disdain or disrespect for those whose identity may be different. I do not need to ‘hate’ anyone in order to ‘love’ Pakistan.
I believe – and hope – that all these avatars going green are going green in the same spirit as us. A spirit of inclusive national pride. And in that spirit I welcome the trend. I look forward to a green August 14. Not just in the color tonality of our avatars, but in our hearts and in our spirits!
P.S. I have pieced together the above from the public conversations available on Twitter. If the process of how this came about was different, I would love to hear about it. Would also love to find whether there are others also helping in the ‘Sabb Green Kar Do” Campaign, and how. Also, the avatars in the picture are all public ones on Twitter and one hopes that in the spirit of the campaign they are in, people will be OK with our use of them.