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Director UMISAA, Professor Salima Hashmi Strengthens South Asian Bonds in Colombo and Dhaka

Renowned Pakistani artist, activist, and academic, Professor Salima Hashmi, embarked on a journey spanning two significant destinations - Colombo and Dhaka - to strengthen cultural bonds and advance education. Professor Hashmi, serving as Chairperson of South Asia Foundation-Pakistan and Director of the UNESCO Madanjeet Institute of South Asian Art (UMISAA) at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design (MDSVAD), left her indelible mark on both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Beginning her journey in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Professor Hashmi's visit to the South Asia Foundation Chapter Presidents meeting highlighted her commitment to fostering cross-cultural dialogue. Hosted in the vibrant city of Colombo, this gathering brought visionary leaders together, dedicated to advancing education, arts, and cultural ties across South Asia.


The Colombo meeting featured the convergence of three distinguished personalities - Professor Salima Hashmi, the esteemed Chairperson of SAF Pakistan; Ms. Christina Hettiarachchi, a respected Member of the SAF Sri Lanka Advisory Board; and Ms. Swinitha Perera, Secretary of SAF-Sri Lanka. These visionary minds united to deliberate on strategies to enhance South Asia Foundation (SAF) scholarships and guide the journey of current scholars at the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Centre for South Asia Water Management (UMCSAWM) and the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute for South Asian Arts (UMISAA).

During her visit to Sri Lanka, Professor Hashmi also engaged with the following distinguished BNU alumni from Sri Lanka, further enriching the cross-cultural exchange:
Sivasubramaniam Kajendran (Siva) - MAADS 2019
Thavarasa Thajendran (Yohie) - MAADS 2019
Mohammad Thajudeen Fathima Rukshana (Rukshana) - MAADS 2022
Vinoja Tharmalingam (Vinoja) - MAADS (Currently in the 3rd semester)
Sakunthala Galanga (Saku) - BA-TFT 2008, PGD in Art Education 2009, MAADS 2010
Janaka Senevirathna - BFA-VCD (Visual Communication Design) 2010

Transitioning from Colombo to Dhaka, Professor Hashmi's journey continued with her productive visit to the Bangladesh chapter of the South Asia Foundation (SAF). In Dhaka, she utilized her extensive experience and leadership to foster collaborative cultural dialogue between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Engaging in insightful discussions with Amb. Farooq Sobhan, Chairperson of South Asia Foundation-Bangladesh, and Ms. Khushi Kabir, Vice Chairperson of SAF-Bangladesh, their conversations emphasized the vital promotion and advancement of fine arts in the region. Moreover, the talks centered on the ongoing initiatives of the South Asia Foundation, aimed at providing crucial support to scholars and artists across diverse SAARC chapters.

Professor Hashmi's presence in both Colombo and Dhaka underscores her dedication to fostering cross-cultural connections and creating platforms for profound dialogues spanning art, education, and societal transformation. Her contributions as a driving force behind UMISAA and UMCSAWM further exemplify her unwavering dedication to shaping the future of South Asia through creative excellence and sustainable development.

These visits culminated with renewed determination to elevate the impact of SAF scholarships and initiatives. The collaborative endeavors of Professor Salima Hashmi, Amb. Farooq Sobhan, Ms. Khushi Kabir, Ms. Christina Hettiarachchi, and Ms. Swinitha Perera are poised to inspire and empower a new generation of scholars and change-makers, echoing the essence of unity and progress that underpins the South Asia Foundation's mission.

The Beaconhouse Group
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