New partnership aims to build connections between Pakistan and Michigan

Global Ties Detroit has a new program this year that will partner Michigan universities with universities in Pakistan and lay down the groundwork for future collaborations. 

 

Global Ties Detroit, an organization that has been working to connect Detroit to the rest of the world for the last 50 years, has a new program this year that will partner Michigan universities with universities in Pakistan and lay down the groundwork for future collaborations. 

“It’s really important that we understand each other, we get to meet each other, we get to see that we have the same concerns, the same issues that we can work together to really tackle problems that we face and see each other’s humanity. ” —Marian Reich, Global Ties Detroit


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Marian Reich, president of Global Ties Detroit, says the inaugural program will initially take place virtually due to the pandemic. In the fall, the plan is to bring a delegation from Pakistan to visit schools such as Oakland University, Wayne State, Michigan State and the University of Michigan. In the spring, Reich says a group of Michiganders will visit universities in Karachi.

Through these trips, she wants to show the visitors the region’s diversity, “the diversity of life here, how people work together, get along with people from everywhere, in every kind of position.”

Reich says one of the unique aspects of Global Ties Detroit’s programs is the opportunity to share a meal with a local family. “We’ve already had a number of volunteers since we’ve announced this program of people who are willing to open their homes to share a dinner with delegates,” Reich says.

The meals are a way to build a connection.

“Whether it’s the program from Pakistan for educators, or whether it’s entrepreneurs from Europe or climate scientists from Asia, or public administrators from Africa, it’s really important that we understand each other, we get to meet each other, we get to see that we have the same concerns, same issues that we can work together to really tackle problems that we face and and see each other’s humanity,” Reich says.

“So when you get together across the table, the dinner table especially or the picnic table, with people from around the world, you really see the world [is] a lot smaller and that we’re really all connected and in so many ways,” Reich continues. “And then we believe that through what we call citizen diplomacy, these people have connections, that we just can understand each other much better and hopefully make the world better. We say make it more peaceful and prosperous.”

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Author

  • Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.