Lahore School of Economics

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Out of Eden into Lahore School

Lahore School of Economics Young Peace and Development Corps invited Paul Salopik – the man who is walking around the globe to trace some ancient migration routes - to deliver a talk at the School on 21 February 2018. 

Paul Salopek is a journalist and writer. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and was raised in central Mexico. Salopek has reported globally for the Chicago Tribune, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, National Geographic Magazine and many other publications. In January 2013, Salopek embarked on the "Out of Eden Walk", a seven-year walk along one of the routes taken by early humans to migrate out of Africa, a transcontinental foot journey that will cover more than 20,000 miles funded by the National Geographic Society, the Knight Foundation and the Abundance Foundation.

His long walk of 21,000 miles started from Ethiopia in Jan 2013 and is planned to end in 2020 at Patagonia Chile. It comes out from the ‘Out of Eden Walk' project initiated by the National Geographic to explore the details of human migration that started some 2,00,000 years ago. People ventured in different directions from Ethiopia however the most travelled route was North Eastwards which brought them to Levant, Middle East, Sub Continent, Far East and through the land bridge (of that time), into America.

Paul Salopek was born in USA but raised in Mexico in a farming community where people were very close to nature. So attached he was with the rustic life that going back to US in his teen posed quite a few adjustment problems for him. Bored with conventional schools, he left US at an age of 18 to explore the practical life. He took quite a few odd jobs, which strengthened his connections with the people and he developed an expertise in exploring subterranean connections, which bound people.

The long walk took him to many countries, he crossed deserts, mountains, glaciers and farm lands but in alignment with our ancestors of yester years. ‘Walking opens vistas that you could never explore in a mechanical mode of transport’ he maintains. That is why all of his journeys have been accomplished on foot or on some packed animal which may be a horse, mule, donkey, camel or at the high altitude of Pamir’s … a Yak. Usually the entourage consists of just a few persons mainly the travel guides accompanying him. His fans and admirers all follow him through his updates, which he can manage even in a burning isolated desert through his cameras, laptop, solar charger and GPS.

From Ethiopia he crossed over the Red Sea to venture into Saudi Arabia and travelled northwards. The Syrian forced him to divert his journey but on the outskirts of Syria he did manage to see the massive Kobane exodus when the people fled in haste before the capture of town by IS militants. Next were Israel, Cyprus and Turkey. “The Muslim world is very welcoming place,” he said while recalling his interaction with people in Muslim countries.

Dr Shhid Amjad Chaudhry, Rector Lahore School of Economics, senior faculty and large number of students attended the talk.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2/23/2018 02:56:00 PM,

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