Nov. 16 - A hip-hop troupe from Chicago is on a diplomatic mission in Islamabad to help win the hearts of Pakistanis, most of whom have an unfavorable opinion of the United States. Elly Park reports.
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These hip-hop dancers are on a mission. They've been summoned from Chicago to Islamabad by the U.S. State Department to win the hearts of Pakistanis. U.S. assistant cultural attaché, Jamie Martin explains. SOUNDBITE: U.S. assistant cultural attach , Jamie Martin, saying (English) "A success to us is that we invite students we've never met before, they see a program they've never seen before, they're exposed to a type of music perhaps they haven't heard before, and they walk away thinking 'gosh that was interesting." But the members of the dance troupe "FEW Collective" have their work cut out for them, with only 12 percent of Pakistanis having a favorable opinion of the United States, according to a July poll by the Pew Research Center. But Asad Jafri of the FEW collective says that he is hopeful. SOUNDBITE: Member of the FEW collective, Asad Jafri, saying (English): "I definitely think that the State Department's initiative to soften the image of Americans and America in Pakistan is working." The group not only danced but also rapped and recited poetry to an enthusiastic Pakistani audience. SOUNDBITE: Zainab, Pakistani University Student, saying (English) "I think it's a very interesting event because they want to bring a bit of their culture as well as they are using parts of our culture in their show as well, I've heard. And I think it's very interesting to show that they are not just an isolated people, America." Although this performance is a small step in mending U.S.- Pakistani relations, hip-hop did bring the two countries together, at least for a little while. Elly Park, Reuters.
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