Story by: Omaima Malik, a visiting journalist who’s on assignment in the KARK newsroom this month.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – America is unique in many ways and one can see and feel it when visiting this country.
Go anywhere in the U.S. and you will find signs and symbols of development, growth, and equal opportunities. You’ll find efforts to preserve its rich history while you will also discover caring, protecting and preserving today’s events as history as well for the generations to come.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, my stay and assignment with KARK 4 News was full of experience. Now I am aware of the history of African-Americans, how they were brought to this land and what they passed through during the dark ages of the land that now forms the United States of America. But the amazing thing is that how this land and its diversified residents have become one nation-the American Nation.
Past presidents and their era of rule and their stay in the White House were secured and preserved in their respective states and maintained irrespective of which party is ruling once the president is always respected as president. Former President Bill Clinton left Little Rock for Washington but his presence remains in the “William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park.” The institution located on the bank of the Arkansas River shows recent history, and hosts a lot of events.
My visit to the center was facilitated by KARK 4 News last week and I was absorbed in the environment at the center. It hosts offices of the Clinton Foundation, a huge Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. The facilities are spread over a big area where the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is also located. Visiting such a treasured place with very short time to spend there was a disappointment. I wish I could have had more time to spend and see it all. I was able to glimpse the library, gift shop, restaurant, and souvenir shop that attracts visitors to shop.
The place not only shows William J. Clinton’s era but also depicts how his wife Hillary Clinton worked for the welfare and betterment of women and children as the First Lady. In the library one can see a bicycle used by Bill. The place also shows life at the White House and some articles used by him at the White House are also kept there.
The building could be characterized as a depiction of the past, present and future of America.
The center also provides information and knowledge about two terms of the Clinton era and his services not only to the country but his contribution in solving crises the world has been facing. This was the state where Bill was born, raised, educated and started his political career.
If one is interested to look into Clinton’s life through this library, he/she only has to buy a ticket. Once I bought my entry ticket to the library, I was told that one can take a guided tour or could move around on their own. Due to shortage of time I chose to take the tour on my own.
As you enter, you see a car used by President Clinton. It also shows you something to give you a feel of the Oval Office. The library has records and data of all major and minor events that occurred in Bill’s first and second term. All the gifts received by the President from world leaders and a walk through timeline of events were also on display.
The place is really stunning and gives visitors a great learning experience not for only Americans visiting the place but foreign visitors like me. I found it worth visiting and enjoyed a walk around on the riverside and over the bridge above the Arkansas River. Friendly staff with smiles on their faces welcoming visitors was a great sight to see.
In America the government and the nation together do their best to preserve history while their present rulers are busy writing the history. One may not like or agree with what they (presidents) wrote or are writing now but they are doing their best for their people and the country. After seeing these things I wondered whether I can find such a historic archive of my country’s rulers be they military or civilian. The answer is a BIG NO.
Omaima Malik, along with Sadia Rafay, are journalists from Pakistan who are visiting the KARK 4 newsroom this summer as part of a special program.
More about them:
Omaima Malik (BLOG: A Pakistani Journalist in Little Rock). She has been a reporter for Geo TV since 2013. Malik covers the Sindh Assembly, provincial government, and political parties. She also covers the environment and climate change, and other human interest stories with a special focus on women and children with respect to health, education, and civil rights. Malik has a master’s degree in mass communications with distinction from Karachi University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in mass communications. Before Geo, Malik worked at an Urdu-language daily newspaper Jehan-e-Pakistan (translation: “the world of Pakistan”).
Sadia Rafay (BLOG: Proud Pakistani Journalist) She has worked as a politics reporter at Dawn News TV since 2014. Rafay also produces reports on cultural events and short documentaries on social issues. She often hosts special transmissions and programs for cultural events, weather, festivals, and other important occasions. Rafay has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and previously worked with Geo News. She is attracted to political journalism as female journalists in Pakistan typically do not cover “hard news” and also likes to cover cultural news to highlight the geographical and cultural diversity of Pakistan and the world. Rafay is determined to show her family that daughters are no less than sons.
Photo Gallery of Omaima’s visit to the Clinton Presidential Center: