Hands Across the Mountains – Building a Model School in Hunza, Pakistan

This summer I filmed a story about how a young American, Elizabeth Tschursin, journeyed to the Hunza Valley in Pakistan and fell in love with the place and its people. My documentary is about how her visit led to the plans to build a school in the small village of Murtazaabad on the Karakoram Highway.

The Burushaski version:

The Urdu Version:

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  1. Dr. Mola Dad Shafa
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Dear Mahera Omar

    Greetings from Gilgit!

    Many thanks to you and to Ms. Diana MacArthur for sharing the video link! I viewed the film twice and enjoyed every bit of it! This indeed reflects the high degree of professionalism in conceiving and developing the film. I must congratulate you for this achievement! Moreover, I have come to know about Ms. Diana MacArthur’s commendable contributions to build a model school in the loving memory of her beloved daughter Elizabeth in Murtazaabad, Hunza. This center of educational excellence, inshallah, will illuminate the souls of numerous children during the decades to come and the warmth of Elizabeth’s love for Hunza and the children will keep guiding our future generations in ascending to higher levels of dignity and honor! Congratulations to Diana for taking up this exciting and much needed project and I wish her all the very best in her endeavor to enlighten the hearts and souls of future generations in Hunza through this School! Many thanks!

    By the way, I would love to have a DVD of the Film in Brushaski and English, if possible. Thanks!

    Warm regards

    Dr. Mola Dad Shafa
    Head, Aga Khan University-Professional Development Center, North (AKU-PDCN),
    University Road, Konadass, Gilgit, Pakistan

  2. Posted October 3, 2011 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    This is an excellent film, beautifully done. It is a wonderful memorial to Lisa, Diana’s daughter. I am very pleased to have been able to view it and to become an ardent supporter.
    Rita (and Jack) Colwell

  3. Sardar ALi
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Congratulates for the accomplishment of opening ceremony documentary. being a part of AMESWO and Project i personally feel proud for such inspiring documentary. every bit of this clip is very attractive and beautiful. at the time of sounds recording at the hotel, i was confused that why Movie Makers team do that, now i able to know for such tremendous efforts for mixing.
    anyway i am eagerly waiting for complete DVD set.

  4. Zulfiqar Ali Kjan
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    A wonderful documentary about the wonderful Educational project in Hunza. I really liked the content and technical aspects of it.

  5. Irfan Husain
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Such a wonderful evocation of a place I know and love. I look forward to the completion of the school, and would be happy to help in any way I can.

  6. Posted October 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful documentary and a great commitment by the philanthropist for promoting education in Gilgit and Baltistan areas. I am sure greater care is being taken for development and introduction of curricula compatible with local culture, traditions and climate.

  7. Posted October 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    🙂 Amazing!

  8. shahla shareef
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Loved the film Mahera. Very well made – sensitively done. The children are absolutely beautiful! I can understand why Elizabeth loved that area so much – we have one in the family! Great job Mahera.

  9. Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    Beautiful work Mahera!

  10. farrokh namazi
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Mahera, you have once again captured every moment, the feelings and motivation behind the project beautifully and sensitively.
    Just loved it, from the music, to the way the documentary moved back and forth and brought all forces that are playing their part into one cohesive whole.
    Well done, proud of you.

  11. Muhammad Raza
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Mahera Omar,
    A very good video with smooth presentation. Liked the effort which is commendable.
    Well done , may you and AMA get due recognition.

  12. Taimur Elahi
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Very enlightening. It is beyond fabulous!

  13. Ardeshir Cowasjee
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Well done – a great job.
    But why can the government no deliver in such manner?
    We rely on people such as Diana and others to do the right and proper thing.
    Most commendable and praiseworthy.

  14. Ali Mansoor
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, keep it up!

  15. Posted October 11, 2011 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    I like it! You’ve come a long way since Spencer Dorm!

  16. Mahira Aleem
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink


    This was simply brilliant!! I LOVED it. Thanks for sharing the link; I will definitely share it with my group of friends.

  17. Posted October 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mahera Omar,

    I have been highly inspired with your great work. That is wonderful . I feel touched that you have tremendously depicted a heart-touching story about Miss Elizabeth and her great mother, Mrs. Diana MacArthur. This documentary contains a hidden message that how mothers love their young.

    As the Principal and resident of Hunza Valley , I am extremely thankful to Mrs. Diana Mac Arthur for her great efforts and contributions.

    Myriad Thanks.

    Miss Noreen Aslam, Principal, Al- Murtaza Accademy, Hunza

  18. Posted October 12, 2011 at 12:34 am | Permalink


    Ive watched the film several times…every time it captures the moment as well the future. every time it brings to life an almost untouched part of the country, not embroiled in quiet anarchy. It captures hope, love and faith.
    you do it effortlessly and skillfully, as do Diana and her entire team, working at making this all possible.
    You’ve even got the Urdu translation voice overs pretty close to the speakers voices.
    Keep the films coming. I look forward to the series as the work progresses and one day some of the school children themselves become adept sensitive documentary film makers, amongst many other professions of their choice.

    Tahereh Sheerazie
    Abruzzi School Garden
    Siankhor, Shigar, Baltistan

  19. seema anvery
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Mahera excellent job,have no words to praise it.
    People like these are aspirations for others and make the future look brighter.
    Wishing and praying for all the best.

  20. sadeyaaa
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    hatss off to mahera

  21. Posted July 4, 2012 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your kind comments, everyone. You can listen to music from Hunza in the link below:


    Some of it was used in the film.

  22. Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Lol Your neighbors just think your standing out there talking to yourself.
    Nothing unusual, right? Lol

  23. Posted June 27, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    @van allen haha I resemble that remark!! Z

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