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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The Silk Road

Painted Truck

Jamil-ud-Din and Haider Ali demonstrated the art of truck painting on the National Mall during the 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

"Jamil-ud-Din and Haider Ali often walk among the throngs, savoring the spectacle. Their South Asian features inevitably lead someone to ask, "Did you make this?" The men respond with a smile, followed sometimes by the word "yes," sometimes by only a nod. Because the pair speak little English—and Urdu-speaking Washingtonians are few and far between—that is usually the extent of the conversation. But for Jamil and Haider, saying anything at all to Americans—and seeing their work displayed between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument—is something that they never imagined possible. Picked by the Smithsonian Institution as the best in their trade, the two are in the middle of a surreal experience that they hope will help improve relations between the United States and Pakistan."

— Michael Vasquez, Washington Post, July 6, 2002.

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