Rosie Gabrielle, a solo motorcyclist from Canada, arrived in Pakistan 10 years ago to explore the beauty of Pakistan's picturesque North. Her Instagram account is full of pictures not only showing the dazzling colors of Pakistan but also her affection for local people and culture.
She traveled across Pakistan, especially the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, which borders neighboring China, and is home to the snow-capped peaks, glaciers and lakes. She was captivated by the majestic peaks, breathtaking plateaus, and glistening waters.
But on top of it all, she rejoiced in the love, grace, and affection she received from the locals.
She praises Pakistan and its people for helping her achieve her ultimate goal, saying: "to get rid of the pain I have been going through for years and fulfill my desire to be free."
Attired in pinkish white shalwar-kameez (local dress), her head covered with a dupatta (sheet), and holding a copy of the holy Quran, Gabrielle posted a picture of herself on Instagram on Thursday.
She had an announcement.
"I converted to Islam," read the title of her story she pegged to explain what "led me to take this big decision."
She gives credit to her love for nature and beauty that brought her to Pakistan, and ultimately led her to " find peace that one can only dream of having in their hearts".
Following is a statement she posted on Instagram:
As mentioned previously, this last year was one of the hardest in my life, and all life’s challenges have led me to this point here and now. From a young child, I’ve always had a unique connection with creation and special relationship to God. My path was far from easy and I carried a lot of anger in my heart from a lifetime of pain, always begging God, why me? Until ultimately coming to the conclusion that all is meant to be, and even my suffering is a gift.
Never resonating with what I was brought up with, I denounced my religion 4 years ago, going down a deep path of spiritual discovery. Exploration of self, and the great Divine. I never let go the sight of the Creator, in fact, my curiosity and connection only grew stronger. Now no longer dictated by fear, I was able to fully explore this righteous path.
As time passed, the more I experienced, the more I witnessed the true nature and calling for my life. I wanted to be free. Free of the pain and shackles that was hell. Liberation from the anger, hurt and misalignment. I wanted peace in my heart, forgiveness and the most profound connection with all. And thus started my journey.
The universe brought me to Pakistan, not only to challenge myself to let go of the last remaining traces of pain and ego, but also to show me the way.
Through kindness, humbled grace of the people I met along my pilgrimage, inspired my heart to seek further. Living in a Muslim country for 10 years and traveling extensively through these regions, I observed one thing; Peace. A kind of peace that one can only dream of having in their hearts.
Unfortunately Islam is one of the most misinterpreted and criticized religions world wide. And like all religions, there are many interpretations. But, the core of it, the true meaning of Islam, is PEACE, LOVE ONENESS. It’s not a religion, but a way of life. The life of humanity, humility and Love.
For me, I was already technically a “Muslim”. My Shahada (Muslim profession of faith) was basically a re-dedication of my life to the path of Oneness, connection and Peace through the devotion of God.