But as Ali and the Bangladeshi students walk to their bus, they try to make sense of what they've just witnessed. How, they ask, can Americans spend so much money on a fireworks display for just a few thousand people? How can they consume those kinds of resources when people in their home countries don't have food to eat?
When Ali arrived in the United States, he thought Americans would know about his country just as he knew about America. He waited for people to ask him about the new South Asian trade accords. He waited for Americans to discuss the troubles in Kashmir. But the questions never came. Then one night an American student aide explained why: "I don't care."
More from an article titled Worlds Apart, from the Wash Post Mag, which chronicles a State Department program which brings a few dozen Muslim students from Arab and South Asian countries and shows them America. Good read about culture. Free registration required.