Muskan Mumtaz is a junior at the University of Virginia.
Some say Srinagar is two thousand years old, and if you walk through the streets today, you’d agree that it looks like it’s from another time period. Medieval architecture, royal gardens and lakes all nestled between the Himalayan Mountains paint a picture of a grand, old city with heavy Buddhist and Perso-Islamic influences. Earlier this September, however, the city went underwater. The last stages of the monsoon rains raised flood levels to 25 feet  in some parts of the city and forced 200,000 people to evacuate their homes.  In total, 2.2 million people have been affected. 
In my short, romanticized description of Srinagar, I left out an important part of the story. After the British partitioned India and Pakistan in 1947, Indian-occupied Kashmir became a disputed territory. Srinagar, the flooded city, is the capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought two wars and respectively spent millions on developing their nuclear programs in efforts to out-arm one another. More recently, in the 1990s, Pakistan funded Pakistani and native Kashmiri militants to fight for independence from Indian occupation. The Indian army retaliated by killing, raping, and torturing hundreds of thousands of innocent Kashmiris in the process.  Even today, Kashmir remains the most densely occupied region in the world, with one Indian soldier for every ten Kashmiris.