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Did Pakistan TV Debate Prompt Burning of Yoga Center?

Pak Tea House was noted by the famous US media outlet NBC NEWS in this story below. Wish we were quoted in a more positive news story. By Wajahat S. Khan ISLAMABAD – Armed men may have burned down a yoga center in Pakistan after it was criticized during a provocative television talk show, local observers said Monday. The Art of Living, a non-profit organization whose spiritual leader is an Indian yogi, was set on fire Saturday evening, three weeks after outspoken television anchor Arshad Sharif suggested it was a potential threat to Pakistan’s national security. The two nuclear armed nations are fierce rivals and have fought four wars and countless skirmishes. In a Feb. 14 episode of his prime-time show “Kyoon?” – meaning “Why?” – Sharif suggested that the facility’s spiritual leader, India yoga … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Citizens, culture, human rights, India, Islamabad, Media, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, secular Pakistan, Terrorism, violence

A Short Escape from the Travails of Life in Pakistan

A Short Escape from the Travails of Life in Pakistan

Kasim Osmani Music Freedom Day is a globally celebrated event intended to pay homage to the singers and musicians who suffer censorship, bans, life-threats, financial constraints, stereotypical treatment, and other constraints for being a part of the music industry. The Music Freedom Day is also dedicated to those who spend their lives serving music, yet, cannot come to the spotlight. Life is made difficult for artists in most of the under-developed countries, such as Mali and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Music

Sanki King

Sanki King

Abdullah Ahmed Khan professionally known as Sanki or Sanki King, is a Pakistani graffiti artist, Pakistan’s first Sneaker Artist member of an old school American graffiti crew, BMK – Beyond Mankind Krew, a Bboy & member of a b-boying crew Unknown Crew (UC), founded in 2010 in Karachi and a Parkor expert.. Sanki is the pioneer of graffiti culture in Pakistan, pioneer of sticker art, and he is also the first and the only super hip hopper in Pakistan. Here are a few brilliant works by Sanki King!                       … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

Pothowar — A Land of Forgotten History

Pothowar — A Land of Forgotten History

By Umair Tariq Punjab as we already know is comprised of Eastern Foothills of Himalayas, Pothohar Plateau and Upper Indus Valley. Whereas the most of our history has been brushed into the carpet by dictator Zia’s regime, the most misunderstood region of Punjab remained Pothohar Plateau. Usually the history of Pothohar Plateau is started from Mahmud of Ghazni who used traversed through it to invade Eastern Hindustan and to Sher Shah Suri who was also an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Arts and Crafts

The Serenarts Programme

The Serenarts Programme

Asma Khan The Serenarts Programme is an initiative of Serena Hotels to promote artisans and give them an opportunity to display and sell their work.  In some cases these are dying crafts and need patronage.  Mohammad Waseem an artisan from D.I Khan, learned the craft from his father, Mohammad Ashraf, who was himself a “national treasure” , whose work was awarded the Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan. Waseem  traces his lineage to Ustad Karim Ali , a famous artist in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Arts and Crafts

The Flowers’ Stalks: selling books on Lahore’s streets

The Flowers’ Stalks: selling books on Lahore’s streets

  By Behzad Taimur The Sun is mellow and the early Sunday morning birdsong comes drifting down slowing through the air, and settles softly on a small street just off of Lahore’s famous Anarkali bazaar, like dust settles down once a gust of wind has blown past. The street is littered with small stalls of old books – each stall is a sheet of paper or a clump of rags with innumerable books lying on top. This, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, culture, Education, Heritage, History, Literature

In Which Telling Your Real Age is Taboo

By Soniah Kamal: Who has not sat through a movie where a perfectly lovely heroine has been maligned with comments such as ‘boori ho gayee hai, thakhi wee lag rahee hai, uus kee Ma lag rahee hai ‘, she looks aged, she looks tired, she looks like his mother’. I had the pleasure during a recent trip to Pakistan of watching with a group the Indian film ‘Bhoothnath’ starring Amitabh Bachan, Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla. Part way into the movie, the men, all around forty years of age, began confirming with each other that indeed Juhi was looking older, much older, indeed she had become decrepit. She’s looking like Shahrukh’s mother, they remarked to each other, Shahrukh kee Maa lag rahi hai. The women at the gathering are all thirty … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bollywood

Pakistan 2011: the Movie…at a TV set near you!

By Ghazala Akbar: Sonia Gandhi once imperiously remarked that the Indians need not bother going to war with Pakistan anymore, the invasion of Indian TV was enough. She had a point. For a while, the murderous machinations and dynastic power- struggles of Indian soaps had people hooked.  Not anymore. Indian soaps are passé. The gripping political drama unfolding daily on our TV screens is a serious challenge not just to Bollywood but Hollywood too. Over the past year, every genre has been represented: tragedy, high comedy, farce, buffoonery, drama, action, war, murder, spy thrillers, musical extravaganzas and a bit of soft porn too. Such is the quality of live political theatre that I cannot remember the last time I watched a film on television. Who needs expensive blockbusters from across the border … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

Continuation of a joint heritage

  Ilmana Fasih recounts some examples of the ‘Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb’ and centuries’ old, peaceful coexistence beyond religious divides An otherwise sane looking person I met at a party recently started to spew venom laced with conspiracy theories about “Hindu Muslim animosity”. To top it all, he tried to use my own life to justify his views, insisting that my going to live in Pakistan after marrying a Pakistani was proof of the natural divide. He refused to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

Of Tazias, Pirjhas and Chiniot

Of Tazias, Pirjhas and Chiniot

By Hasan Miraj: In the unleveled streets of Chiniot, the life takes up a sad note with the arrival of Muharram. Though the Shia community constitutes only 28 percent of the entire district but there is much more reverence than the census indicates. Chiniot, is the house of oldest and finest Tazias in Indo Pak subcontinent.  A total of nine tazias are produced in different dates of Muharram and eventually they all get assembled at Maidan, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

‘Every Land is Karbala’: The Globalization of Muharram

‘Every Land is Karbala’: The Globalization of Muharram

by Fahad Desmukh Here’s a map I’ve made by plotting a bunch of Youtube videos of the rites of the Shia Muslim commemoration of Muharram/Ashura. The embedded map below is a bit small and annoying to use, so click on this link for a full page version of the same. Then click on any of the little blue markers and a youtube video will pop up showing you an example of how the Muharram rites are performed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

TRAGEDY OF MUSLIM CIVILIZATION

By Aftab Zaidi: The 2011 Nobel Prize announcements were recently made at a ceremony held in Europe. It is rather sad that no Muslim was able to garner this prestigious award. After all Muslims constitute 21 percent of the total world population and are around 1.57 billion. It is an irony that so far the Muslim world has produced only nine Nobel laureates since the inception of this award by Alferd Nobel in 1895. This statistic seems even more horrifying if the Peace Prize winners are excluded from this list which leaves it with only two Nobel laureates in the field of science namely Dr Abdus Salam in Physics and Ahmed Zewail in Chemistry. Moreover, Dr. Salam was hounded and persecuted in his home country on account of his Ahmedi faith … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

A little bit of Goa in Karachi

A little bit of Goa in Karachi

Pride of Goans. Pride of Karachi. A Vestige of Great Goan Legacy. Walking past Karachi Goan Association entrance is like entering a wormhole, jumping into a universe which is oblivious to cacophony of competing voices out on Saddar road. Goan Association Hall is a landmark which still plays an active role in Karachi’s social scene. The entrance opposite Karachi Grammar School is a humble one and trees, as old as the Gymkhana, shadow the front … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Arts and Crafts

Beyond the Boundary Line: A Pakistani pays tribute to Nawab Pataudi and Jagjit Singh

Beyond the Boundary Line: A Pakistani pays tribute to Nawab Pataudi and Jagjit Singh

By Ghazala Akbar At the risk of enraging Pakistani Nationalists or cross- border internet trolls of the Hindutva variety, I would like to place on record my profound grief and sorrow at the passing away in quick succession of two Indian icons:  Mansur Ali Khan, the former Indian cricket captain,9th Nawab of Pataudi and the majestic Jagjit Singh, the prince of Ghazals.  Is there any common thread between these two seemingly disparate personalities, one a Sikh, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

Finding a Synagogue in Karachi

By Karachi Walla Unthinkable. Have you ever considered being friends with a Jew. Visiting a Synangogue from inside. That too, in Karachi. The construction of Magain Shalome Synagogue epitomized good old Karachi’s diversity and tolerance. Its destruction epitomized parochialism and intolernace prevalent now. The sense of loss is not only felt by once Karachite jews but by many others as evident by blog posts and flickr comments on the picture of the synagoue. The sense of loss becomes unbearable when you see the trash which has been put up in place of the synagogue. Jews lived mainly in the Ranchor Line and Ramswami areas in Karachi and there were around 2500 Jews at the time of the partition. They were part of the larger Ben-e- Israel group of the British India. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts