Archive for the ‘Weekend Review’ Category

Who’s KarachiWala?

May 14th 2010, Multi/Interdisciplinary Research Interest Group at AKU-IED hosted a session by Ms. Rumana Hussain which happens to be her birthday as well. The discussion was based on a brief overview and her experiences of writing her book ‘KarachiWala: a sub-continent within a city’. The book celebrates the diversity of the city ranging from ethnicity, religion and occupation; and equally a test of how much familiar are you with your chosen city, at least for me.

Related news stories and reviews: Karachi Metblogs, Dawn Blog, Daily Times

The book captivates the spirit of change by which Karachi breathes. The writer humbly stated that she is neither a sociologist nor an anthropologist but it is only her interest in people and the city which drove the project. The most difficult process was the making contacts and accessibility of people and the most rewarding were the interesting stories that came from the elderly and low-income groups, not due to their misery but of cultural richness. The 330 pages covering various stories accompanied by hundreds of photographs is a testimony of the time and amount of hard work that have gone into this piece of art.

Some interesting features about the book that caught my attention are,
• the inclusion of traditional and progressive families of same ethnicities;
• a contrast in urban landscape with respect to socio-economic groups;
• inclusion of few legends, festivals and customs;
• maps that trace various movements (an amusing example would be route of a person on his cycle for selling fish, population growth or anagrams of ‘what we are and what we speak’ ),
• inclusion of street children, jogis(nomads) and pathans living in deras
• assimilation of intra-diversity in specific religions (I didn’t knew that we have Tamil Christian families in our city though have see people of Goan origin very often but I still thought that the Christian population only comprised of Punjabi converts).

A very relevant question was posed about the sense of belonging with the city because there is a constant influx of migrants who are living in this geography but would choose their villages over Karachi. Does Karachi really belong to someone when most of its dwellers are migrants having multiple-identities? This was very-well reflected by the speaker that whoever lives here and gives back to the city has a claim over city. We all are Karachiwalas at the end of the day.

In my personal opinion, the book can serve as a role-model for issues related to pluralism. It radiates humanistic approach and is sensitive yet non-judgmental in its advocacy. Whenever we talk about diversity of our country in main-stream circles, we always limit our talks to provincial diversities and thus raise voices of different claims and rights of these provinces but what we need to embrace is that we are much more than provinces and each minority needs to be given the due its deserves, most importantly the respect.

The book can be ordered from

Ps: I saw her during an interesting show on state of literature and reading habits in The First Blast on DawnNews channel where she also talked briefly about the book but thanks to AKU-IED, it was an interesting experience to not only know more about the book but also the experiences of the author during the process of documenting it.

TiECon 2009

tiecon 007-1 Last Wednesday, The Indus Entrepreneurship Conference was hosted at Sheraton Karachi in collaboration of Torque (SoL). It was a one-day networking and learning opportunity for all those who wanted to find the entrepreneur streak in themselves by taking inspiration by engaging with successful individuals in the field.

The day started with the session titled ‘Tales from the Trenches’ where the leading entrepreneurs presented their tales to the audience. If I had to review each in a one-liner then it would be this way. Puzzle by Adil Moosajee, Owner of Ego, was all about, to quote him, ‘Either find a way or make a path of your own. Work with happy people and others should be OUT.’ Reboot by Jawwad Farid, CEO of Alchemy discussed about learning from failures because ‘Before you can win, you have to lose’ and to be an entrepreneur, it is important being comfortable about what you are therefore looking behind is okay unless you don’t get obsessed about it. Adversity by Sameera Raja, Owner of Canvas Gallery, talked about her Breast Cancer Adversity and conquering it while managing her life. She emphasized on scheduling not only your work but how you present it to your audience. Appetite by Shahzad Ali, CEO of Student Biryani talked about how his father through his resilience from his humble beginnings made Cafe Student to a brand Student Biryani. The only favorite story for me was of Jawwad Farid because it talked about starting up a new venture and its hurdles. Others had stories which was about evolution or say an effort to sustain the previous family businesses.

Next up was ‘Investing in Change: Empowering Social Entrepreneurs’ by Batool Hassan, Business Development Manager at Acumen Fund. This was the most fruitful of all. She discussed about the idea of Philanthropy 2.0 where the products don’t need to be free but affordability and dignity should be brought into the market. Examples of Khuda ki Basti, Saibaan and other creatively planned projects were shared to illustrate that businesses can be run for social development and you don’t only get your capital back but reasonable profits can also be generated, if you are not running after the greed of money. She was kind enough to answer our questions even during the lunch break.

TieCon Debate was honestly more about pulling legs of each other. The topic being ‘Conventional Wisdom is becoming increasingly irrelevant’ itself had its flaws. In my honest opinion, any kind of wisdom can be relevant if you know how to mold and use it for your good. Personally Shahjehan Chaudhry stood out because he played the game pretty intelligently and fairly. Unilever representative at the against panel, was all rhetoric and made less sense, still won the debate and as Hassan Rizwan of Prymus Technologies rightly commented that surely ‘our education system is flawed.’ Sadly, people usually like how things are presented than the actual content. Next time it should be a discourse instead of debate. Thankfully lunch came in as a relief.

After lunch it was very apt to have a musical performance when people would usually go into the snore zone. Alan Simon from Taal Karisma introduced his Percussive Fusion Band and gave the people an insight on how band indulges in different beat cycles which haven’t been explored much before. Their each track was a delight and body percussion that they presented was pretty decent as a lot of people claim about the art but their performances eventually come flat. Ustadji their debut single is up on the radio and a must listen.

Skype helped with video-conferencing where Jahanzeb Sherwani, Founder of Jugaari shared his i-phone app experience with techies.

Birds of a feather featured Breakout sessions on various aspects of entrepreneurship skills like Bootstrapping, Branding, PR, Team Building and Social Media, where participants divided into their respective interest groups. Small focused groups surely brought a lot of ideas and learning on board.

Dr. Umar Saif who is Associate Professor at LUMS talked about pitching ideas to VCs. He gave an impression that VCs don’t pay much heed to your product, vision or technology but they invest more on the quality of team. Therefore it is the time when project becomes fund-able, as in at the point of take off, that it needs to be pitched else it would be too early or late. This was followed by Adil Saleem of Seen Report who shared his experience of making dream of this portal a reality which was also incubated by Dr. Umar Saif.

Last up was Asad Umar, CEO Engro Chemcial who talked about Making Your Move! The talk highlighted that once you start running your project, your business model should keep on updating and your passion should be supported by intellect whereby you know how to probe questions on achievements and move forward.

Every speaker highlighted about asking yourself that is it really your dream to become an entrepreneur?, if yes then one should not wait for being experienced as it would never be enough. Moreover an entrepreneur should be reading to take the tough part and learn from the mistakes. Social Media was also discuss at length which become a low or no-cost tool for marketing the businesses. Next time it would be great if Social Entrepreneurship takes the lead or maybe a whole conference can be dedicated on the subject.

Kudos to Sabeen Mahmud, the president of TiE to come up with an interesting line of speakers in such trying times and Shireen Naqvi with her Torque team for managing the conference on such high standards.

PS: The food was really good =D
PSS: I love the conference logo and badge.

Celebrations of T20 World Cup Victory

Everyone is thrilled. Facebook feed page looks more like and twitter is boasting our country’s win, not to forget tons of texts on cellphones. Streets of Karachi have also witnessed the pinnacle of joy, bhangras and celebration like to list a few,
Youtube: Celebrations at Gulshan Town
Youtube: Celebrations at Johar
Again at Johar Chowrangi
and the famous Khadda Market vid on FB =D

Thanks to Pakistani team for uniting the country at such times of turmoil and giving us a reason to cheer. Treat for Fathers especially at their special day ;)

Weekend Review: December 10, 2006

It’s funny how people tell me that weekend reviews are useless, but then they miss it if I don’t do it for a week. In my opinion, weekend reviews give a recap of what was talked about on the blog over the week, a zeitgeist, if you will. Anyway, here are the most popular posts from last week.

Latest on Karachi Rains by MB

Karachi, Humans Needed by MB

Beaten and homeless by Cy

QOD: Credible News? by mansoor

Koi hai jo mujhe insaaf dilaye? by Sufi

Weekend Review: December 3, 2006

Last week was dominated by the 7 gifts. We got very good response from the readers and we, the authors, also enjoyed the posts. Here are the most discussed posts from last week.

Typical Reaction by mansoor

Dengue Prevention – The Islamic Way by mansoor

Hum sharminda hojaate hain – Sindh Police by mansoor

Gift 1 – Abdul Sattar Edhi by MB

Gift 6: W-11 The Bus
by Jamash

Weekend Review: November 26, 2006

Last week IDEAS was talk of the town. There were several posts about the event on the blog, and one of them made it to the top 5 most discussed posts of the week. Here are all the posts.

Oh Really??? by Unaiza Nasim

“Stay away from Karachi ” Please by MB

KFC… still worth it? by umar

Herculean task! by Unaiza Nasim

Happy Birthday to Peer Pagara! by Unaiza Nasim

Weekend Review: November 19, 2006

Here are five most popuar posts from last week.

Karachi – Dubai ‘A Cruise to Hell’ by Teeth Maestro

Karachi… by Unaiza Nasim

Special security arrangements by mansoor

Poor little rich boy by Cy

Biometric ATMs, anyone? by umar

Weekend Review: November 12, 2006

OK, I shall be quick this time. Here are the five most popular posts from last week.

Fanaticism by Unaiza Nasim

Strange people – Mr. Obnoxious by mansoor

The city that carries a thousand tales by Unaiza Nasim

To Karachi, with love (from: Zenab Masud) by Unaiza Nasim

No Entry! by Unaiza Nasim

Weekend Review: November 5, 2006

Another week gone by and here are the most popular posts from last week.

Olden days – I recall the good old days of Karachi, and then anathema adds to the list. Everyone feels nostalgic.

its a divorce lawyer market – Xill-e-Ilahi highlights the increasing number of divorce cases and everyone starts talking against and in favour of Islam and women rights and what not.

Teen Talwar – Unaiza posts a picture of the monument in Clifton and wonders if the message it conveys still hold. The crowd discusses the exact interpretation of the words and their meaning. It’s always fascinating to see the comments section taking an entirely different course.

Musical Nights, Karchiite culture – Unaiza wonders whether it is becoming a norm to have mini music concerts as part of wedding celebrations. Once again, the crowd goes crazy and goes back and forth justifying and condemning this act

Excellent Decision – MB supports the decision of banning Shoab Akhter from playing cricket. The readers make predictions about him being back in action and performance of Pakistan in the world cup.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.