Karachi Photo Blog

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Urdu Culture Show 2016 at UC Berkeley

Photos from the 2016 Urdu Culture Show at the UC Berkeley (held on April 2)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Remembering Ibn-e-Insha and Nasir Kazmi

Remembering Ibn-e-Insha and Nasir Kazmi

What attracts the South Asian diaspora?  Urdu poetry does. Two separate organizers in the San Francisco Bay Area holding frequent literary meetings on Urdu poetry and filling up the halls, is the proof of the assertion. Who attends these meetings?  Does the Bay Area have that many people from UP, Bihar, Hyderabad (Andhra), and UP’s largest city in Pakistan, Karachi?  Not really.  Only a small number of attendees speak Urdu as their first language.  These meetings are attended by people from all over South Asia--from South India to Kashmir, all using that language as a tool of communication when engaging with other linguistic groups.

On Sunday, February 28, over 200 people attended a literary program held to remember the lives and arts of Ibn-e-Insha and Nasir Kazmi.  The program, arranged and emceed by Urdu teacher Hamida Banu Chopra, was sponsored by Ashraf Habibullah of CSI (Computers and Structures, Inc.).
Anshuman Chandra, Veeny, Atiya Hai, Salman Siddique, Anil Chopra, Ravi aka Khurshid, Ashraf Habibullah, Surender Chibbar, and Dipti Bhatnagar recited poems of the two poets.  Professor Nabeela Kiani presided over the literary meeting held at the India Community Center, Milpitas, and read a short paper on South Asian society’s capacity to absorb rebels, heretics, and perceived loonies.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How is the Baloch insurgency being funded?

How is the Baloch insurgency being funded?

Pakistani establishment is quick to point fingers at the Indian security agencies for funding the current insurgency in Balochistan.  On the other hand Baloch leaders deny they are getting any help from outside. So what’s the scoop? Idealogical motivation is definitely not enough to carry on a fight hiding in the mountains, or being on the run in urban centers—you still need to eat, and buy arms and ammunition in the black market.  Where’s the money trail then? The answer can be found in the story of two young Czech tourists kidnapped in Balochistan by armed men in March 2013.  Their release was made possible in March 2015 after the Czech government allegedly paid six million US dollars to a group in Afghanistan that was keeping the two tourists captive.  The Czech government negotiated with the captors through the Turkish NGO Insani Yardim Vakfi operating in the Taliban dominated areas of Afghanistan.  It is almost certain that the group that negotiated the ransom was not the original abductor. In all likelihood, the tourists were kidnapped by a Baloch group in the Baloch dominated Nok Kundi area of the Chaghi district.  Since the release of the tourists was apparently made possible in Afghanistan, it is not hard to understand that after kidnapping the two tourists the original perpetrators sold the two women to a group more skilled in negotiating ransoms—eventually both Baloch and Taliban groups profited from the ransom deal.
Kidnappings for ransom, drugs, and human trafficking are the industries that are providing money for the two active armed struggles in that region.

Photo, courtesy of AFP

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Disapproving aggression in a very violent society

Disapproving aggression in a very violent society

‘Ho KyoN Tabiyyat Mein Changezi’ (Why should one have an aggressive temperament), an Urdu book of religious material, personal experiences, and reflections was introduced on January 24 at the Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi.  Around one hundred people attended the literary evening presided over by renowned Urdu poet Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui.  Besides others the author of the book, Qazi Majid Ali Advocate, Mehmood Shaam and Abrar Hasan spoke at the occasion.  The program was emceed by Agha Masood.

Video of Abrar Hasan's speech is here:

Also see this relevant Urdu news:

 قاضی ماجد علی ایڈووکیٹ کی کتاب ہو کیوں طبیعت میں چنگیزی
آغا مسعود
ڈاکٹر پیرزادہ قاسم رضا صدیقی
ابرار حسن ایڈووکیٹ
محمود شام

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Urdu Academy of North America, International Mushaira, December 6, 2015

When over 200 people attend an Urdu literary event in a city in the US, you can appreciate the population growth of the North-South-Asians in that city and the high proportion of literature-lovers among this population.

Urdu Academy of North America’s annual flagship program, an International Mushaira, was held on Sunday, December 6 at the Chandni Restaurant in Newark, California.

Here are a few photos from that very memorable program.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Obama is wrong about ISIL

Obama is wrong.
ISIL was, is, and will remain the true face of Islam until the world sees the ‘true’ Muslims fighting ISIL for dishonoring ‘true’ Islam.

Photo, courtesy of NowThis.