Karachi Photo Blog

Thursday, November 02, 2023

A jail burst and the ensuing war

On October 7, 2023, Gaza prisoners ran out of their jail and attacked those who were guarding the jail and others who lived close by not caring about why over 2 million were made to live in an open air jail.

The western media called the October 7 acts of violence, a terrorist attack.

Any act of resistance by the small guy is an act of terrorism.

Israel wanted to punish those responsible for the October 7 violence.  Israel attacked Gaza, a territory technically under Israel's control.  It is a civil war but the western media, being supported by money and large corporations, is calling it Israel's war on a terrorist group.

The western countries are helping the Government of Israel subdue people living under Israel's control.

The mainstream western media seldom mentions Palestinians as human beings, and no one ever asked why October 7 happened.

October 7 acts of violence took place because people have been displaced from their ancestral homes and pushed to live in an open air jail.

It is not a permanent solution.

A long lasting solution is simple: Israel must take over Gaza and the west bank territories and make residents of those geographical areas equal citizens of Israel.  That is the logical and humane way of dealing with this 'problem.'


Thursday, September 14, 2023

The Defunct Chowk.com; what Chowk.com was all about

I was asked what Chowk.com was about when it was operational.   Chowk.com had three founders: Safwan Shan, Umair Khan, and Ginni Dhindsa.  When Chowk started, the Internet was a novelty.  Chowk.com provided an online space for Indians and Pakistanis to find out about each other and learn what the 'enemy' was thinking.  Several people started their writing careers at Chowk.com.  It was magical to see your article published at Chowk and then to see its 'views' growing in numbers, and on top of that you got to 'Inter-act' with your readers who cared to comment on your writing.  It was all very new and very refreshing, a huge departure from the days of hard-copy publications.  Why Chowk.com wrapped up its operation?  Chowk.com did not have a revenue model.  Very early, Umair Khan left.  For several years the duo of Safwan Shah and Ginni Dhindsa successfully ran Chowk.com but then Safwan Shah got busy with money-making ventures, and it was too much work for Ginni to handle the humongous flow of articles coming to Chowk.com.  When Chowk.com ceased operation, it went down with hundreds of thousands of remarkable articles, and millions of useful and educational comments from the readers.
But Chowk.com has made history.  Chowk will always be remembered as one of the first South Asian websites that let Indians and Pakistanis interact with each other, visa free.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Another website trying to get your personal information, alikefriends.com


When you try to reach



You get the following message

This site can’t be reached

Check if there is a typo in www.alikefriends.com.



 here is the original email that landed in my inbox


On Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 11:23:17 PM PDT, Credit Bureau Reporting-Alert <madison@alikefriends.com> wrote:

Great Score


Get Your New August 2023 Scores Right Here


When Last Have You Checked Your Scores?


To see your August 2023 from Experian,

TransUnion and Equifax Reports in one easy to read report go Right Here


Coolest Gadgets

Checking your credit will NOT harm your credit scores!






Alike Friends

1875 Ne 4th Ave

Miami, Fl 33127


Unsubscribe me from this mailing list 



Contact Info:
8144 Walnut Hill Ln, 6th Floor
Dallas, TX 75231


This is an email advertisement. To unsubscribe from our sponsor: click here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

No, NASA has NOT invited Bisma Salangi to the USA

A fake news report making rounds in the Pakistani social media circuits will tell you that NASA has invited the "inventor" of "anti-sleep glasses for drivers", a 13-year old girl by the name of Bisma Salangi, to the USA.

See here:

Anti-Sleep Glasses For Drivers: NASA Invited pakistan’s 13-year-old girl Bisma to USA



 How can you tell it is fake news?

First, NASA web site does not mention anything about this claim.

Second, if you search the Internet, you will find that several people claim to have invented "anti-sleep glasses for drivers."

For example, see here:

Anti-sleep glasses



Saturday, April 29, 2023

Cemendtaur found Dead--a report from the local newspaper

Cemendtaur found Dead

By our news reporter



Ali Hasan Cemendtaur has been found dead in his room. Police is investigating any foul play.  Coroner’s report is due in two days.  Neighbors believe Cemendtaur died of a drug overdose.  A family member on condition of anonymity told the newspaper Cemendtaur fought with heroin addiction for a long time.  His last stay at a rehabilitation center ended just a week earlier.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Dr. Firasat of the NED University, Karachi


Upon learning of the death of Dr. Syed Firasat Ali, I couldn't help but wonder what his legacy would be. The answer came to me quite simply: I am his legacy, as are thousands of his other students. His children and all the people he inspired through his good manners and scholarship are also a part of his legacy. Additionally, the research papers he wrote and the nonprofit work he supported are part of his legacy as well.

It's worth noting that in Pakistan, people are not typically known by their first names. Instead, we call people by their most uncommon name. For example, both Mohammad Aslam and Aslam Mohammad (or Aslam Ahmad) would be called Aslam. Dr. Syed Firasat Ali was thus known as Dr. Firasat at the NED University. I remember him as my Fluid Mechanics teacher at the NED.

Dr. Firasat Ali was forced to permanently move to the United States in 1988 due to the violence in Karachi, particularly following the Bushra Zaidi incident. He initially taught at a few community colleges in the New Jersey area before finding a permanent position at Tuskegee University in Alabama. After retiring from Tuskegee in May 2022, he and his wife lived with their youngest son in Auburn, Alabama. In November 2022, he had a cardiovascular issue but after a medical procedure involving the placement of stents and a pacemaker, he was in good health and returned to his regular routine.

Dr. Firasat Ali died on Friday, January 13 in Auburn, Alabama. He passed away the way he wanted to: quickly and without too much pain. He had seen the many faces of death through the passing of his three brothers, one sister, and several cousins. He did not want to die after losing his mind, like those suffering from Alzheimer's disease do.  What fun is dying if one is not even aware that they are alive?

On Wednesday, January 11, Dr. Firasat complained of a stomachache. Early the next morning, he had difficulty breathing and was taken to the ER around 6 AM. His blood oxygen level was 90%, but he was in pain. He was sedated around 12 PM, but his oxygen level kept decreasing; by night it was 80%. The doctors at the hospital couldn't figure out what was happening. On Friday, his oxygen level dropped to 70% and he passed away at around 1:30 PM the same day. He was buried in a local cemetery in Auburn on Saturday, January 14, with around 80 people in attendance.

Dr. Firasat Ali's life was not atypical of a Mohajir life: born in a minority province, middle life spent in Pakistan, moved to North America and buried there. His life was shaped by the strong political forces of his times: the South Asian Muslim identity crisis, particularly after the fall of the Mughal Empire, the hasty exit of the British from South Asia, leaving behind fragile political entities, the Cold War, and the American experience after slavery and the civil rights movement, which paved the way for immigration from post-colonial states.

Dr. Syed Firasat Ali's son wrote about his father here:


Dr. Sohail interviewed Dr. Firasat Ali:

 Dr. Firasat Ali's speech at a convention:



An older email exchange

On Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 09:12:02 AM PDT, Cemendtaur wrote:

Thanks for writing back, Dr. Firasat Ali.
I did jump through a few email addresses in the last
couple of years--must have missed your posts in those
transitions.  But I do remain a great fan of yours and
really appreciate the way you taught me (and us) at
I am sorry to learn that you won't be able to attend
the upcoming convention.  The convention would have
been an excellent opportunity for us to meet you and
for you to meet your former students and maybe a few
classmates.  Kindly do look into possibilities to
attend the event.  It is on a Saturday, and it would
be a large gathering of NEDians.  Your attendance
would really add a lot of value to it.

Very warm regards,
Ali Hasan C.

--- Syed Firasat Ali <firasat_ali@> wrote:

> Dear Ali Hasan:
> It is indeed a pleasure to get see your email
> message after a gap of few years. During this gap, I
> sent few email messages to you at couple of email
> addresses but did not understand what happened.
> Thanks for your invitation. I regret that I would
> not be able to make it.
> Please keep in touch.
> Regards,
> Syed Firasat AliAssociate Professor Aerospace
> Engineering DepartmentTuskegee University, Tuskegee,
> AL 36088Phone(334)727 8853(Office/Phone mail);Fax
> (334) 727 8090 (write attention Dr. Ali)> Date: Tue,
> 21 Aug 2007 23:46:19 -0700>

> cemendtaur> Subject: Dr. Firasat Ali.

> is your student from your NED days.> To:
> fali> CC: firasat_ali> >
> Dear Dr. Firasat Ali,> >

Salam> > Hope you and your
> family members are doing great.> I hope you remember
> me. I was in touch with you a few> years back but
> then lost contact.> > NEDians of North America are
> arranging this year's> convention in San Jose,
> California. It would be> absolutely great if you
> would attend. Details are> here:>
> http://convention2007.nedians.org/> > Kindly do
> write back and let me know.> >
Warm regards,> Ali
> Hasan C.> > > > >

Photo, courtesy of Asim Ali (son of Dr. Syed Firasat Ali)