A space of one’s own

“Your walks are such a contrast to the events in Gujranwala in response to the women’s marathon,” wrote Saneeya Hussain in response to my Personal Political column published in The News on Sunday on 3 April 2005. “I keep thinking Pakistan shd change its name to Absurdistan or some such thing”. (Remember the women’s marathon?)

Since the article is not available on the web anymore I thought I’d post it here. The photo is more recent but since I wrote this piece in 2005, what has changed and what remains the same? 

Seaview beach, early morning. Photo: Beena Sarwar, 2016

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Remembering Saneeya, five years on

Zohra Yusuf's tribute to Saneeya in 'The Herald' - one of dozens of articles about this extraordinary activist, journalist and wonderful human being

Hard to believe it’s five years already since we lost Saneeya to asthma and a traffic jam in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our mutual friend in Sri Lanka, Nalaka Gunawardene remembers her in a blog post today titled “Remembering Saneeya Hussain of Absurdistan, five years on…”.

“Absurdistan” is the delightfully whimsical word Saneeya coined,  in her email to me in March 2005 in response to news of the attack on women participating in a ‘mixed’ (non-segregated) marathon in Gujranwala. Just two days later, we learnt that she had gone into a coma, from which she never recovered. I used “Absurdistan” as the headline of another article after she’d passed away.

Saneeya, we will always miss you. Thanks to all those who are  supporting the Saneeya Hussain Trust run by her family and friends to provide educational scholarships to deserving women and girls.

See my chapter “Uphill and downstream in Pakistan”, on Saneeya and environmental journalism in the recently published collection “The Green Pen” by Sage, India.

The short version of my documentary Celebrating Saneeya is up at Youtube

Remembering Saneeya Hussain on her birthday

Here’s a note I sent out to the Saneeya Hussain yahoogroup yesterday, Aug 13th, her birthday – please do check out the link about the Saneeya Hussain Trust:Saneeya Homepage

Dear family and friends of Saneeya, scattered all over the world, this huge community of caring and committed people working in all kinds of ways to make the world a better place in their own ways

Here’s to Saneeya – we’ll always miss her. It is wonderful that the Saneeya Hussain Trust is up and running. Please do check it out at http://www.saneeyahussaintrust.com/ – The Trust has already done a lot of valuable work in terms of helping young girls obtain an education.

Several months ago I wrote a chapter for a forthcoming book on environmental journalism being published (eventually, we hope) by Sage, India. It focuses to some extent on Saneeya and Nazeeha had it posted to the SHT website for those who are interested
http://www.saneeyahussaintrust.com/PakistanChapterforSageIndiaAug08.pdf

I finally made a blog (on which I post my own articles and other material that I also send to my issues yahoogroup) – have linked the SHT to it also. I’d encourage all those of you who maintain blogs or websites to do the same.

That’s all for now from hot and muggy Karachi

beena

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