Recover Disappeared Activists

It is now more than three weeks since the professor, poet and activist Salman Haider was ‘disappeared’ from Islamabad. Shortly afterwards, more social media activists were picked up. By whom and why? Questions beg answers. Please sign the statement urging their safe return.

***PLEASE SIGN THIS STATEMENT HERE.***

recover-activists

Famed Pakistani Poet, Academic, and Left Activist Disappeared

Critical Activists Disappeared

#RecoverSalmanHaider | #RecoverAllActivists

Famed Pakistani poet, academic, and Left activist Salman Haider has gone missing since last Friday. As of now, we have little credible information but we believe that Salman was abducted due to his political views and writings. Salman has been a staunch champion of the oppressed and working class peoples of Pakistan, and uses his witty prose and incisive verses to challenge and mock all forms of oppression in Pakistan.

He is not alone. Within hours of his abduction, news of other activists disappearing has emerged–Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed, and Ahmed Raza Naseer have gone missing.

We demand that the Pakistani state apparatus–its military, intelligence agencies, and civilian institutions–act promptly to ensure the safe recovery of all activists.

We call on scholars, playwrights, poets, writers, activists, artists from around…

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The importance of history and being human

With rising racial tensions in the USA exacerbated by bigots like Trump and easy availability of weapons, I wanted to share my friend Jaspal Singh’s recent ‘Reflections’ that he emailed to a few friends from his base in Cambridge MA (visuals added). Also see this post by Partha Banerjee, an activist friend in New York City, on the racism of South Asians (he talks about Indians but it applies equally to others in the region) and the need to contexualise injustice and violence and demand “justice for all the sufferers” and “punishment for all the criminals”.

Andover PD-Jul 8-2016

#Edhism #BlackLivesMatter #Kashmir #Police We could all use a bit more humanity. A powerful little story shared on Facebook by the Andover Police Department about what happens when we see each other as human beings first.

REFLECTIONS

July 10,2016

By Jaspal Singh

A wave of protests against police brutality has engulfed the US. Thousands of people have come out in the streets against the killing of black men by police in several cities. In Dallas Texas, a sniper killed five police officers.People are demanding that these police officers who are killing black men with impunity , be brought to justice and be punished. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the plight of the black people in the US.They can be killed by the law enforcement officers without any accountability as black lives are not considered to have any value. Every year hundreds of black men are killed in police shootings and nothing comes out of it, no police officer is punished. People are incensed against this kind of impunity. Continue reading

Pakistani qawwals touring USA dedicate performances to Amjad Sabri

Saami-PEM-standing ovation

Standing ovation for the Saami Brothers after their performance at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Wrote this news report the other day.; working on a more detailed report.

Pakistani qawwals touring USA dedicate performances to Amjad Sabri

Legendary classical music maestro Naseeruddin Saami and his sons, currently on tour in the USA, expressed grief at the target killing of their old friend and colleague the renowned qawwal Amjad Sabri in Karachi. Continue reading

Pushing forward the cart that says “Educate Pakistan!”

My piece about the TCF fundraiser in Boston last weekend, published in The News on Sunday, May 15, 2016

Adil Najam, Nargis Mavalvala-Ateed Riaz-Beena Sarwar

Adil Najam, Nargis Mavalvala, Ateed Riaz at the speakers table. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Pitching in for education in Pakistan from Boston and beyond

Beena Sarwar

The Citizens’ Foundation is doing an amazing job, and I’m honoured to be here,” said Nergis Mavalvala, giving the keynote address at the sold-out Third Annual The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF) Boston Fundraiser on Saturday, 7 May, 2016.

Propelled to celebrity status by her role in the recent breakthrough on gravitational waves predicted by Einstein, the Pakistani-American astrophysicist at MIT added, “TCF is fantastic – give generously”. Continue reading

Remembering the historic January 7 student movement

Sharing a blogpost that’s so relevant today, about the 1950s student movement led by the Democratic Students Federation

Dr M. Sarwar (1930-2009)

DSF poster Jan 2016Message from DSF: In memory of the great struggle and demands day led by the then Democratic Students Federation of 1950’s, the present cadre of Democratic Students Federation Sindh is holding a program to highlight the achievements of that struggle and movement. Please join us on 9th January 2016 5.00pm at Railway High School, Kotri, Hyderabad. The program will be marked with speeches from student activists, trade unionists and Political activists – DSF secretary.

Remembering the historic January 7 student movement – by Shahid Husain in The News, Jan 6, 2016. Text below:

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Travels though history with a rural archivist

A lesson in history

Sainath at MIT, explaining the concept behind PARI. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Tracing the footsteps of rebels like Kartar Singh and Sita Ramaraju with a rural archivist — none other than the iconic P. Sainath… Wrote this piece to mark his groundbreaking initiative PARI’s first anniversary; published in The News on Sunday, Jan 3, 2016. Text below with links and additional photos. Continue reading

Remembering Shahab Ahmed

IMG_8355

The Orkestra Marhabba: haunting Turkish sama’a music. 

Colleagues, students, family and friends of the late Shahab Ahmed gathered on Nov 15  evening at an elegant and dignified memorial where speakers remembered him as a friend, a brother, a scholar, a poet, a translator and a seeker of Truth (his first book, What is Islam? has just been published).  Continue reading

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