Posted on January 15, 2017 by beenasarwar
Lahore protest. Photo: Khalid Mahmood
January 15, 2017 marks just over two weeks since the professor, poet and activist Salman Haider was abducted from Islamabad, followed soon after by more such “disappearances”. Human rights activists around the world are demanding that Pakistan produce the missing bloggers and end the climate of fear being created. Disappearing activists is not a new tactic, as Pervez Hoodbhoy reminds us – been happening with alarming regularity in Balochistan. But these abductions happened in Punjab. Meanwhile, the propaganda machinery of the dirty tricks brigade (#DTBPk) is out in full force painting as ‘blasphemers’ and ‘traitors’ the missing bloggers and those supporting them – which in the context of Pakistan is a clear incitement to violence and vigilante action. Below: photographs from some of the protests – Peshawar, Toba Tek Singh, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Dallas TX and London, England. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights, Violence in the name of religion | Tagged: #DTBPk, Activism, Dallas TX, dirty tricks brigade, karachi, Lahore, London, missing bloggers, Pakistan, peshawar, toba tek singh | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 27, 2016 by beenasarwar
My article in PRI’s The World, June 25, 2016
Thousands of people attend the funeral procession of Amjad Sabri. Photo: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters
“They’ve shot dead Amjad Sabri” — the first words I heard on Wednesday morning marked news of yet another assassination in my beloved Karachi, still “home” despite living in the Boston area since 2011.
Sabri was one of the world’s most famous exponents of the devotional music known as Qawwali. On Wednesday, two gunmen intercepted his car and shot him dead at close range in the crowded locality near his house. Continue reading
Filed under: Freedom of expression, Human rights, Music | Tagged: AFSC, Amjad Sabri, Fasadi, Hebrew qawwali, Israeli sufi, Jo Cox, karachi, qawwali, Sabeen, Sufi | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 29, 2014 by beenasarwar
17-yr old Allahdin from Mithi, Tharparkar at hospital in Karachi. Photo: Wahid Khairi
Sharing three appeals for help here from people I trust, for those who would like to get involved or contribute in some way to any of these worthwhile causes:
Filed under: Gender, Health | Tagged: Activism, aplastic anemia, free medical camp, Gender, goats distribution, good cause, indus resource centre, karachi, Pakistan | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 4, 2014 by beenasarwar
A trailblazer, Anita Ghulam Ali’s courage and biting wit will remain an inspiration
Here’s the article I wrote on Anita Ghulam Ali for The News on Sunday: A legend passes on (Aug 17, 2014); also see Zubeida Dossal’s article about her, shared by Zubeida Mustafa. Here’s the link to her interview in Dawn, 2012.
She leaves a void that will be hard to fill, but her legacy will live on through the institutions she was associated with, and the people she mentored over the decades, particularly in the field of education. Although Anita Ghulam Ali had no children of her own, many of these individuals were as dear to her as if they were her own. She took a keen interest in their work and personal wellbeing, in the most non-interfering way, encouraging, questioning, supporting, and motivating. She would ask affectionately, with genuine concern, after their children and grandchildren, whom she’d seen grow from babies to “young ladies” or gentlemen, as she would put it. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Anita Ghulam Ali, Education, karachi, Pakistan, teachers strike | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 23, 2014 by beenasarwar
My article published in The News on Sunday today, about the Contemporary South Asian City Conference in Karachi last month co-sponsored by Harvard South Asia Institute and Aman Foundation, with Pakistan Urban Forum – by all accounts a most dynamic and exciting event. I spoke to two Harvard professors in Cambridge MA after their return from Karachi.
By Beena Sarwar
Rahul Mehrotra is no stranger to Karachi. From his base in Mumbai, he built Amin Hashwani’s house in Karachi some years ago, a project for which he visited the city several times. “By the time we did the interiors though, we couldn’t get visas,” he added, when we spoke in Cambridge recently. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment | Tagged: Aman Foundation, Harvard SAI, Jennifer Leaning, Junaid Razzaq, karachi, Meena Hewitt, Rahul Mehrotra | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 9, 2013 by beenasarwar
Parveen Rehman: A ‘selfie’ in Stockholm, 2008. Photo: courtesy Arif Pervaiz.
The cold-blooded murder of Perween Rehman on March 13 this year came as no great surprise — in the lawless concrete jungle that is Karachi, one always expects the worst. That doesn’t mitigate the shock and immense grief at the gunning down of the gentlest of human beings, someone who had devoted her life to helping the poor, empowering the under-privileged. Below, my article on Perween in Economic and Political Weekly, India, written on March 19, 2013. Also see the these beatuiful tributes by K. B. Abro (with audio), Zameen Kha Gayi Asmaan Kaise Kaise; Zubeida Mustafa, Rest in peace little sister; and Masuma Hasan, Perween Rahman: the legend lives on Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights | Tagged: Abro, Desmukh, EPW, k b abro, karachi, land mafia, Masuma Hasan, MQM, Parveen Rehman, Perween Rehman, Steve Inskeep, Taliban, Zubeida Mustafa | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 6, 2013 by beenasarwar
Karachi. Photo: Muhammad Arshad/IPS
As Karachi once again reels under uncertainty, fear and economic shut-down, it may be worthwhile to re-visit this 2011 article by Haris Gazdar in EPW, “Karachi Battles”… Excerpt:
“The big picture still favours an accord between the PPP (and ANP) and the MQM. The PPP cannot allow the military to use Karachi to undermine its rule not just in Sindh but nationally. The MQM should know that a “neutral” army operation means a crackdown on the MQM, sooner rather than later. The ANP might also be aware that its hard-won position in its home region would collapse if the jihadists regain initiative with the break-up of the secular coalition. All three should know that the most powerful militant wing belongs to the military itself, which must not be tempted into seeing an opportunity where none exists.” Read the full article here: Karachi battles – Haris Gazdar in EPW Sept 2011
Filed under: Pakistan | Tagged: ANP, EPW, Haris Gazdar, karachi, MQM, PPP | 1 Comment »