Posted on February 18, 2017 by beenasarwar
Sehwan: Women and children in the courtyard. Photo: Beena Sarwar
Wrote this in one go about the suicide attack at Sehwan Sharif that claimed over 80 lives. Sick at heart but not giving up. Thanks to friends around the world, especially in India for their messages of solidarity, to the Wire for publishing it so fast and editor Siddharth Varadarajan for the photos used with the Wire piece. We had gone to Sehwan together, along with Nandini Sundar and Aslam Khwaja. Extracts from my article:
I wonder if the bangle sellers outside the shrine are alive. I still have some chunky glass bangles I bought, bargaining more for the sake of it than to save money.
Did the woman bouncing a little girl on her shoulders, chanting and dancing to an inner beat before the drums sounded, go back last Thursday? Did they survive the blast? Continue reading
Filed under: 'War on terror', Terrorism, Violence in the name of religion | Tagged: Dhamal, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Pakistan, Sehwan, shrine, suicide attack | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 11, 2017 by beenasarwar
Ruqaiya Hasan, Hong Kong, Feb 2015. Photo by Lexie Don
Thrilled and excited to share this news from my mother, Zakia Sarwar, founder member of the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT), about the online course for teachers’ professional deveopment that was her sister, my khala ammi Dr Ruqaiya Hasan’s dream
PRESS RELEASE: 11 February 2017
Professional development online course for teachers in Pakistan kicks off
Project posthumously takes forward globally renowned linguist Dr Ruqaiya Hasan’s dream and intellectual legacy
KARACHI: The posthumous launch of an online course for Pakistani teachers designed by the internationally renowned linguist Dr Ruqaiya Hasan kicks off February 11, 2017, taught by Dr. Carmel Cloran, Dr. Hasan’s colleague and co-researcher from Macquarie University, Sydney Australia. Continue reading
Filed under: Education | Tagged: ASFLA, Australia, Carmel Cloran, EFL, ELT, Linguistics, MAK Halliday Centre Hong Kong, Pakistan, ruqaiya hasan, SFL, Systemic functional linguistics, TESOL | 1 Comment »
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 November 8, 2016 by beenasarwar
Sharing a piece I wrote with Dr. Partha Banerjee about our friend Haider “jigar”Rizvi, published by PRI on October 28, 2016, a year after he died in Lahore. Reproduced here with photos that we weren’t able to get to PRI in time.
Haider Rizvi celebrating life and love at Ghizar District, Gilgit, 2015. Photo by Qamar Abbas.
Last year around this time, we were saddened by the death of our poet and journalist friend Haider Rizvi in Lahore, Pakistan, on Oct 29, 2015. Haider had lived in New York, and was for many years a correspondent for the Inter Press Service (IPS), based at the United Nations.
With Haider’s untimely passing, we lost someone who loved to make friends irrespective of religion, color or caste — someone who believed firmly in peace.
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Haider Rizvi, India, jigar, Kashmir, Pakistan, Peace, shared heritage | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 1, 2016 by beenasarwar
Activists support peace defenders in Pakistan, denounce false allegations
LONDON, Oct. 30: Some two dozen activists from Pakistan working in the fields of media, peace, culture, development and politics, USA, Canada and U.K. met in central London to discuss India-Pakistan relations and reaffirm the need for peace between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours. They reiterated the vision of Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah that relations between the two countries should be like those of Canada and the United States.
Group photo of some of the peace activists after the meeting in London.
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: India, Pakistan, Peace, peacemongers, south asia | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 31, 2016 by beenasarwar
London Declaration for Pluralism and Democracy in Pakistan
October 29, 2016
Several prominent liberal, progressive and nationalist intellectuals, human rights and social media activists, and public figures from Pakistan gathered in London for a conference on ‘The Future of Pakistan’ organized under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH), co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani.
Filed under: Human rights, Progressive politics | Tagged: Balochistan, fata, Human rights, London Declaration, Pakistan, rule of law | 6 Comments »
Posted on October 24, 2016 by beenasarwar
A slightly revised version of my article in The News on Sunday on Oct. 23, 2016, posted here with additional links and photos. The world watches as the last three polio endemic countries strive to relegate the crippling virus to history
Polio survivors Ramesh Ferris and Minda Dentler share their experiences – and dreams about a polio-free world. Photos: Beena Sarwar
“In 1955 Dr Jonas Salk invented the preventive vaccine. It is outrageous that 25 years later I contracted polio,” says author and global health advocate Ramesh Ferris.
Standing on his good leg, a crutch compensating for the paralysed one in braces, eyes gleaming behind black-rimmed glasses, Ferris passionately addresses the audience of about a hundred physicians, scientists and international diplomats. They include representatives from the world’s three remaining polio endemic countries — Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. Continue reading
Filed under: Health, Human rights | Tagged: Afghanistan, CDC, Gates Foundation, Global Citizens, Minda Dentler, Nigeria, Pakistan, polio, Ramesh Ferris, unicef, World Polio Day | Leave a comment »