Category Archives: Architecture

At least we are not Dubai

Among all the gloom about our country, we tend to forget the richness and the diversity of our cities and culture. We have a lot to achieve, but we overlook a lot more that we possess. George Fulton expresses his disdain for Dubai, a ritzy burgeoning middle eastern city that portrays itself as a coastal quasi-western city of choice for businesses and tourists. We may not fully agree with George’s assessment of Dubai as just a glamorous and materialistic cosmopolitan. Yet his comparison of Karachi or Lahore (with their rich culture, traditions, intelligentsia, linguistic pluraity and democracy) with a drab city (run by an autocratic dynasty and inhabited by empty fops looking for relatively quick riches) do ring a loud bell. (AZW)

 

 

By George Fulton, The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/7950/at-least-we-are-not-dubai/

We haven’t got a lot to be thankful for these days in Pakistan.

But at least we are not Dubai.

Fed up with loadshedding, bombs, and TV cynicism pervading Pakistan, I recently escaped to Dubai for a holiday. Big mistake. Huge. Ten days later I returned, gasping for Karachi’s polluted, but far sweeter, air. Dubai may have the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest shopping mall, but it also has the world’s tiniest soul. It’s a plastic city built in steel and glass.

It has imported all the worst aspects of western culture (excessive consumption, environmental defilement) without importing any of its benefits (democracy, art). This is a city designed for instant gratification a hedonistic paradise for gluttons to indulge in fast food, fast living and fast women. It’s Las Vegas in a dish dash. You want to eat a gold leaf date? Munch away.

You want to drink a Dhs 3,000 bottle of champagne? Bottoms up. You want a UN selection of hookers at your fingertips? Tres bien. Let’s start with the malls. These cathedrals of capitalism, these mosques of materialism are mausoleums of the living dead. Slack jawed zombies roam around consuming food, clothes and electronics in a desperate attempt to fill the emptiness of their existence.

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Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, culture, Democracy, Karachi, Lahore, New Writers, Pakistan, Politics, public policy, Society, UAE

Civilizations (Mirrors of Our Existence)

From years of our travel
We look back
Upon these civilizations,
From years of adventure
We look back
Upon these civilizations
From days of our inheritance
The lands and its cultures
The old forms of languages
The mystery of Universe
The old journey taken
By humans and nature together
As they traverse
From place one to another,
In harmony and disarray
As we born and die
From on to another,
As we love and hate
The old circumstances
And situation, intertwined
Through languages and its art,
The trails, lost and visible
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

As transference takes place
From one culture to another,
The old social composition, in view
The old need to survive and preserve
Through the feathers of time, curious!
All what we do, all what we gain
There is past, it carries the stains
Of our existence, into the future
To the people and the times they lived
Of lasting impressions and moments
The old intrinsic nature remains,
To pursue, through intellect and reason
The nature’s gift, to exercise
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

As we evolve, as we discover
Ourselves, in paint and paper
Through fields of literature and art,
In science and technology
Owe we all portion of our success
To this past, to these trials of humanity
Lie there in the wilderness,
The old landmarks, hidden
To what we lost, and how we lost
As with each fleeting moments
Remains this search to refine
Our history and times we live in;
Those episodes of mankind
Of their gains and losses
In display, throughout the pages of time
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

Remain the search, remains in place
The old journey to discover
To seek answers to these questions
The very fuel and catalyst
Driving us forward,
Of languages and cultures
The journey is one,
For truth and purpose,
Some seek it through art,
Some with hands of science
And some through spirituality
To reunite with ourselves
To discover purpose of our creation
Through the landscapes of time
As they learn to strive in their endeavor
Through the old blocks to the new
As we find ourselves on these trails
Of humanity dispersed in wars
And through famine and disease
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence
Not the landmarks or the time
The old metaphors of this correlation
But the humans and the journey
Through pain and despair
Through elation of whispered butterflies
To find what is theirs, to discover
What lies, as the hands turn to gold
From the old manuscripts to new
As the earth shifts its burden
As the old clocks go backwards
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence!

Kashkin

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Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, Art, culture, Dance, drama, dynasties, Heritage, History, Identity, Languages, Law, Literature, movements, Music, musings, Nature, Philosophy, Physics, poetry, Politics, psychology

Pakistaniat : The Crisis of Identity

Bradistan Calling

 

What can I give to Pakistan as a present on its 62nd Birthday, What else than an article on its chequered history and identity. Bertrand Russell famously said,” There are three great civilisations in East i.e. India, China and Islam”. Pakistan is blessed to be located at the crossroads of all these great civilisations. In my humble opinion this is the biggest strength of Pakistani identity. Continue reading

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Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, ancient civilisations, Architecture, baluchistan, Citizens, cricket, culture, dynasties, Environment, Europe, FATA, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Iran, Islam, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Karachi, Kashmir, Languages, Left, Literature, Media, minorities, Music, North-West Frontier Province, Northern Areas, Pakistan, Partition, Peshawar, Politics, Punjabi, quetta, Religion, Rights, Sindh, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, Urdu, USA, youth

Islam Retakes Spain

AGA-KHAN-EXHIBITIONStunning exhibition from Aga Khan Museum Collection in Madrid
Videos on website: http://www.onculture.eu/story.aspx?s_id=897&z_id=25

 Facts
When
4/6/2009 – 6/9/2009
Mo–Fr, Su: 10:00-20:00
Sa: 10:00-22:00
Su: closed
How Much
admission free
Where
Caixa Forum Madrid

Website
Paseo del Prado 36, 28014 Madrid, Spain
T: +34-91-3307300
F: +34-91-3307325
obrasocial@obrasocial.lacaixa.es Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Islam

Pakistan: Reclaiming the Indus Person

 

Computer-generated image of what Mohenjodaro must have looked like all those years ago (Courtesy Wiki)

Computer-generated image of what Mohenjodaro must have looked like all those years ago (Courtesy Wiki)

 By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

There are so many ways for Americans to find themselves if they are lost: They can read Eyewitness to America, an anthology of people who were there when the US was created; they could go to Gettysburg or heck, just rent the TVC; or they could go to the Metropolitan Museum in New York; or take a course with Professor Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. Continue reading

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Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, History, India, Jinnah, lawyers movement, Pakistan, Partition

Historical Rawat Fort needs preservation

Faisal Kamal Pasha’s report

Rawalpindi: Being a trade route and a way towards their final destination of the conquerors from Central Asia that was the throne of Dehli, Pothohar region bears its historical and strategic importance and that is why the conquerors built forts here in this region to consolidate their positions.

The information displayed at Rawat Fort’s by archaeology department reveals that it was built in early 15th century by Salteen-e-Dehli. However there are some contradictions about the historical background of this fort.

According to some historians, the fort was built by Sultan Masood, son of Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi in 1036 AD while some other books of history reveal that Sarang Khan, the leader of Gakhar tribes in Pothohar, built the fort. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Conservation, Heritage, History

Segregation and Purges: An open Letter to Sherry Rehman

We are publishing this open letter by Shaheryar Ali on the plight of these students who happened to be born in the ‘wrong’ families. As Pakistanis, the Constitution and the laws of the land guarantee equal rights to these students; and there is nothing that can prevent them to attend schools and colleges. If anything, the mob mentality and unruly hordes of puritan brigades need to be contained. They are eating into the body politic – who needs external enemies when divisive forces are all set to unravel the Pakistani society – (RR-ed)

To

Ms. Sherry Rehman

Federal Minister of Information and Health

Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Dear madam minister, Ill like to draw your attention to the alarming situation which is developing in the Industrial hub of Pakistan. According to the reports published in the BBC Urdu website, the Punjab Medical College , Faisalabad has expelled  all its  Ahmedi Students. A total of 15 boys and girls have been expelled from the college, they were studying in different levels ranging from first year to those at the end of their academic carrier in the final year. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, human rights, minorities, Pakistan, public policy, Religion