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    Archive for March, 2010

    The Tyranny of the Blasphemy Law

    Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

    Sunday, 28th March 2010 | 6:00 pm

    Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws remain unchanged despite recommendations to the Government by several groups and communities. Some believe that the blasphemy law should be amended while others strongly support its repeal. Join us at T2F for a discussion with Safiya Ghori on working towards religious freedom, tolerance, and diversity.

    Safiya Ghori

    safiya.jpgSafiya Ghori most recently served as the South Asia policy analyst at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) where she monitored violations of religious freedom in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and made policy recommendations to the Obama administration and Congress on matters involving the treatment of religious minorities. She has also devised strategic goals on religious freedom issues in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including repealing blasphemy laws and reforming educational curricula to promote religious tolerance and diversity.

    Safiya has authored legal and policy memoranda, briefing papers and press releases on counterterrorism strategy, radicalization, immigration reform, human rights issues and U.S. domestic and international policy. Additionally, Safiya regularly met with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to develop and implement policy recommendations that provide guidance to both the government and the Muslim American community on civil rights and counterterrorism issues.

    Safiya earned a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in May 2006 from the University of Arkansas. Her most recent article, “Mutah Marriages in the American Legal System” in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture looks into applying the religious law of Muslim minority communities throughout the United States. Safiya’s op-ed piece about Islamophobia in America was published in the San Diego Union Tribune in December 2006, and her piece “Muslim Women are Not Silent” was published on Altmuslimah.com in April 2009. Additionally, Safiya is a fellow at the University of Southern California’s American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and has appeared on BBC, Bridges News, the Voice of America, Geo TV, and has also been featured in Congressional Quarterly, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She currently serves on the National Board of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

    Date: Sunday, 28th March, 2010
    Time: 6:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Eco Technologies: Sustainable Design or Design for Sustainability?

    Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

    Imagine a proactive world where every citizen can contribute by using new forms of communication …

    Wednesday, 24th March 2010 | 6:30 pm

    usmanandrob.jpg“What if, through the Internet of Things, we can create a layer of data, open to all, through which individuals can decide for themselves what they are willing to pay for, get direct feedback from their voluntary donations, coordinate community spending that has a direct bearing on their needs through participatory budgeting, and negotiate with people in other parts of the world?”

    Usman Haque is director Haque Design + Research Ltd, founder of Pachube.com and CEO of Connected Environments Ltd. He has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances around the world.

    Rob Van Kranenburg is the founder of Council, a thinktank for the Internet of Things and co-founder of Bricolabs.

    … also featuring an introduction to the Mai Kolachi project by Niilofur Farrukh, editor of NuktaArt Magazine.


    This event is brought to you by T2F & Mauj Collective for Open Technology, Art & Culture


    Date: Wednesday, 24th March, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Talking the Talk: Conversations of a Rhythmic Kind

    Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

    Join us at T2F for a Tabla Demo by Yousuf Kerai
    Sunday, 21st March 2010 | 6:30 pm

    yousufkerai.jpgThe tabla is an instrument that is believed to have been invented in the 13th century, and since then it has seen a repertoire of rhythmic discourse grow into a complete discipline. Many strokes and styles emerged over the years and the first formal school of thought, style and technique or gharana of tabla, the Dilli Gharana, came about in the 18th century. Many other gharanas emerged subsequently, in various parts of the northern subcontinent, each contributing a new dimension to the art of tabla playing. In this presentation, Yousuf Kerai will demonstrate the intricate fabric and poetry of tabla performance. He will be accompanied by the young and prodigious sarangi player, Gul Mohammed Hussain, son and student of the accomplished sarangi nawaz, Akhter Hussain.

    Yousuf Kerai

    Yousuf Kerai was introduced to Indian classical music at the age of eight and learned to sing and play the harmonium under the tutelage of the late Master Babu Khan. His interest in the tabla grew into an obsession and when he was sixteen, he was accepted as a student of the tabla maestro, Ustad Khurshid Hussain of Karachi. Yousuf graduated from Bennington College with a B.A. in Mathematics in 2005 followed by a Masters degree in teaching mathematics in 2006. While at Bennington, he was a regular rhythm accompanist for the dance classes held at the college, performed annually in music festivals, composed and performed music for plays, performed for dance workshops, and worked with music faculty and conducted sessions for some of their courses. In Northern Virginia, where he taught high school for three years, Yousuf performed at various private and public venues such as the Gandhi Memorial Center, University of Virginia, and James Madison University where he had the privilege of performing before Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

    Gul Mohammed

    Gul Mohammed is a young, talented sarangi player hailing from a family of legendary musicians. The grandson of sarangi maestro, Ustad Ghulam Mohammed and student of his father, Akhtar Hussain, Gul has been learning and playing the sarangi for over 3 years. In addition to time spent at the National Academy of Performing Arts, Gul has performed as an accompanist with Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Salamat Ali, Bashir Khan, and Shafqat Amanat Ali.

    Date: Sunday, 21st March, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 200
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Earthen Dreams

    Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

    Join us at Faraar for an exhibition of works by 5 clay artists
    Opening Date: Saturday, 20 March 2010 | 6:00 pm

    Earthen Dreams is a celebration of the Spring Equinox bringing with it fresh possibilities and positivity within the clay artist community. Earthen Dreams features the works of Aliya Yousuf, Nabahat Lotia, Raania Azam Khan Durrani, Shazia Zuberi, and Shazieh Gorji.

    Group exhibitions not only bring artists together but also complement one’s artistic development. At Faraar, we intend to have annual shows, open to artists working in various mediums, to exhibit their works and encourage artistic growth. Faraar aspires to incubate new talent by becoming a community arts centre, while reaching out to established artists for inspiration and guidance.

    We hope you enjoy the show!

    Hawra Harianawala & Shazieh Gorji
    Curators


    The Artists

    Aliya Yousuf

    clayworks.jpgMy work has always been about turning the intangible into the tangible. The awareness of a thought or event takes a form which I express in the medium of clay. I increase subjective awareness in my ceramic work by creating tensions through contrasts and ambiguities. By deconstructing and reconstructing simple forms, I challenge a traditional view of a familiar object.

    Nabahat Lotia

    Dreams are like seeds where all exciting things take root. My work represents dreams that are grounded and blossom into reality. It is also about some dreams that do not bear fruit and remain dormant.

    Night Light by Raania Azam Khan Durrani

    It has been ten years since I first discovered clay as my medium of expression. Late at night when desperately seeking sleep, my mind fights fatigue and wanders to places I long for, and searches for resolve. The idea, the concept, the image, the form and most often the curiosity to make more art is found in those wanderings. It is that night light that keeps me, the artist from going to sleep. The “Night Light” series is dedicated to all those late night mental investigations and dreams of creation. The drawings, marks and translucency depict my clay works over the last decade and represent the diary and the sketchbook in the artist’s mind, my mind.

    Chaos by Shazia Zuberi

    The language of clay, beyond the conceptual form also plays with space; the interaction between positive and negative space – in order to create a complete picture. Form, texture, color and a narrative (along with a chemical transformation through heat and fusion) together enable clay to emerge into an art form – lending its own properties coupled with its biographer’s motive.

    Dream a Little by Shazieh Gorji

    My art practice began in the Green Mountains of Vermont in 2001. Ever since, nature has played a vital role in shaping my sensibility as a clay artist. When placed in a natural environment, the mind automatically and intuitively wanders into dream-like spaces. The textures, marks and tones stem from my memory of diverse landscapes that led me to always ‘dream a little’.


    Opening Date and Time: Saturday, 20th March, 2010 | 6:00 pm
    Closing Date: Sunday, 28th March, 2010
    Gallery Hours: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F | Faraar
    Address | Map

    Dramatic Readings featuring Fawzia Afzal-Khan

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010

    Join us for an evening of dramatic readings from “Jihad Against Violence” and “Lahore with Love”

    Sunday, 14th March 2010 | 6:00 pm

    Jihad Against Violence is a poetic memory-play, meant to jolt us out of our complacency with violence in our lives. At once dramatically poignant, and at times hilarious, this play is written and performed by two women activists. It weaves together their memories and desires of the past and the present both from a personal, as well as a political vantage point. It speaks to issues of Muslim womanhood in a patriarchal world, which may be similar to those of the “turd” world in relation to the “first” in our neo-imperial moment which knows no past nor present, only an unending continuum: shall we cry, or shall fawziaafzal.jpgwe laugh? Maybe both … and maybe, just maybe, to dare to have the audacity to hope for change; we can’t go on, we must go on!

    Fawzia Afzal-Khan is Professor of English at Montclair State University, NJ. She is the author of four books of criticism in the areas of Feminism, Performance and Postcolonial Studies. Her memoir, Lahore with Love – Growing Up with Girlfriends, Pakistani-Style, has recently been published by Syracuse University Press. She is a frequent contributor of political analyses of Pakistan to Counterpunch, has appeared on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, is a trained vocalist in the North Indian classical tradition, and was recently presented with a Public Service Award by the American Muslim Alliance.


    Lahore with Love – Growing Up with Girlfriends, Pakistani Style can be purchased from T2F’s Bookshop and Fawzia Afzal-Khan will be available after the readings to sign copies of her book.


    Date: Sunday, 14th March, 2010
    Time: 6:00 pm
    Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Readings and Conversation with Asif Noorani

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

    Join us for an evening with Asif Noorani, author of “Tales of Two Cities”
    Saturday, 13th March 2010 | 6:30 pm

    asifnoorani.jpgAsif Noorani, a versatile journalist, works for the Dawn Media Group in Karachi. He started his career in 1963 as the editor of Eastern Film, Pakistan’s most widely circulated English magazine. He also taught English Literature and is currently lecturing on media marketing at a private university. He writes on a wide variety of subjects; art, literature, humour, music, travel, and even cricket. He also reviews books and music.

    In 2008, Asif co-authored a book, Tales of Two Cities, with the noted Indian columnist Kuldip Nayar. The book was edited by David Page of the BBC and published by Roli Books in New Delhi.

    A year later when Pakistan won the World Cup Twenty20 Tournament, Asif edited and compiled a book on Shahid Afridi, the architect of the victory. Boom Boom Shahid Afridi is a mini coffee table book and has been on the bestsellers’ list for several months.

    Asif is currently working on a book on Mehdi Hasan and has involved his fans, well known personalities and music critics from India and Pakistan. The book will carry two CDs featuring popular and rare songs and ghazals, recorded over the last four decades.


    Tales of Two Cities and Boom Boom Shahid Afridi can be purchased from T2F’s Bookshop. Asif Noorani will be available after the readings to sign copies of his books.


    Date: Saturday, 13th March, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    An Evening with Poet and Playwright Sarmad Sehbai

    Sunday, March 7th, 2010

    Join us for an evening of poetry and story-telling featuring Sarmad Sehbai
    Wednesday, 10th March 2010 | 6:30 pm

    “Spices of madness. The foremost component of change in Pakistan’s literature and the performing arts – the werewolf of Pakistan’s literati.”
    F Yazdi, The Nation, 1997

    sarmadsehbai.jpgSarmad Sehbai is one of Pakistan’s most mercurial artists – a poet, playwright and director of theatre and video plays – a man who has struggled towards existential revolution but always shunned intellectual labelism, remaining firmly on the other side of the mainstream.

    Whilst studying at Government College Lahore, Sarmad became renowned for his Urdu poetry, which stood out for its fresh imagery and contemporary idioms. After college, he joined PTV and started writing original plays for television and the stage. After scripting a number of ground-breaking plays, Sarmad came to be known as the ‘enfant terrible’ of Pakistan, for his powerful, authentic content, firmly rooted in social realities and local vernacular.

    During the military dictatorship of the 1980s, General Zia officially banned cultural and theatrical activities. A few like-minded individuals started performing plays in clandestine locations and one of the first productions was Sarmad’s “Panjhwar Chiragh”. Sarmad was then banished from Lahore and sent off to Islamabad. Eventually, he was re-admitted to PTV where he wrote and directed a number of vibrant dramas, all created with meagre resources and protracted battles with the censor board.

    Sarmad is frequently admonished for not having been more prolific. His response: “The mainstream art mafia does not allow me to do my work.”

    Rejecting a society increasingly dominated by consumerism, Sarmad has distanced himself from the mainstream art world and is currently writing poetry and a novel in English.

    Date: Wednesday, 10th March, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

    Upcoming Events at T2F and Faraar Gallery

    Saturday, March 6th, 2010

    To Karachi With Love – The Art Exhibit
    Monday 8th March | 7:00 pm
    Details: http://www.t2f.biz/to-karachi-with-love-the-art-exhibit/


    Using Social Media to Market Your Business:
    A Workshop by Shahjahan Chaudhary

    Tuesday 9th March | 6:00 pm


    An Evening with Poet and Playwright, Sarmad Sehbai
    Wednesday 10th March | 6:30 pm


    A Lecture-Demo by Ustad Zafar Ali Khan (Gwalior Gharana)
    Friday 12th March | 6:30 pm

    T2F is proud to offer lessons in eastern classical and semi-classical singing by Ustad Zafar Ali Khan, a vocalist and composer representing the 28th generation of the Gwalior gharana.
    Details: http://www.t2f.biz/eastern-classical-singing-classes


    Readings and Conversation with Asif Noorani, Author of “Tales of Two Cities”
    Saturday 13th March | 6:30 pm


    “Jihad Against Violence” – A One-Act Play by Fawzia Afzal-Khan
    Sunday 14th March | 6:00 pm

    To Karachi With Love – The Art Exhibit

    Friday, March 5th, 2010

    Join us at Faraar for an exhibition of works by D.U.C.K!

    Opening Date: Monday, 8th March 2010 | 7:00 pm

    tokhiwithlove.jpgPakistan is labeled as a war-torn nuclear power besieged by terrorists, intolerance and corrupt politicians.

    How do we begin to change that?

    We start at home.

    D.U.C.K! (Designers United for a Cause – Karachi) and Rebuild-Rebound are non-profit organizations initiated by a handful of Indus Valley Alumni who are bringing together designers, photographers, sculptors and visual artists to exhibit their work, create awareness and raise funds for humanitarian causes.

    To Karachi With Love is one of a series of events aimed to raise awareness about the loss of lives and destruction that followed the suicide blast on Ashura at Bolton Market in Karachi. All funds collected will go to the rebuilding of the market and surrounding area.

    100% of the proceeds will go towards renowned architect, Shahid Abdullah’s efforts to reconstruct the affected area and to the shopkeepers whose livelihoods have been put on hold for the past three months and still await the end of the reconstruction. Their lives may never be the same again but we can help be a part of the change.

    The change can begin from your heart. Show Karachi some LOVE!

    The exhibition will continue until Wednesday, 17th March 2010

    Opening Date: Monday, 8th March, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F | Faraar
    Address | Map

    Friends of PeaceNiche

    Thursday, March 4th, 2010

    PeaceNiche is supported by organizations and individuals with imagination. We are immensely grateful to all of you for believing in our mantra and providing much needed monetary support.

    BioVista
    Jaffer Brothers Limited
    GetzPharma
    Haamid Jaffer (Karachi)
    Batool Habib (Karachi)
    Mariam Durrani (Lahore)
    Niilofur Farrukh (Karachi)
    Shazia Mohamed (Karachi)
    Aassia Haq (USA)
    Asif Alam (USA)
    Riaz Kamlani (Karachi)
    Geo Music (Karachi)
    Shamoun Idrees (USA)
    Farid Dossani (USA)
    Zakir Mahmood (Karachi)
    Tee-M: Contributions ales of Earthiotic CDs
    Ali Kazim Gardezi (UAE)
    Sohail Haider (Canada)
    Sahar Shafqat and Sapna Pandya (USA)
    Nosheen Ali and Jahanzeb Sherwani (USA)
    Adil Najam / Pakistaniat.com (USA)
    Zeenat Ziad (USA)
    Bilal Tanweer (USA)
    Beena Sarwar (Karachi)
    Umair Tariq (Karachi)
    Fawad Zakariya (USA)
    Jehan Ara (Karachi)
    Ameen Bhanji (Karachi)
    Mahenaz Mahmud (Karachi)
    Amean J (Karachi)
    Zainab Akhtar Malik
    Zakir Thaver (Karachi)
    Faiz and Shaheen Somji (USA)
    Farida Somji (USA)
    Seema Somji (USA)
    Saif Abdullah (Karachi)
    Adnan Malik (Karachi)
    Naveen Naqvi (Karachi)
    Poppy Agha (Karachi)
    Ardeshir Cowasjee (Karachi)
    Faraz Minai (Bahrain)
    Shameen Bashir (Bahrain)
    Muneeza Shamsie (Bahrain)
    Ayesha Tammy Haq (Karachi)
    Umair Jaliawala (Karachi)
    Rubina Naqvi (Karachi)
    Zubin Mama (London)
    Parveen Rana (USA)
    Swati Advani (USA)
    Junie Nathani (USA)


    Eastern Classical Singing Classes

    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

    T2F is proud to offer lessons in eastern classical and semi-classical singing by Ustad Zafar Ali Khan, a vocalist and composer representing the 28th generation of the Gwalior gharana. Gwalior, the home of Mian Tansen, is also the site of what is considered to be the oldest gharana of sub-continental classical music.

    Ustad Zafar Ali Khan received vocal training from the age of 6 by his father, Ustad Qudrat Ali Khan. His vocal repertoire includes khayal, thumri, dadra, ghazal, geet and kaafi. He is well-versed in the tabla and harmonium, and his compositions have featured in the media, including films, television and radio.

    zafaralikhan.jpg

    Lesson Structure

    • 15 minutes of riyaaz – vocal exercises to stretch and train the vocal chords and tune the ear
    • 20 minutes of sangeet – bandish, ghazal, khayal etc, to apply riyaaz training to the delivery of sangeet
    • 25 minutes of theory, including Q&A

    Important Notes

    • Classes will be held on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
    • Classes begin on April 3rd 2010. Enrollment will close after the second class
    • Duration: 3 months / 24 classes
    • Cost: Rs. 1,500 per class
    • E-mail sabeen@peaceniche.org to register

    Lecture Demo by Ustad Zafar Ali Khan

    Ustad Zafar Ali Khan will be at T2F on Friday, March 12th at 6:30 pm, to introduce himself and his approach to teaching singing. If you are interested in getting vocal instruction from a scion of the oldest classical gharana, come and meet the Ustad, hear him sing and sign up!

    The Lure of the Jungle

    Monday, March 1st, 2010

    Join us at T2F for a discussion on “big cats” and wildlife conservation

    Thursday, 4th March 2010 | 6:30 pm

    Munzir Ahmad, the grandson of “Deputy” Nazir Ahmad and elder brother of Shahid Ahmed Dehlavi, reached out for his gun more readily than the pen. A reputed shikari who hunted big cats all over North India with a passion, became a champion of animal conservation when he realized that the forests and wildlife were under serious threat of extinction. Around this time, he was also inspired to write Big Cats of India. He spent many years writing the book but died before it could be published. Nearly thirty years after it was written, the book has just been published from Karachi and seems more relevant now as the threat to wildlife has become even more serious. Full of interesting accounts of jungle lore, the book provides an occasion to discuss and debate the larger questions around wildlife in South Asia.

    bigcat.jpg

    Programme

    • Introduction to the book and author by Masroor Ahmad
    • Memories of Baray Bhai (author’s nickname) by Dr Aslam Farrukhi
    • From Shikar to Wildlife Conservation by Obaidullah Baig

    About the Author

    Munzir Ahmad (1903-1986) was born in Delhi and went to school in Aligarh. He then studied law and graduated from Delhi University. Despite his literary lineage, he became fascinated by game hunting during his student days. His love for nature and the pursuit of his hobby took him to the jungles of the “United Provinces” where he spent 40 years interacting with nature and wildlife. Like most big-game shikaris, his long association with wildlife and “big cats”, brought about a metamorphosis in his relationship with wildife. Munzir Ahmad’s book, Big Cats of India, is a record of his observations of the lives and ways of big cats in their natural habitat.

    Date: Thursday, 4th March, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
    Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
    Address | Map

    Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.