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    In Gratitude

    Monday, February 1st, 2010

    Thank you all so very much for your donations, services, articles, blog posts, and for your time and ideas. Your contributions, however big or small, mean the world to us, and will go a long way towards building a more sustainable organization, supported by the community.

    Financial Contributions

    These donations, received from individuals, have been used to fund the T2F: Renaissance music fundraisers held on 28th March 2009 and 17 April 2009. In the absence of corporate patronage, we are grateful to the citizens of Karachi and to Pakistanis abroad who have been very generous and have supported our efforts. The funds were used to pay for the venue, sound, lights, decoration, generator rental, diesel, accompanying musicians, transport, and food and beverages for the musicians.

    Donations have continued to trickle in and have been used for the down-payment of a generator, T2F 2.0 construction, and debt-repayment.

    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)
    BTW, Jahanzeb is the magician behind Jaadu VNC, the awesomest iPhone app EVER
    Adil Najam / (USA): $500
    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)
    Ali Kazim Gardezi (UAE)
    Zainab Akhtar Malik (UAE)
    Zakir Thaver (Karachi)
    Faiz and Shaheen Somji (USA)
    Farida Somji (USA)
    Seema Somji (USA)
    Saif Abdullah (Karachi)

    Writers and Bloggers

    Bina Shah
    Adil Najam
    Arsalaan Haleem
    Batool Habib
    Jamal Ashiqain
    Faisal Kapadia


    Jamal Ashiqain


    Arshad Faruqi
    Awab Alvi aka Teeth Maestro
    Assad Ullah
    Zubair Ahmed
    Super Technologies


    Zakir Thaver
    Hawra Harianawala
    Shahjehan Chaudhry
    Jamal Ashiqain
    Omar Bilal Akhtar
    Designers’ Collective
    Batool Habib
    Sohail Abdullah
    Farrukh Ahmed
    Adil Moosajee

    An Ode to Our Artists

    Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

    Thanks to the enthusiasm and graciousness of a group of young artists, we have art everywhere at T2F 2.0. This time round, all the artists volunteered to paint murals in various spots and we’re truly grateful to them for humanizing our space.

    Zeerak Ahmed & Shoaib Rizvi

    Zeerak and Shoaib spent the summer painting after finishing their A Levels from Karachi Grammar School in 2009. They got in touch with us looking for an opportunity to exhibit their work. We liked what they showed us and agreed to a show, and also asked them if they’d like to paint a mural on one of our walls.

    “We got to work, completely overwhelmed by this opportunity, and at the end of three painstaking weeks we were finally done. The mural is mainly a comment on the world through our eyes. It is loosely based on the sufi idea that listening to music is a spiritual experience which can bring people closer to God, leaving behind the physical world fraught with catastrophe and urban squalor.


    As we have both had training in classical eastern music, we feel very strongly about the power of this art form. The mural explores the concept of paradise, and our individual attempts to reach paradise while still living in the physical world. Being raised in an urban setting, we have become aware of the disappearance of vibrant colour from the cityscape that is now turning into various shades of gray. This mural was our little attempt to bring back color to the city and in doing so bring back color to our lives.
    We thoroughly enjoyed the freedom we were given by the T2F team, who not only trusted us amateurs, but also enthusiastically welcomed our psychedelic palette and non-traditional style. Probably the best start that we could ask for as aspiring artists.”

    Zeerak Ahmed is currently at Hiram College, USA, pursuing an undergraduate degree with an Art major and Music minor.

    Shoaib Rizvi lives in Karachi and is going to be studying medicine in London in 2010.

    Uzair Akram

    Uzair Akram is a graphic artist living and working in Karachi. He spends his days working as a Creative Director at RGBlue Communications and the rest of his time drawing MyndMaps.


    “The mural at the entrance of T2F is the first time I did a MyndMap for an organization as opposed to an individual. It took me 12 hours. Love & Peace”.

    Ammad Tahir

    Ammad is a graduate of Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture with a major in Painting and a minor in Print-making. Since 2008, he has been actively involved in art projects, residencies, group shows and mural painting.


    “I was delighted when T2F offered me a wall in the new space. The balcony, which is also a smoker’s area, was the perfect place for me to use my imagination and draw something close to my realities and emotions. I had been thinking about these unusual creatures that originate from the sea. These carnal characters, stung by jelly fish, have entered a trance-like space and become people of pleasure. They are alive and are celebrating the darkest realities of life, but nothing in them is human”.

    Sofa Love

    Thursday, December 31st, 2009

    A couple of months before T2F was due to open, i.e. May 2007, I started looking for Point of Sale software for the Mac. PoS programs for Windows abound but even the mighty Google wouldn’t throw up any results for the Mac. Someone actually said finding PoS software for the Mac is like looking for teeth in a chicken’s mouth – or something ridiculous like that. Not very encouraging. Anyway, the horrifying thought of having to use Windows made me psychotic and the search continued.

    checkout.jpgI finally stumbled upon Checkout by a cool little company called Sofa. I knew them as the developers of Disco, a disc burning application which had gotten a lot of flak from the old-guard Mac community for being nothing but eye candy. But anyway, Checkout looked fantastic and did everything we needed and more. However, the US$ 400 price tag was daunting so I wrote a beseeching note to the Sofa guys and told them about PeaceNiche and what we were planning to do and requested a discount. One of the founders wrote back immediately and offered a 30% discount. I was thrilled. The next day he wrote again and said that he and the other boys had discussed our case and wanted to give us a 50% discount. I was gob-smacked.

    Checkout is a beautiful piece of software with all the polish of a Mac app. Beneath the prettiness, lies a robust point of sale application, packed with features, reports, and functionality that a retail environment needs. I especially love the Import Products feature that works like a charm. Very useful when you need to input hundreds of book titles.

    Moving on … T2F 2.0 is on two floors and we’re having trouble with one Point of Sale station. So, I wrote to my Sofa friends again to ask about a second license and whether there were any chances of a discount :D The company has now been acquired, is much bigger, and they have a dedicated support team so I had no expectations. I got a response immediately and the support gentleman said we could get a second license at 50% off, just like the last time. I just couldn’t believe it. So, I stayed up a couple of nights and did some graphic design work worth $200 and paid for another license of Checkout yesterday. Super excited. I still cannot get over how supportive the Sofa team have been and will remain devoted to them forever.

    If anyone would like to see a demo of Checkout and how it works on the network and with receipt printers, please let me know. I’d love to show it off :)

    Thank you Sofa!

    Salman Hameed Rocks!

    Friday, December 25th, 2009

    Salman Hameed, astronomer and Assistant Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, inaugurated T2F 2.0 with an animated talk on “Humans in the Cosmos”. He had also asked the Amastropak people to bring along a telescope – which was set up on the street for people to check out the rings of Jupiter.

    Salman is the ultimate diplomat and answers questions very gracefully :D I managed to capture just a tiny clip during the extensive Q&A session:

    Check out Salman’s post on his Science & Religion blog, “Irtiqa”, where he writes about fielding questions after public lectures.

    Jehan Ara has written a detailed post about her experience at the first Science Ka Adda session held at the new T2F. Read all about it on her blog, “In the Line of Wire”.

    Thank you Salman, for being so generous with your time and for making science come alive. I wish everyone could have teachers like you.

    Support Our Work

    Monday, December 21st, 2009

    PeaceNiche, a not-for-profit NGO, registered under the Societies Act of 1860, is committed to becoming a vibrant centre of Pakistan’s developing civil society. PeaceNiche is a social entrepreneurship project that blends the best of business practice with the non-profit urge to make meaning rather than focusing purely on the bottom line.

    PeaceNiche has its eyes set on the urban city dweller who has had little or no access to culture, including art, music, literature, and film and certainly no platform for creative expression and discourse. By sensitizing the urban elite and middle classes to global issues that affect humanity, through lectures, discussions, talks, and new media interventions, PeaceNiche aims to build political will, thought leadership, and a genuine desire to make a difference.

    If you would like to support our work and contribute to PeaceNiche and its various projects, you can:

    1. Make a cash or cheque donation

    Address: 10-C, Sunset Lane 5, Phase 2 Extension, DHA, Karachi-75500, Pakistan
    Phone: +(92-300) 823-0276 (Sabeen Mahmud)

    Cheques should be made out to “PeaceNiche

    2. Make a donation through PayPal

    3. Wire Transfer your contribution

    ACCOUNT NUMBER: 142608
    PHONE: +92-21 111-572-265

    4. Mail a cheque to a PeaceNiche volunteer in the United States

    Aassia Haq
    Re: PeaceNiche and T2F / Sabeen Mahmud
    6600 Gray Wolf Drive
    Plano TX 75024

    Clearly indicate PeaceNiche | T2F on the envelope or cheque and please provide a phone number for any cheque issues.

    Please e-mail us at when you make a contribution so that we can follow up …

    Legal Status of PeaceNiche
    Registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, Pakistan in 2007 Registration Number: KAR 0115

    A big shout-out to everyone who has contributed. Every penny counts and your support means the world to us.

    T2F 2.0 Is Real!

    Friday, December 18th, 2009


    The last few months have been hideous. A number of times, I very seriously considered kissing the idea of T2F goodbye, cutting my losses, and walking away. But every single day, since T2F 1.0 closed, someone or the other would call or e-mail or send a text inquiring about T2F 2.0. Each time that happened, I’d get back into DO OR DIE mode. So, even though I growled at many of you when you’d ask that dreaded question, i.e. “When will T2F reopen?”, in my heart, I was thrilled that you cared enough to ask.

    happycoffeestain.jpgI went into quiet mode and stopped sending e-mails and writing blog posts because I didn’t want to whine and complain about how everything that could possibly go wrong was going wrong. There’s enough crap in everyone’s lives as it is. I wanted to wait until I had something positive to say.

    So, finally, after all the uncertainty and chaos, we have a date: 22nd December 2009. We started shifting into the new space 5 days ago and still have lots of stuff to figure out. Inspired by the web apps community, we are in beta testing mode for now but hopefully we won’t take 5 years to come out of beta like Gmail did :D

    We don’t know what our opening hours will be, we don’t have KESC-supplied electricity in the building yet, we’re in debt up to our ears, we’re exhausted, but we’re alive, mad as ever, and raring to GO!

    Can’t wait to see everyone again!

    PeaceNiche and T2F

    Friday, December 4th, 2009

    PeaceNiche, a not-for-profit NGO, registered under the Societies Act of 1860, is committed to becoming a vibrant centre of Pakistan’s developing civil society. PeaceNiche is a social entrepreneurship project that blends the best of business practice with the non-profit urge to make meaning rather than focusing purely on the bottom line.

    Glimpses of T2F

    The Second Floor (T2F) is the first project of PeaceNiche. A community space for open dialogue, T2F features:

    • Community Space for Conversation and Discourse
    • Platform for Debates, Discussions, Talks, and Creative/Performing Arts
    • Gallery Space for Emerging Designers, Artists, and Photographers
    • Bookshop
    • Coffeehouse
    • Mentoring Space

    Glimpses of T2F

    Raison d’être

    PeaceNiche/T2F was born out of a desire to enact transformational change in urban Pakistani society. At one end of the spectrum, capitalism is booming and the new religion is consumerism. Those interested in the betterment of lives tend to focus on feeding the needy, educating the poor, and building hospitals.

    PeaceNiche/T2F wishes to focus on the issue of Intellectual Poverty Alleviation without which no form of social change is likely to take root or prosper. Political will is largely absent in the middle and upper classes owing to a variety of reasons, ranging from apathy to disillusionment. Young people, who are touted as future leaders lack awareness, access to role models, and the desire to move out of their comfort zone. It is essential, if our society is to move forward in any meaningful manner, that the youth and middle classes be engaged and shaken out of a dangerous state of lethargy.

    PeaceNiche/T2F has its eyes set on the urban city dweller who has had little or no access to culture, including art, music, literature, and film and certainly no platform for creative expression and discourse. By sensitizing the urban elite and middle classes to global issues that affect humanity, through lectures, discussions, talks, and new media interventions, PeaceNiche/T2F aims to build political will, thought leadership, and a genuine desire to make a difference.

    Glimpses of T2F

    The PeaceNiche Board

    PeaceNiche is governed by a group of visionary individuals, including writers, poets, activists, musicians, designers, bankers, educators, and doctors.

    Founder Members

    Mahenaz Mahmud [Chairperson]
    Director Program Development, Teachers’ Resource Centre
    Academic Coordinator, Institute of Early Childhood Education

    Sabeen Mahmud [Director]
    COO, Beyond Information Technology Solutions (b.i.t.s.)
    Member, Governing Council, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)
    Founder Member, All Pakistan Music Conference
    Founder Member, Citizens’ Archive of Pakistan

    Seema Malik [Treasurer]
    Director, Teachers’ Resource Centre
    Principal, PECHS Girls’ School

    Nuzhat Kidvai
    Education Technology Advisor, Beaconhouse School System
    Women’s Rights Activist

    Ghazala Aziz
    Managing Trustee, Accident & Emergency Foundation, Jinnah Hospital

    Zaheer Kidvai
    CEO, b.i.t.s.
    Board Member, Virtual University & Textile Institute of Pakistan
    Advisor, Beaconhouse National University
    Education Technology Consultant

    Sonia Rehman
    Actor and Producer

    Advisory Council

    Asif Farrukhi
    Writer, Translator, Critic, and Publisher

    Ameena Saiyid – OBE
    MD, Oxford University Press

    Arshad Mahmud
    Composer, Musicologist

    Zafar Masud
    Barclays Bank

    Deepak Perwani
    Fashion Designer

    Saqib Malik
    Film Maker

    Faraz Minai
    Investment Banker

    Musadiq Sanwal
    Editor – DAWN Internet Edition
    Producer, Musician, Actor, Journalist

    Mohsin Sayeed

    Mohsin Siddiqui

    Ayesha Tammy Haq
    TV Anchor, Lawyer

    Naveen Naqvi

    Junaid Zuberi

    Shoaib Zaidi
    Ag. Chair, Department of Electronic Engineering at NED

    Abdul Jabbar Gull
    Sculptor and Painter

    For the Love of Books!

    Friday, August 7th, 2009


    T2F 2.0 Update

    Monday, July 27th, 2009

    The most dreaded question I am unable to answer these days is “When exactly is T2F reopening?” It’s heartwarming that so many people want T2F back in their lives and it’s aggravating beyond belief to not be able to give them a straight answer. If you’ve ever built a house or an office, you’ll know why.

    In May, I said, “Oh, definitely June.” In June, I realized the enormity of the task at hand and said, “July for sure.” Well, July isn’t over yet, but it will be, all too soon. I now tell people, “As soon as there is electricity and I can guarantee that cement blocks won’t fall on your head.” Naturally the next question is, “So when do you think that will be?”

    itsnotvaporware.jpgUnfortunately, this particular situation involves painters, masons, air-conditioner installers, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians, each of whom move to the beat of a different drummer, and no, not in a nice, esoteric way. Adding to the trauma is the fact that the building we’re moving into has still not been granted an electrical connection by our favorite utility company. So each time someone needs to drill a hole in the wall, a generator has to be rented!

    It became fairly apparent, somewhere in June, that we would not be blessed with an electrical connection any time soon. I sent out an email asking for donations to help us buy a generator. Thanks to some absolutely wonderful individuals, we were able to raise enough money to pay a down payment on the generator. We were several lacs short of being able to buy one, so I had to sign my life over to the leasing firm :)

    The good news is that we got the lease and the generator will hopefully be installed by next week. The painters have started painting and the carpenter is doing the best he can in the dark. Thanks to the generosity of our amazing donor, we have not one, but two floors of space. Events will now be held on the ground floor and no musician will ever have to lug equipment up two flights of stairs again, ever! Our upcoming project, Faraar – a playground for creative expression, is also downstairs and we are super excited about our first exhibition featuring three, talented young artists. Music and dance classes will also be held downstairs. The coffeehouse will be upstairs (during events, coffee will also be available from a counter downstairs), along with offices for us and some new spaces. We now have a dedicated conference room that we will rent out for meetings, and a co-working studio for letting out to aspiring entrepreneurs, writers, designers, researchers – well anyone really, who needs a quiet, furnished space with access to various forms of mentoring, free wifi and a funky vibe.

    Other exciting new PeaceNiche projects are brewing and we’ll share them with you very soon. Right now, the focus is to get T2F 2.0 up and running. The last four months have been very tough but we’re too pig-headed to let adversity get in the way. There are tons of things that need to get done but once the bare essentials are in place, we’re going to throw the doors open for beta testing. Uhhhh, don’t ask when exactly!!! Some time in August. Yes, this year!


    T2F Turns 2 :)

    Friday, May 15th, 2009

    Hi everyone!

    On this day, 2 years ago, T2F opened its doors to the public. It’s our second birthday today and I thought I’d use this occasion to say hello and share some updates.

    A quick repeat for those who have joined us recently … 2 floors of space have been donated to PeaceNiche following the eviction of T2F from its premises on Khayaban-e-Ittehad. We marked our last day there with a final cup of coffee and a salute to new beginnings.

    PeaceNiche and T2F 2.0 will be housed in a building in the commercial area of Phase 2 Extension in DHA, Karachi. Thanks to the generosity of our donor, we will have more space than before, enabling us to embark on new projects which we’re very excited about.

    It’s hard to say exactly when we will re-open, as our new home is in a building that is under construction. We’re working feverishly and several hot, sticky hours each day are spent at the site trying to get things done. We’re aiming for end June/early July 2009 and will do whatever is humanly possible to meet that target. Even if everything is not exactly how we’d like it, we will start beta testing T2F 2.0 as soon as the building is electrified.


    We’d like to thank all the wonderful people who have donated time and money to help us shift and fund our music fundraisers. Fareed Ayaz & Abu Mohammad Qavvaal Party and Tina Sani made the music events possible by donating their time and we are immensely grateful to them for all that they do for us.

    We still need to raise money to purchase a generator as KESC becomes more unreliable by the day. If anyone reading this owns a generator company or has friends who own generator companies, please get in touch. Alternatively, if 200 people donate Rs. 5,000 each, we will meet our target :)

    Here’s how you can help:

    On this special day, we’d like to share some audio and video highlights from previous T2F events:

    - Mohammed Hanif Reads From A Case of Exploding Mangoes
    - David Barsamian Reports Live from The Second Floor
    - Rasa Chughtai Recites at T2F
    - Tina Sani – T2F Fundraiser [A Geo News Report]
    - Fareed Ayaz Qavvaal Party Featuring Yasir Q on Darbuka – T2F Fundraiser

    On 8th May 2009, Women’s Action Forum organized an evening of resistance at Karachi Press Club. Arundhati Roy delivered the closing keynote and I managed to capture it with a little Flip video camera. While this event had nothing to do with T2F, I am sure our community will be very interested in what Arundhati had to say, so check out the two-part video on the PeaceNiche YouTube Channel:

    Arundhati Roy Video – Part 1
    Arundhati Roy Video – Part 2

    And just in case you’re missing T2F 1.0, browse through our photo album:

    We will keep you posted about progress and look forward to seeing everyone in person, really soon. Can’t wait :)


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

    If you’re a non-profit organization, why don’t you give everyone free coffee?

    Non-profit organizations are set up to support a cause or an issue. Our mantra is to make meaning; to become a vibrant centre of civil society, through culture, the arts, and public discourse. The coffeehouse component of our organization is a vehicle that helps us generate some revenue. To achieve our lofty aspirations, we have to be sustainable. The money we make is spent on paying our bills, staff salaries, and running the generator. If we ever make a profit, the money goes back into running the organization and not into the pockets of our board members. Non-profits do not issue stock or pay dividends, unlike for-profit corporations, which are set up primarily to make money for shareholders. If you decide to provide us with funding, you benefit when we achieve our vision of ‘intellectual poverty alleviation’.

    Why do you close on Mondays?
    We’re terribly inspired by barbers. Everyone needs a day off and we thought we’d all take a break on the same day. We are considering opening 7 days a week though. Stay tuned.

    What is the legal status of T2F?

    T2F is the first project of PeaceNiche, which is a not-for-profit NGO, registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, Pakistan in 2007. The Registration Number of PeaceNiche is KAR 0115.

    What’s with the Macs and iPods?
    We’re Apple evangelists and can’t get enough of Steve’s shiny toys. All our Board Members use Macs and if you need buying advice or training, call us. We recently launched a Desi Apple User Group to provide a platform for Apple fans to hang out and learn new stuff.

    Why don’t you send out event invitations by post?
    We’re tech-savvy tree huggers. E-mail and web-based announcements are cost-effective and no money is wasted on printing and postage. No trees are cut down either. Sign up today!

    Do you have Wi-Fi?
    Yes. And it’s free. (Thank you, Maxcom.)

    Who owns T2F?
    T2F is a project of PeaceNiche, a non-profit NGO set up in 2007. The Founder of PeaceNiche is Sabeen Mahmud, a social entrepreneur, activist, graphic designer, and technology consultant. PeaceNiche is governed by a Board of Founder Members and an Advisory Council. Seed funding for the organization was provided by Sabeen Mahmud and a few wonderful well-wishers. Donations are welcome!

    Can I borrow a book from the browsing shelf? Just for one day?

    Can I donate books to T2F?
    Yes. We’ll take pretty much anything but Time and Newsweek end up in the loo and we totally draw the line at Readers’ Digest.

    Why don’t you advertise so more people find out about T2F?
    We spread our message through our opt-in mailing list, (WE DO NOT SPAM!), Facebook, the T2F website, Twitter, word-of-mouth, referrals, and UNSOLICITED media/blog coverage. Karachi is a large city and we can’t reach everyone, so please help us spread the word. Tell a friend about T2F.

    I’m a graphic designer/artist/photographer/whatever. Can I exhibit at T2F?
    If your work is compelling, yes. Printing and framing costs are yours and we charge a 30% commission on any work that gets sold. Social themes, political commentary, and thought-provoking content preferred.

    Here’s To New Beginnings!

    Sunday, April 5th, 2009

    On 1st April 2009, we kissed T2F 1.0 goodbye. It wasn’t easy and yes, we cried. Whitewashing Asim’s mural, “Class”, was particularly painful as it’s the one thing we can’t take with us – but stay tuned for mugs, posters, and postcards :)

    Props to all of you who made this tiny space come alive with amazing energy and warmth.

    Last Day at T2F 1.0
    Make what you will of this image :D

    T2F 2.0 is under construction and is located off Sunset Boulevard, in DHA Phase 2 Extension. We hope to be up and running by June 2009, if all goes well.

    Meanwhile, we will be at The Shanaakht Festival at Karachi Arts Council from 8th -12th April 2009. Next up is Har Taan Hae Deepak, featuring Tina Sani, Live in Concert at Indus Valley School on 17th April 2009. This is a fundraiser for T2F and we need your support to raise money for our shift. Please buy tickets in droves!

    Please join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter for updates …


    A Message from Tina Sani

    Monday, March 16th, 2009


    Tina Sani Live in Concert

    Our Moving Experience!

    Monday, February 23rd, 2009

    Dear PeaceNiche and T2F Community,

    It’s been a little over a month since we wrote to you about T2F having to vacate its premises. A lot has happened since and we wanted to share some updates.

    New Premises

    groovybird.gifThe landlord’s notice has proved to be the blessing in disguise that journalist/film-maker/activist Beena Sarwar hoped for. An absolutely amazing individual, who would like to remain anonymous, has donated a space to PeaceNiche! The good news gets even better … we have a ground floor AND a first floor to call our own :)

    T2F version 2.0 will be located in a building off Sunset Boulevard. It is very close to the current location and is easily accessible. The building is currently under construction and we hope to be able to move in by May/June 2009. We will also have a child-friendly space. Parents, rejoice :)

    Current Premises

    While we had originally said we would vacate by early February, we will be at the current venue until the first week of April 2009. Please do visit as often as you can, and tell your friends who still haven’t been there, to come and check out Asim Butt’s mural – that’s the one thing we can’t take with us. We will continue to hold regular events at the Khayaban-e-Ittehad location for the next few weeks, and as always, we’re open from noon to midnight, every day except Mondays. Do swing by …

    T2F at the Shanaakht Festival

    The Citizens’ Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is holding the Shanaakht Festival 2009 at the Karachi Arts Council from 8th – 12th April 2009 and we are delighted to announce a CAP/T2F collaboration. T2F will be located in the parking lot of the Arts Council for 5 days and we will host a range of exciting events in the evenings. Stay tuned for details closer to the time.

    T2F at Nando’s

    Nando’s has graciously offered us the first floor of their Clifton outlet for once-a-week events during the period that we are ‘homeless’. We will share schedules with you after the Shanaakht Festival.

    Fundraising Events

    We will be holding a series of events to raise funds for our shift and to seed our endowment fund. A set of 5 music events will be held at T2F throughout March, featuring a number of exciting, underground bands and an Open Mic Night. Watch for announcements. In fact, now is the time to sign-up for SMS alerts!

    Two outdoor music fundraisers will feature Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammad Qavvaal Party, the scions of the legendary Munshi Raziuddin, and Tina Sani. These events will be held on 21st March and 17th April 2009 at Indus Valley School. Please save the dates and tell all your friends.

    New PeaceNiche Projects

    Thanks to our anonymous donor, we now have the space to initiate new PeaceNiche projects. In addition to our regular event programming, we will be undertaking the following projects:

    - Art and New Media Gallery
    - Arts Education and Outreach
    - Eastern Classical Music Classes and Listening Room
    - Urdu Poetry Archival Project
    - Counseling for Parents of Young Children
    - PeaceNiche Publications

    We need financial support to launch and sustain these projects and look forward to collaborating with like-minded organizations, patrons of the arts, and visionary individuals.

    The Second Floor on the Ground Floor?

    We’re officially switching to T2F :) Check out our modified logo!

    In Gratitude …

    We have been overwhelmed by the ownership people have taken for T2F. Articles in the press, blog posts, financial contributions, offers to help paint walls and shift furniture, technology services, fundraising, volunteering, moral support…

    We know we are not alone, and together, we can deliver on the promise of a vibrant civil society in Pakistan.

    We look forward to seeing all of you at T2F version 1.0 until the end of March, then at the Arts Council, at Nando’s, and finally, at T2F version 2.0 by mid 2009.

    In complete solidarity!
    Sabeen and the PeaceNiche Board

    Donate via PayPal

    Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

    Dr. Awab Alvi aka Teeth Maestro has volunteered to manage PayPal donations for PeaceNiche | T2F. He is an über blogger and a great dentist. Thanks Doc :)

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    The Community Responds

    Monday, January 19th, 2009

    We are so glad that the landlord’s warning turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Can’t wait to check out the new venue on our next visit! T2F is an awesome initiative, and was a source of much life and respite while we were there. Thanks so much for creating it, and working so hard on it. We hope that all the financial and other challenges that you currently face melt away, and to help a little, Jahanzeb and I have sent a check for $500 through the PayPal link on your website.

    Nosheen and Jahanzeb

    I visited T2F a couple of times in the past and without a doubt, it is playing a pivotal role as a vibrant centre of Pakistan’s developing civil society. Hats off to the whole team for this commendable effort.

    Heard about the shifting issue … we all are with you no matter what!!!!!

    If you need voluteers, I would be the first to list my name for PeaceNiche. Although I can’t give time on weekdays due to professional commitments, on weekends I could contribute some time for this noble cause.

    S. Farhan. H. Zaidi

    I stumbled upon T2F through some random google search one night a few months back, and have been itching to come and check it out. Then, one fateful day a week or two back, i get the email, with the disastrous news! T2F is being evicted?! My feelings were … well bluntly put … PISSED!!!! So here I am, eager to see T2F get to where it needs to be. I’d love to help financially, as that would probably help the most, but I’d love to volunteer and try and help any other way possible. Always interested in helping for a good cause.

    Billal Murtaza

    Just can’t imagine life without T2F. Though I don’t go there regularly, the feeling of having T2F there is enough.

    Muhammad Omer Arshad

    I’d like to help in whatever way possible … are there any meetings going on that I can attend to figure out what I can offer my help for? I am a devout habitue to T2F and would love to be of assistance somehow.

    Hani Naveed

    A few months ago my husband and I heard about T2F and promised ourselves that we would definitely visit! It’s rare to come across a place in Karachi which has so much to offer and to meet people who contribute towards society selflessly and intellectually! This weekend we will definitely visit! I can’t believe we waited this long! I’m sorry to hear about the news of having to vacate your current location but i’ve read the comments so far and I’m amazed at the response! Even though we haven’t contributed in any way so far we would love to help in any way possible! I’m convinced that the matter will get resolved in due time and our support is always there!

    Rania Ghanghro

    I am behind T2F all the way :)

    Faisal Kapadia

    I have never been there, but one of my cousin’s in Karachi swears by it. It will be a loss if it disappears.


    I spoke at T2F and found it to be one of the better stops on my book tour of Pakistan last year. The audience was engaged and lively and since many of them were young bloggers I found myself invigorated by the exchange. I am ready to help in any way I can, including financial support.

    Shuja Nawaz

    T2F is an incomparable asset for Karachi. It will not only survive this little setback, but thrive. There’s no better time for Karachites, here and abroad, to come together and support a priceless institution.

    Shahjahan Chaudhary

    When one door closes, another opens. I see great opportunity in this change, though at the face of it any adversity that forces us to change seems just that – an adversity. In the eventuality of time, though, an adversity overcome becomes our great asset.

    What I mean to say is that – congratulations! This is the year of greater beginnings for many and how often am I seeing friends being cornered into unlikely situations, only to realize how well gifted they are and hence they emerge triumphant.

    You know there had to come a situation when T2F became as public as it is and the responsibility was shared with all the people whom T2F has served so proactively. This situation has helped shake up the supporters and given the people the opportunity to work together – however each may – to preserve and grow a cultural institution that citizens have set up for citizens.

    The only way, then, is forward.

    On this note, Sabeen, I remember your dreams of having a center-of-the-city T2F2 – maybe this is the chance? Far more people can join in the daily activities if the new venue is more accessible to the northern and central parts of the city. I wish with quite certainty that the best will happen.

    Ramla Akhtar

    On the face of it, this sounds upsetting. However, you never know this forced change may bring some good and turn out to be a blessing of sorts. It is moments like these that test our resilience and capacity to fight and achieve our objectives despite all odds. So lets all join hands and show everyone that come what may T2F is here to stay and grow, if not at the current location then at a new address that all of us would help find. We are with you.

    Junaid Zuberi

    It broke my heart when I read it in the paper but I have all the faith that what T2F bought to us was so valuable that everyone would come up to save it. I cannot offer space or money but I have all the time in the world whenever I’ll be needed.

    Paras Allana

    You’re doing a great job in waking up our beloved city – Karachi – to its traditions and culture, which you know is something very close to my heart. Don’t have words to appreciate your contribution. So proud of you.

    Zafar Masud

    You have done a great job with T2F and this is the time for the community to do its bit. I would like to pledge a modest amount of Rs 5,000.
    Good luck!

    Niilofur Farrukh

    I came to know about you only two weeks ago and could not manage to visit the place. However have a desperate wish to make is as soon as possible. So this news is really depressing. ALL the best, would like to make efforts if I could be of any help to you.

    Noureen Merchant

    I heard through a friend that you folks are planning to move the location of T2F and if not able to, also intend to close it. I just wanted to say that DON’T.

    I want to help, tell me how?

    Rakesh Kumar

    I am always there in what ever capacities I can help because T2F brings energy into the lives of Karachiites and it was created here to live forever.

    Rahim Jindani

    You are doing great work. We would like to contribute by Paypal.

    S. Haider

    I read about T2F’s predicament. I am very sad to hear that you guys have to move. I am a student, so that means I don’t have any money. But what I can do is help you guys move. I mean when you guys find a place and want to move, I can help with the logistics (lifting things and stuff). I can also help in any other endeavor that requires manpower. Do tell me.

    Burhan Abro

    I read Bina’s article in Sunday’s paper. Wherever you move Sabeen, I can do my best by setting up the WiFi for your new place.


    This is awful. Please let me know how I can help!

    Mariam Bilgrami

    This is absolutely sad!

    Anila Weldon

    T2F has been my place of serenity and peace … you guys have my whole support I will do what ever I can …

    Fahd A. Paracha

    It is sad to hear this but am sure with all the support you have got, soon there will be a new permanent place for T2F. Please keep us informed of the new venue.

    Nishat Ishaq

    I am shocked but, I know one thing. Your enthusiasm combined with the spirit of T2F will live on and we will make it work. T2F to me represents a safe haven which assists in developing the minds and refreshes the soul of anyone who visits.

    Talha Iqbal

    I only came to know about T2F after reading about it on ATP but feel it is something precious that should go on. If you can give out some details as to how much money needs to be raised etc and put up some targets on the site, it would be helpful. Although I am a first time visitor, you have my moral support and hope I can help some with funds etc.


    Really saddened to hear about everything going on with the landlord. Hate to see T2F relocate, after months of establishing the place. I hope that soon you will find a place that will host T2F on a permanent basis. I came earlier today to t2f thought maybe I’d see you and personally tell you that the check (around RS 1000.00) that was there for me from my album EARTHIOTIC…sales, please keep it as a donation from TEE-M. Also my remaining cds that are there, you could use the money as a future donation whenever they sell. I’d be happy to be a part of any fundraiser you plan to do in the near future or I could arrange one if you’d like me to….I’ve just extended my stay in Karachi till Feb 21st.

    Thanks for holding TEE-M shows.

    Tariq Mirza / TEE-M

    It had not need be said but we are all proud to be associated with this mini-revolution kick started by you and supported by so many… our support; financial, spiritual and physical (if need be for manual labor) is always available… just give a yell .. and we’ll be there

    Chak day phattay!

    Add me to your list. I am there for you guys.

    Imran Aslam

    I really hope that T2F finds a permanent space soon. I am really glad that I was able to spend some time at the place and soak in its vibrant, warm, and inviting ambience. Looking forward to falling just as much in love with its new venue that I hope will be found soon. Knowing your indomitable spirits I have complete faith that this will prove to be a stepping stone rather than a hurdle.

    Sabahat Zakariya

    I’m sad the venue will change. The memories and moments and smiles attached to that place will be etched in my heart forever. Wishing you courage and sending you all my love.

    Rabayl Manzoor

    Just heard about this news today, and it came as a big shock. Though I didn’t visit the place more often that I always wanted to do. Timings and work related commitments have been the major hurdle but I along with others who have ever been to t2f got only nice things to say.

    You guys are doing an awesome job and we Karachiites can’t afford to lose t2f. I hope that the new location is in the middle of the city so that more and more people can come and be the part of the t2f experience and not only the DHA residents.

    Ammar Yasir

    Just read the news about having to vacate – that’s awful. please let those of us who are overseas know how we can help. paypal donations?

    Sahar Shafqat

    I’ve always been a huge fan of T2F and its really sad hearing u guys r going thru this … will definitely spread the word … hope to help more.

    Saima Qureshi

    I wanted to donate to PeaceNiche and T2F. How can I send it from Lahore?

    Mariam Durrani

    Would you like us to take this issue up on the radio? We would love to. Also how can we be of help otherwise?

    Sara Taher Khan

    If we put all the creative minds together that we all bring to T2F I think we could brainstorm a better place. I wish everyone the best of luck in obtaining a “permanent” and more spacious place for T2F even if means having a misnomer if the floor level changes. Or we could keep the name and explain to the future generations of members how the initial name came about.

    Khawar Nehal

    You’ve started a courageous movement and I am sure this will lead to something even better.

    Durriya Kazi

    T2F was like a breath of fresh air to this mad city! Although I came only once to listen to Asad Rafi’s talk it has definitely left a huge impact on the people of Karachi. Keep your chin up! You did a great job! May you find a better space than the one right now. Why don’t you sell the concept to big-wigs like DawnNews and make it into a weekly television programme where every week we have a live show on a particular subject on your set? Media makes a huge impact and it’s time T2F went bigger as I feel you have to reach out to the masses! Good Luck!!

    Quratulain Ahmed

    Even though i couldn’t make it to many many events that i excitedly read about in T2F mails, the knowledge that they were happening with such regularity was very reassuring. Am writing to be counted as an enthusiastic supporter.

    Masuma Javaid Lotia

    I’m sorry for what’s happening with T2F. I love the place, the book shelf, the walls… everything! I just hope and pray that something positive occurs in the situation.

    Hyra Hanif

    Count me in for a $200 donation towards whatever is being decided.

    Aassia Haq

    I’ll give it all for the donation campaign!
    t2f rocks… its here to stay :)

    A Student

    If I can help in any way – if you would like for a fundraising performance before Feb. (altho we can only raise a relatively small amount in that) just let me know. I don’t mind playing in any kind of programme you decide, as right now T2F is the priority. I’m sure this is for the best as T2F would have needed to expand in a few years. Maybe this will give us incentive to collect together and work for it.

    Leena Ahmed

    I am writing to you as a follow up to your communication with Mir Ibrahim Rahman. We have heard very nice things about t2f – and have written about it in our publications as well. We would be happy to meet and discuss how we can be of assistance. I would be happy if you, or anyone from t2f, could email or call me to that we may meet and discuss how we can be of help.

    Shahrukh Hasan

    Do tell what we can do… It is indeed a great place and Karachi is richer and more beautiful because of it.

    Nargis Khurram

    It indeed is pretty shocking news, however obstacles are like air pockets and come only when you fly high. I really appreciate your efforts.

    Junaid Khalid

    Sabeen, it’s really shocking news. Anyway, I will certainly join you in whatever we can do together as you are spreading love and peace.

    Sajid Mahmood

    I feel your enthusiasm and commitment, your cause is so great that it can not be abandoned simply. I will reach out to my friends, few sponsors I know who have helped me in making events possible at IBA.
    All good causes are faced by problems, don’t let this make you feel down. If there is no T2F, imagine how unproductive our society will be especially in these challenging times.

    I am there for T2F. We all need this!

    Zunaira Sohag

    Simply a travesty of justice. I’ll mention this on my radio show and encourage all listeners/callers/texters to donate and/or help however they can!


    These temporary setbacks provide opportunities. You have hundreds of supporters for this wonderful avenue of rational discourse/debate/discussion in a secular environment. As a business person, you are well aware of the crashing real estate markets, especially on the hugely inflated Defence Phase 8 area. Bide your time, you will get a better and bigger space, which will probably be owned and not rented.

    Suggest you also start a Facebook donor drive. Furthermore, the next few events should be ticketed at a minimum of Rs.250/head or more depending on the draw.

    Ali Abbas Inayatullah

    I read it with sorrow and anger. But – all my “forced changes” till now turned out to be for the best. In the long term I always found the right people – or they found me. With the support of your “community” something better will come for sure.

    All the best and support from far away Berlin.

    I admire your resolve towards a worthy cause. Please dont hesitate to let me know if I can do anything for you.

    Imtiaz Piracha

    I will wait for your follow-up on specific requirements, and as suggested start spreading the word. The challenges will only allow T2F/PeaceNiche to focus on sustainability and allow you to come out of this predicament stronger.

    Farzal Dojki

    Sabeen, with your determination T2F will inshallah continue. As a small gesture, i would like to match Batool’s donation. I will drop it off when at T2F next … will continue to think about ideas re premises.

    Riaz Kamlani

    Just read your email and while reading my heart just sank and lifted back up :) Not the best of announcements BUT I just want to let you know I am with you guys. I would love to contribute as a volunteer and meanwhile spread the word around in search of a place that is rent free and permanent.

    Nida Zarar Meyer

    Things HAVE to work out & they WILL for sure.
    AND we are going to make it happen NOW!

    Yahya Hussain

    im sorry to hear about your current predicement and would like to support your cause in my due capacity. i was wondering that if i or people i knw can spread the word and ask people to help you in form of donations which i belive would be your prime need? i just can’t see the place shutting down with determined people like you at the helm of things. i sincerely hope that i may be of any substantial help and do let me know without any hesitation. i wish you all the luck in the world!

    Taha Hasnain

    I wish I could do more… let me know if there is anything else I can make my self useful for.    

    T2F has brought so many likeminded people together, it promoted our culture, raised issues, invoked constructive thoughts and promoted so many young people (including me) and all that in such a short span of time, which is a remarkable achievement but more importantly t2f has proved itself as a dependable asset of immense value for us and the coming generations of this region.

    Who ever fails to see this is a complete fool, no doubt we have a lot of them in the world. But they can’t win not this time and not ever and that too for their own good.

    Jamal Ashiqain

    I’m there.  Just tell me what you need (specifically) and keep your chin up.  There HAS to be some good out of this… And yes, you are most definitely not alone.  It’s time like these that all the giving that you did, will come back to you full circle. Keep in touch with what you need – plus I also pledge a donation.

    Fareen Effendi

    Please let me know if there is anything Jang Group and GEO can do to help.

    Mir Ibrahim Rehman

    the love you, zak and co. have shown me and my work has been a source of encouragement and affirmation. given my insatiable appetite for it, i would be more than happy to do another one for you as soon as you find yourself a permanent venue. i’m overcommitted at the moment and will be till my april showing in islamabad, but as soon as i wrap that up, i’ll be rearing to let loose on your walls. we can discuss details in the fullness of time but for now i just want to say that t2f has provided the city with a much needed nerve centre of artistic activity and debate and i am heartened by your resolve to proliferate your agenda beyond the venue at ittehad.

    all my love,
    asim butt

    Oh Sabeen, this made an awful read… I do not have a place of my own to offer but let me know what can be done to sustain T2F. I know a woman who has worked with donor agencies here… I will take it up with her.

    Sophia Hasnain

    In today’s business environment I’m shocked that your landlord would force you out and can imagine how difficult it must be for you guys to have to relocate in such a hurry. I hope you find a new place soon and in the meanwhile I will look around for whatever rent free or low rent places I know of.

    Madiha Sultan

    on the way back from yesterday’s event i was thinking of how to raise funds for t2f to continue and one of the ideas that stood out was to have a jumble sale of books and cds or paintings etc that one can spare and sell. if we can collect a min of 40 lakhs to get a small office space say in an old building in (somewhere like phase 2) where there is decent amount of night life and no security issues. each item can be sold at min Rs. 1000/- and with only 4000 sales u will have your funds.
    i know it sounds too basic but it could work.
    Ruqayya Rizwan

    So very sorry to read all this. Though I don’t come, I read every one of your emails what you are offering and many I would love to attend. Can’t persuade my other half to come and since I don’t drive I lose out. But I know with your commitment and enthusiasm you will succeed and though this is a set back, these things usually are for the best in the long run.

    Toxy Cowasjee

    I know that this may have come as a surprise, but I think you and we have seen how much love and support T2F has created in the community for what it offers and the generosity with which it does this. We are here, you are not alone, and we will help in any way we can.

    Shazia Mohamed

    You know me but by face only. I have been a regular fan of T2F and have been coming there regularly since you began. First just to mention how very much I enjoyed last evening with Muneeza and the authors. It was a privilege to be with so many well known authors. I am an avid reader and have read most of their books. Thank you so much for arranging the evening on such short notice.

    Regarding the upsetting news about moving, I wish I were in a position to help but financially I cannot but with my heart I will do all I can by asking people and praying for a home for PeaceNiche. God Bless you for making this peaceful home for all of us to enjoy and expand. You have so much support from all of us and all our prayers, God will listen I am sure.

    Mona Sheikh

    That is very upsetting news. You had put in so much effort, love, care and hard work in setting up this place and filling it with such wonderful programs. Hope you find a more permanent place. Will keep a look out.

    Naeem Sadiq

    You have achieved a great deal. You have made the impossible possible. We are with you in thinking a larger space, perhaps wih some partners, funders, which is just as vibrant. altho i haven’t been there why not the India Habitat centre and the like. Thinking back I recall one group which wanted to copy your experiment, and i thought, well let them try …

    In any case you have our support.

    Mauj Collective

    Read your posting. I will commit $150/-  Do send me the info via email and will see if can help in any other way. Though I have never visited T2F I have only heard good things about it from those who I know in Karachi. You are doing a wonderful job and the work must go on.

    Asif Alam

    Sabeen, I am so sorry that you will have to move. Please let me know if I can help out in any way, T2F is such a valuable space to the community!!

    Shazia Mohamed

    Hey, This indeed is a very sad news. T2F has always been something i have really been proud of. Hope things work out and you guys find even a better place. The whole idea shouldnt die, no matter what.

    Saad Hayat

    It was really distressing to hear that you may have to move. I do hope this resolves itself soon. T2F has made such a difference to us all.

    Muneeza Shamsie

    Hitting the Ground Running …

    Saturday, January 17th, 2009

    Dear PeaceNiche and T2F Community,

    612 days ago T2F opened its doors to you. Our vision was lofty, and frankly, a bit mad. Who would walk up to the second floor of an office building on Khayaban-e-Ittehad to listen to a poet rambling on about revolution, or a scientist arguing in favour of evolution, or some kids playing drums? Well, as it turns out, thousands of people …

    In these 612 days minus Mondays, our tiny space has hosted over 150 events featuring thought leaders, artists, poets, musicians, scientists, magicians, writers, philosophers, dancers, actors, lawyers, and activists. Hundreds of you have written in to tell us how much T2F means to you and to the city of Karachi. Every e-mail, snail mail, text message, and Facebook Wall post that you have sent has given us the strength to carry on. Many of you have supported us through your donations and even helped us replace our stolen Mac. We can’t thank you enough.

    By now you are probably thinking that we’re closing down and that this is a goodbye note. No such luck :D But there is some critical news that we need to share with you.

    We called our landlord the day-before-yesterday, to ask him when he was going to get the lift fixed. He was non-committal and then said he wanted us to vacate the premises. The initial shock was soon replaced by calm determination and optimism.

    At yesterday’s literary event, we broke the news. Practically everyone came forward to express solidarity and support. Some of you graciously volunteered your offices, houses, gardens, and basements for us to conduct our events till we find our own space. And one of you, a volunteer/student/journalist, kick-started the donation drive with a contribution of Rs. 5,000. Thank you Batool.

    So, here’s the plan:

    We plan to vacate the current premises by early February 2009. We have already been offered several temporary spaces to conduct our events until such time that we find a permanent venue. We would like to move to a new space – a home we can call our own – as soon as possible. It’s going to be tough and we can’t do it alone. We simply don’t have the funds. As you know, PeaceNiche is a non-profit organization and we have meagre funding. We are reaching out to you to help us in any way that you can. We will be writing to you again with specific requirements, but in the meanwhile, please spread the word about our need for a permanent, rent-free space so that we can get up and running without losing momentum.

    Over the next few days, please come to T2F as often as possible – we’ll recreate the magic wherever we go but this is where it all started. Thank you Karachi for believing in us.

    17th January 2009

    Awesomest Donation Box E.V.E.R.

    Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

    We took a 512K Mac (yes, kids, there was a time when memory was measured in kilobytes) and converted it into a donation box for PeaceNiche/T2F. This particular Mac shipped in September 1984; thanks Zak for hanging on to it all these years and for donating it to PeaceNiche.

    Slip money in through the floppy drive slot and two things will happen:

    1. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside, having contributed to a non-profit organization that delivers an intelligent alternative to consumption, mindlessness, and television.

    2. You’ll get goosebumps being this close to a vintage Mac. In 1982, at a small party, Steve Jobs got his band of renegade developers to sign their names onto a piece of paper. The signatures were then engraved into the Macintosh mold and the team’s autographs were permenantly impressed into the case of every Mac that rolled off the production line. Check out all the signatures …

    OK, enough Apple folklore, now cough up some cash and help us keep PeaceNiche/T2F running.

    Donate Now

    Pedro Meyer’s Heresies: A Retrospective – Launches Oct 21

    Saturday, October 18th, 2008

    Pedro Meyer’s Heresies is a retrospective comprising four decades of groundbreaking work by one of the world’s most innovative photographers.

    T2F is proud to be part of the Heresies exhibit – opening simultaneously in 60 museums worldwide in October 2008.

    Mexican photographer Pedro Meyer is as renowned for his powerful and provocative photographs as he is for his pioneering work with digital imaging. Meyer’s photographs consistently test the limits of truth, fiction and reality. With the advent of digital photography in the early 1990s, Meyer evolved from a documentary photographer who created so-called “straight photographs” into a digital-documentarian who often combines photographic elements from disparate times and places to arrive at a different or higher truth.

    Meyer’s oft-expressed contention that all photographs – digitally manipulated or not – are equally “true” and “untrue” has been labeled “heretical” in the orthodox documentary photography community. Hence the title “Heresies”.

    Pedro Meyer - Heresies
    Meyer’s personal innovations in the field of digital photography include creating the first CD-ROM to combine sound and images, creating the first digital prints ever made and in 1994, creating his renowned online photography forum, – the most-visited digital photography content site on the web.

In addition to these artistic and technical contributions, Meyer’s trailblazing work on behalf of Latin American photographers, beginning with his establishment of the Mexican Council of Photography in the late 1970s, effectively organized and elevated photography as an art form across an entire continent.

    Heresies Events at T2F

    • Heresies Part I: 21st October 2008
    • I Photograph to Remember – The Art of Storytelling: 30th October 2008
    • Heresies Part II: 4th November 2008
    • Cell Phones: A Different Way of Seeing – A workshop conducted by Amean J: 8th November 2008
    • Digital Montage: The Potential to Expand Visual Language – A workshop conducted by Farah Mahbub: Date To Be Announced
    • Heresies Part III: 18th November 2008
    • Screening of Truths and Fictions followed by a panel discussion with Karachi’s leading photographers: 18th November 2008

    We are grateful to Sony Center @ Clifton Outlet for partnering with us for the Heresies Exhibition.

    A Special Gift From Ardeshir Cowasjee

    Monday, October 13th, 2008

    On the day of Alice Albinia’s book launch (grab your copy of Empires of the Indus before we run out), Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee arrived at T2F in his signature toga, carrying a large frame. The event had already started and I was sitting up front with Asif Farrukhi and Alice. Ardeshir always creates a stir wherever he goes and this time was no different. Everyone was also rather curious about the frame he was carrying. He handed it to me and I handed it to Aleem behind the counter and went back and sat down to avoid further disruption. When the event ended, I dashed off to retrieve the frame and figure out what the fuss was about.

    Mr. Jinnah

    ardeshir.jpgWow! We’re absolutely bowled over by Ardeshir’s thoughtfulness and generosity. This is a very rare photograph of Mr. Jinnah and the message below gives us a lot of courage to keep plugging on, in especially trying circumstances. Thank you Ardeshir. You Rock!

    Please do swing by and see the original photograph at T2F, right near the entrance. It’s worth the effort. And once you’re there, you may as well grab a coffee :)

    BTW, Ardeshir comes to T2F often and once he’s there, he stays for hours nursing his sugar-free traditional cold coffee. So if you want a “real” history lesson, stop by and hang out with an icon of our times.

    Theft at T2F (UPDATED)

    Thursday, August 28th, 2008

    The Theft

    Our trusty Macintosh iBook was stolen from T2F on Sunday 3rd August 2008, during a music performance. This is the Mac that used to sit in the niche amongst all the books and was used by scores of people to check mail, update Facebook, and find guitar tabs. Now she’s gone :(

    The laptop was a 12″ white iBook with a G4 processor, 2 hard disk partitions – one of which was called “The Song Spinner”, and a slightly messed up video display. Please keep your eyes and ears open and alert us if you come across it.


    I am hideously finicky about my music. A snob even. I cringe when people say they like all kinds of music and will listen to “any and everything”. UGH. I despise country music and Michael Bolton. Well, apart from that one song on my iPod. How else would the term “guilty pleasure” mean anything if all I had on my iPod was Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton and The Gutter Brothers and the HAIR soundtrack, and Blood, Sweat and Tears, and The Beatles and Liza Minelli and Dizzy Gillespie and …

    So, ever since T2F opened its doors to the people, on May 15th 2007, we’ve had over 110 events. All of them, apart from the music gigs, have been carefully orchestrated by PeaceNiche board members and if any of them were boring, tedious, or not so well done … we take full responsibility. The music events, however, are an altogether different story. We’ve arranged a couple, or maybe 4, and they kicked ass. The rest have been mediocre at best and utterly dreadful at worst. No, I am not naming names!

    After every crappy performance, one PeaceNiche board member or another challenges my decision to allow bands to perform without first checking them out. 

    Here are my reasons:

    1. Music is subjective. Not everyone likes what we like.

    2. T2F is a platform for creative expression. “Kids wanna rock” and they need places to jam. T2F is an ideal venue for them to do so and who are we to get in the way?

    3. Some of the world’s finest musicians were discovered at cafés. I live in eternal hope.

    A few Fridays ago, I got a phone call from some fellow who said he wanted to do a performance at T2F on a Sunday evening. 5 bands. The warning signs were there but I was pre-occupied … shifting house, planning the next set of events at T2F, accounts, fund-raising, design projects, etc.

    I thought to myself, T2F is a community space that was set up for the people. We’ve done so many events, surely one can happen without my explicit involvement. I can’t micro-manage forever. The kid sounds enthusiastic. They need places to play. Blah, blah, blah. Terms and conditions were discussed and the show was scheduled. Not as a T2F event, but a music gig that took place at T2F.

    I didn’t go – because I couldn’t – for a number of logistical reasons.

    Sunday Night – 10:00 pm: I was informed by a staff member that a fight had broken out amongst the bands, that they were way over schedule, and had not been able to muster up the requisite funds to pay for the space. 

    Sunday night – 11:30 pm: I was informed by a volunteer that our Mac laptop had been stolen whilst our staff was trying to get the abusive, bratty, quarreling kids from Lyceum out of T2F. 

    Losing the Mac has been a bitter experience. That computer sat in its little niche for over a year, serving up Facebook, e-mail, Google searches, and countless websites to many a customer. Now there’s nothing there and it makes me mad when I look at that shelf. 

    Lessons learned:

    1. Micro-manage
    2. Be selective
    3. Interview and audition

    The actions of a few idiots will not ruin T2F’s vibe, culture, and philosophy. We will just be more careful. 

    While “screening” will take place from now on as far as bands are concerned, the issue of “quality” still remains. If I, or other board members, have to “like” everything, no one will get through and there will be hardly any music performances at T2F. Because, quite honestly, most bands suck. All they sing are covers of Vital Signs and Junoon and doofus newbie gora bands. Their original compositions are even scarier. 

    One line of thinking, like I mentioned above, is that we have to let emerging bands perform in public. An alternative view, and one that I am leaning towards, especially after having been pushed against a wall, is that if we don’t demand that the bar be raised, it never will be.

    We don’t want to be remembered for having inflicted baysura, mundane rubbish on unsuspecting listeners. Anyway, like most other stuff, this is a process. It’ll get figured out.  For now, I think we’ll steer clear of music performances for a while until we arrive at some reasonable conclusions.

    Moving On

    Part 2 of this post, i.e. Lament, was also posted on Facebook. A young man named Ali Waqar commented “Let’s all contribute and buy a new Mac”. Yahya Hussain, a T2F volunteer, immediately took responsibility and started a fund. We have now raised Rs. 17,300. A few more thousands and we’ll reach our target. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed. You guys rock.

    A couple of people have come with an interesting idea for future jam sessions at T2F. Hopefully, they will follow up and make it real!

    Information for Hotmail Users

    Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

    A number of our mailing list subscribers who have Hotmail addresses, have complained about not receiving e-mail announcements. After research and discussions with our hosting company, we have discovered that Hotmail will deliver an e-mail to 9 recipients at once, but delivery to the 10th user and all subsequent Hotmail users after that will fail. It is also possible that this is caused by using BCC, which is done to protect the identity of our subscribers. We have over 500 Hotmail subscribers so there seems to be no clear workaround at this point.

    Some suggestions:

    1. Subscribe to T2F’s mailing list with another e-mail address
    2. Visit our website regularly
    3. Subscribe to T2F’s Google Calendar
    4. Subscribe to T2F’s RSS Feed
    5. Subscribe to T2F Event Alerts for your mobile phone

    T2F DVDs and CDs

    Friday, July 11th, 2008

    We’ve had over 100 events since we opened our doors on May 15th 2007.

    A number of these events, ranging from Science Ka Adda sessions to poetry readings, have been recorded. Our summer interns have started digitizing the tapes and we shall soon start making our titles available for purchase.

    “An Evening with Muneer A. Malik” and “Hum Keh Thahray Ajnabi – Readings and Recollections on 1971″ are currently available and prices will be announced shortly.

    We’re looking for funding to set up a basic A/V studio and hire a couple of people who will professionally record, digitize, edit, and replicate our content. Please support our work and help us make our high-quality events available to those who can’t make it to T2F.

    Give a T2F Gift Card

    Monday, July 7th, 2008

    Stuck for gift ideas?

    A T2F Gift Card takes the guesswork out of gift giving. Get one for a friend or family member today. Available now in denominations of 1000 and 500.

    Design Anarchy

    Saturday, July 5th, 2008

    A Platform for Opinion, Outrage, and Graphic Agitation

    Graphic design, amongst the most potent vehicles for social commentary, is used primarily to sell toothpaste and tobacco. Graphic designers spend much of their time manipulating mundane imagery and meaningless content – deft at copying and pasting but bereft of a conscience. The world is reeling from the horrors of terrorism, the corporatization of culture, the shockwaves of environmental damage, and the endless cycle of greed and consumption.

    We’ve got to move our butts and do something, anything, however small.

    This is a shout-out to graphic designers who have something to say and need a platform for expression. T2F features four walls and computers for graphic design, photography, and art exhibitions that are challenging, distinctive, subversive, and memorable.

    If you are a designer, artist, or photographer and would like to exhibit your work at T2F, contact us at