Utopia for a day

The Friday Times | Jan 19, 2007 Imaduddin Ahmed’s  week Regular readers will know that my luck runs short when I enter public spaces in Lahore. Ironically enough, I’ve never had trouble at protests or elections. Yet I found myself to be the proverbial moth to the incandescent flame last Sunday as Annie Aunty, Sarah and Julia came to pick Amme (I now live with my repatriated mother) for the Lahore marathon. I’ve had too much fun revelling in Berkeley and San Francisco street festivals and open air concerts to be deterred by a couple of ugly incidents. Besides, last … Continue reading Utopia for a day

Women’s Action Forum national convention, Lahore 1982

The Friday Times | Nov 17, 2006 Courtesy: Lala Rukh. Women’s Action Forum, taken at WAF’s national convention in Lahore in October, 1982. What began as spontaneous reactions to Gen Zia ul-Haq’s anti-women laws developed into life-long struggles for equality, education and health. Between them, these women have either founded or worrked for Simorgh, Shirkat Gah, ASR, Aurat Foundation, SAHE, Lahore Grammar School and the National College of Arts. Standing from left: Farida Sher, Najma Sadeque Second row: Samina Rehman, Rukhsana Rashid, Farida Shaheed, Ghazala Rehman, Fareeha Zafar, Nighat Said Khan, Aban Marker-Kabraji First row: Humaira Rehman, Khawar Mumtaz, Sultanat … Continue reading Women’s Action Forum national convention, Lahore 1982

Swatting about

The Friday Times | Nov 10, 2006 Imaduddin Ahmed finds a good holiday in off-season Swat   As a resident of Turkey, where they have faith in the science of astrology, Bade was able to pinpoint that the Eid holidays would come at the end of October. Perfect timing for an off-season break to northern Pakistan. We’d avoid the summer rush of tourists escaping the heat and we’d avoid the winter rush of ski tourists. We’d also avoid their litter and noxious car fumes. A five day trip, our travel agent – Himalayan Holidays – recommended, would be adequate for … Continue reading Swatting about

Eid Mubarak, Balakot

The Friday Times | Oct 6, 2006 Imaduddin Ahmed On my second visit to Balakot – the first was made three weeks before the October 8th earthquake – I found the city levelled. The shop where my father had bought his cigarettes, on the left side of the bridge across the bank, was gone. If I could have imagined the horror of Dresden and Coventry after British and German bombers had had their way, the sights, sounds and smells of Balakot would not have been that different. An estimated 7,000 of the 30,000 inhabitants died according to the Red Cross. I was here … Continue reading Eid Mubarak, Balakot