Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest Post: No longer strangers.

By Ian Stubbs

I feel very privileged to be asked by Ifrah to be a quest contributor on her blog. It has been very good to be a friend on Facebook as I have very happy memories of a visit to Pakistan in 1983 (before Ifrah was born!) which included two overnight stays in Karachi. I had gone to Pakistan as an independent witness to gather evidence in support of some Pakistani men who had settled England and who wanted to bring their wives and families to join them and were being obstructed by the immigration authorities. I spent nearly two weeks based in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, visiting small communities along the shores of the Mangla Reservoir. I was able to bring back photographic and recorded evidence from interviews and school records and the wives and children of six men were given leave by the immigration tribunal to come to England as a result. 

It was a wonderful experience which I will never forget and the people I met were so friendly and hospitable. But it was also an important experience for me of cultural shock - of being alone in a very different culture from mine and not being able to speak the language. At times I felt a very long way from home.

This is, of course, the experience of many people who are refugees and immigrants and often the experience of those who live with disability. Just recently in England a woman who was born deaf was able to hear due to a cochlear implant. This is a surgically-implanted electronic device that can improve hearing by stimulating the auditory nerve. An implant cannot restore hearing to normal but it does give the sensation of sounds. The woman described how, “The first day everybody sounded robotic and I have to learn to recognise what these sounds are as I build a sound library in my brain.” Deafness not only hinders the person’s ability to communicate but there is often a social stigma which can increase isolation. In many religions ‘deaf’ and ‘blind’ are abusive, derogatory terms. In Christianity deafness historically was associated with demonic possession. Now our ideas of God have to evolve in the light of modern scientific understanding and development.

It is so easy for each of us at any time to become socially isolated and vulnerable, to be misunderstood, to experience prejudice or hostility – because we are different. But the glory of humanity is that we are all wonderfully made and amazingly different. Social media like Facebook can be used to stigmatize and hurt, but also offer great possibilities to increase our understanding, empathy and compassion. Let’s do all we can together to leave this world a better place for our children and grandchildren.

Ian Stubbs is a Priest, grandfather, supporter of LGTBI rights, Palestine, from  Glossop, North Derbyshire, UK. He  plays saxophone, and loves life.  
He tweets as @ iks1647

Photo credit :  Past Memories by Valentin Loellmann

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ask us.

  Kamila Shamshi's intreview to talking books, BBC   was quite  typical of those Karachitie who has left Karachi.

They always talk like that." Karachi is so violent," " I miss her so much." blah blah.

I can't deny  this fact , but people who have  left Karachi, or  Pakistan for  whatever  reason, should not talk about this city and country at all, especially about Karachi. 

People who  have left, living better lives some where else, and have no intention to come back, should not talk about our situation. They don't know ground realities, they are not facing the problem(s). And  when they talk about it like that, it only  looks like they are so sympathetic about us, because  we are some third world citizen, living in some war zone area, there are death bodies everywhere, and soon we will all die.

Yes, it is a violent city,  it gets  so bloody violent, which I am not denying at all. Law and order situation is pathetic,  after every month there is some political unrest, strikes, sectarian killings, and what not !

But don't forget people are living here.

 There are people who are living here everyday, without any fear. They are on roads after every violence.
This is a city does not sleep at night, no matter how bloody it gets.

It is called mini Pakistan, because  people from all around the sountry come here to have a better life, better job, better living for themselves and their family.

It takes a mighty heart to live here.

Maybe,  I can't understand their mentality and fear because I am living here since I was born, raised here,   and it doesn't bother me much. I am used to it, and all these things  don't sop me from living here.

 If this city  is like a difficult member of a family,  help it, instead of being bhagora and running away. Make it a better place  by doing your bit. Point out its problems with intention of solving it.

There is so much burden on the shoulders of Karachi.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wrong-way driving.

There is hardly any proper bus stop in Karachi. Almost after every ten steps people are standing at main roads, and waving  to catch their buses, auto rickshaws or chinchis, and these public transports  without any sense stop where there are people standing .

This is not my pet peeve. I am part of this system.  Baas na chaly I will make  them to pick and drop me from my home.

My pet peeve is when I am standing at "my stop"in a right direction, why these people who are coming from wrong way honk  their fucking horns? They should be ashamed of them selves. I am standing in a right way, OK ? They are criminal, not me !  I am not gonna move, can't they see?

 No, they don't. This is everyday drama. and death salay drive like that. They come from wrong way honk their fucking  their horn, I don't move. They honk again, I curse them and then move. I have to !

My stop is hill top marriage garden, Joher block -18, and if you are familiar with this area, you must have an idea how dangerous that cut is and how stupid people are. It will take them  hardly  2 to 4 seconds to take a  u-turn and get on right way, but they prfer to go wrong way.

Ayub uncle's son had died at Hill Top cut because of  one car was coming wrong way in front of his mom and sis.

Wrong way crashes  are proved to be way  more deadly than other crashes.

However, it seems like  people are never gonna learn, they are never gonna learn basic traffic rules. They are never gonna realize  how dangerous this fucking habit of not following the basic traffic rules can take someone's life?

 Photo Credit: way

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I felt nude.

In the morning, I went to Memon diabetic center with my dad for his tests. I was only one over there who was wearing churidar pajama, kameez with  dupatta, all other women young, middle aged , old were in black abya, burqa, scarf and some were in naqb. I felt nude.

Is my salwar kameez not enough to cover my self?

It was neither tight, nor revealing or exposing anything unnecessary. My chest were covered with duptta, shirt was long enough (latest fashion) Churiday pajama was OK.

WTF is going on?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Big Screen_Cricket Craze

Kids from my apartment arranged big screen in the tent to watch Cricket match between Srilanka and Pakistan, Asia cup final (08-Mar-2014)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dolphin show, Karachi, March'4, 2014.

Dolphin show at Maritime Museum is  a big hit.

Almost every one talking about it.

It has 3 shows: one from 10 am to 11 am is for schools and disable people, two shows: one in evening and one in night are for general public and families. Each show is for one an  hour, and every show is jam packed, and why not? it is a well organized  conducting by amazing trainers, Faud Shreef from Egypt with Memo_ the sea loin, and Boris_the dolphin,and Inga  Strekach with Bulga whale as Stephen,  do their best to entertain us.

We had our booking  almost  20 days ago. When we reached there, around 10:30,  other  schools were already there. (We later found out every day some 10 to 15 schools come to see it).

 I have been to Maritime so many times, but I have never seen such crowd. Maritime was not looking like the Maritime. It was choke full with school kids, and their teachers. There was a long  queue from the main gate to the arena,  with a capacity of 2,000 persons and a large pool, which is 66 feet in length and 56 in dimension, specially build for it. It took some 20 minutes to reached the arena.

It was looking like we are never gonna reach there. However, kids were so excited, that queue, waiting and walking was jack  to them.

Finally we reached the arena.

Everyone settled down.

Show started with a  3.5 feet long, energetic Memo, a sea loin with its trainer, Shreef.

Its performance was superb. Every act was entertaining.

Then came, Stephne, a Bulga whale with its trainer Inga.

 It is 12 feet broad and 1 ton stressed in metric.

Last but not the least was, Boris, a dolphin with Shareef.

Standing up, for National Anthem.

Time to go home. Though we were tired, we had lots of fun to meet such intelligent, and mart marine animals.