This evening, as usual, we hire a ghora ghari (horse cart, don’t know why they call it a victoria as well). The cart driver is a local Hindu whose family lives here since centuries. Our destination is Saddar where two of our Christian friends are to join us for a further tour of Clifton. We leave from Lyari at 6 and soon reach Saddar via Napier Road and Mcleod Road. All the way we see happy faces and watch the various kinds of entertainment providing abodes like musical parks, clean restaurants, cinemas, bars and clubs that are open till the rise of the sun. We see people going to Mosques, Churches and other sacred places without any fear and anxiety.
What we see more is the smooth traffic system on the roads, everybody giving ways to others, particularly the motorists following the rules strictly, respecting the pedestrians’ rights and stopping vehicles behind the Zebra Crossings. Nobody uses loud horns.
At Saddar, life seems more vivid and colourful. We also see a lot of foreign tourists, especially too many roaming seamen. Shops are crowded with customers and their owners are having an hey day. Again we see more happy people enjoying with full bloom. They belong to diverse ethnic, political, religious and cultural groups but they all identify themselves as Karachi-walas.
This is a peaceful, tolerant and an accepting society. Nobody trained them to be so, love to each other is just natural. They nourish in loving environment. They don’t know how (and why) to hate each other. They are civilized citizens of Karachi. This is an ideal society. This ideal city existed till the end of 60s & early 70s.
As I understand, I AM KARACHI (IAK) is operative lately to revive those civic norms and social ethics that made this city a wonderful place to live in peace and harmony, a sane way of living that unfortunately vanished with the departure of 60s-70s era. They usually organize and manage sittings and discussions at different parts of the city bringing the people of diverse identities together to encourage dialogues and mutual understanding.
The I am Karachi organized their 2nd Dialogue Session naming it Uljha Suljha Lyari on 26 September 2018 at Rose Point Chakiwara. The first one was about two years back, held at Abdullah Haroon Hall Khadda, where senior writer and thinker Ghazi Salahuddin and a renowned singer & actor Khalid Anum had valuable tips to offer to a great number of youth participants.
In the 26 September session, the guest speaker was a distinguished young man, Owais Afridi, associated with Higher Education Management & Skill Development programs. He proved to be a brilliant teacher and an impressive Master Trainer who convincingly emphasized the importance of dialogues promoting the idea of a peaceful society. He had a good piece of advice to the youngsters for not loosing hope. In short, he wanted to say: We never lose. Either we win or we learn.
Representing the “Uljha Suljha Lyari”, Ms.Najma Jabeen, an educator with profound teaching experience, explained that we had to confront “uljhaos” sometimes but mostly we overcame the bottlenecks and brought the things to “suljhaos” with the joint efforts and interaction of all the communities with diverse mindsets. She also highlighted the contribution of talented youth and sportsmen of Lyari in the national and international arenas. I had too a chance to speak but hardly had anything to add what Ms.Najma Jabeen had conveyed to the audience already.
This was a well managed and professionally organized program that emerged productive instantly when the youth were encouraged to “raise” questions to the panelists. The huge audience consisted of the people belonging to different communities that included a political activist Habib Jan.
Conducting the whole session with his fascinating and professional voice, the handsome Owais Rabbani superbly moderated the running proceedings. To me, The Man On The Spot, who made this event successful and memorable was the energetic Ali Muhammad of IAK. Another youngster from this quarter was ever smiling Umair Paracha who appeared to have great management skill. He was also the one who wound up the session thanking the panellists and participants.
Undoubtedly the A Team of Anwar Ali Bhatti consisting of Sir Shabbir Hussain Baloch, Askani Abdul Aziz, Sir Jalil Ibrahim and Saqib Haroon, did a fantastic job in organizing this beautiful event that lasted for two hours.
I AM KARACHI (IAK) has an uphill task to regain and achieve the lost human values for sustaining a peaceful, tolerant and harmonious society and to make Karachi (once again) a city of civilized and sane people.
They may accomplish it in good time but, I am afraid, for this achievement they have to look “forward” to the past instead of future!
FROM LYARI WITH LOVE
I AM KARACHI