Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize!

I have always been  fascinated by this man.. He is for me a symbol of change.. And I don’t mean that because of his election campaign but because of the fact that he defied the odds against him and rose to be the Commander-of-Chief of the world’s biggest super power at a time when the situation in the USA was less that ideal. He took the oath at a time when due to such a less-than-ideal situation, any mistake of his would either be blamed on his lack of experience, or his race, or his color or his background.

A symbol of Change

A symbol of Change

Hearing the announcement yesterday of him winning the Nobel Peace Prize has certainly been a very happy moment for me, for here is a young president who is trying to bring a change into the world through dialogue, presenting a side of USA that we have rarely seen and trying to the clear up the mess that the last conservative administration left, not only in the White House but also in many parts of the world.

The announcement on the Nobel Peace Prize page says,

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples…. Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons….has as President created a new climate in international politics…. Multilateral diplomacy…..emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play…. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred….. for resolving… international conflicts……  stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations……  constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting….. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened…

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Oslo, October 9, 2009

The announcement automatically has followed criticism, which is no surprise .. i mean if his clothing can be an issue of such debate then this is a 100 time greater a news in magnitude…In the news published in Voice of America, this certain part was interesting.. Continue reading

What are you doing, Iran?

This post comes amidst great emotional turmoil as a girl named Nda was murdered as a result of the confrontation between the riot police and the protesters who have been protesting for almost a week now against the election result.

Iran was, if not the ideal state, but still was a symbol of religion and polictics in perfect harmony. But the recent events have shaken everyone to the core. This is not Islam, neither it is humanity.

Shiaism was a sect that have mourned for the tragedy of the Proaphets grandson who was killed with his family in Karbala, for he dared to raise his voice against the wrong, and the dictator.

Are you not today letting  the same tragedy reoccur on your own soil? Aren’t you killing the innocent who just want to know the truth, and are standing against what is wrong, in the face of force and injstice? How can you mourn Karbala when you are busy creating one yourself as we breathe here? How can you mourn the death of  Imam Hussain when you are becoming the Yazid for so many families .. when you are the Yazid of Neda’s family?

Institute of Architects Pakistan – Karachi Chapter is “Celebrating Architecture”

The Institute of Architects, Pakistan’s Karachi chapter is currently holding IAPEX 2009 under the banner of “Celebrating Architecture”. The Exhibition has studied the latest trends of exhibiting and the big names of the snob land and guest like Ameen J, Yousuf Bashir, Rizwan Beyg are becoming more prominent in this exhibition than architecture itself.

In any country this experiment would have been appreciated.. or already covered 10 years ago.. but the case of Pakistan is that not only are we 10 years late, we are doing something that is completely not of our context.

I don’t mean to be a critic.. but the entire exhibition seems now to be a parade of big labels and names and the common man or lets call him – the middle income group- would find nothing that would be able to capture his “BUDGET.”

We today are a nation that is unable to provide for the 70 percent of its population with decent housing, and the statistics say that it would take us many more years before we can reach that point. So when exhibition like these display topics that are better suited for some other time and place, it really makes me wonder.. HOW ARE THESE PEOPLE- THE FUTURE ARCHITECTS DOING TO DEAL WITH THE REALITY OF THE COUNTRY?

The program included an opening by Shazia Mari, the Information Minister… and what bugs me about this is did we not have enough great architects to celebrate that we need a politician to inaugurate.. which goes to prove my point..that IAPEX is more becoming a publicity stunt than an architectural exhibition…. Oh the closing ceremony has Dr.(?) Ishrat-ul-Ibad as its guest.

The show definitely had some high points too.. The presentation by Dr. Gulzar Haider of Beaonhouse University, Lahore was no doubt a wonderful way to start off the main program but again it lacked our context which he acknowledged and said that this would definitely make a great presentation.

The rest of the program was a big joint drama of how we are letting the old Karachi slip away from us.. and this has become the central theme of this exhibitions.. No one is ready to propose anything new as in a solution.. this time the mass mourning took a new turn when Najaf Bilgrami and Manizhe Ali showcased a film “One way traffic” – a nightmare of 6 min and 23 seconds which consisted of the famous “Bunder Road se Kemari” Song and very bad camera works.. with no conclusion what so ever.

I wouldn’t say that the discussions and there were many.. weren’t amazing. They were.The point that Dr. Gulzar made about what we need to do about Muslim architectural issues like the constructions at and around Kaaba should have been given more importance because these are the topics that are the contemporary issue of Muslim Community.


I think that architectural community of Pakistan needs to focus more on the region that they have then finding inspiration from outside world. The arguments of bringing arts and textiles and and fabrics are not our arguments.. 20 years from now they might make sense.. TODAY THEY DON’T.

IAPEX has always been a wonderful experience.. but as time goes by, they are losing their touch. They need to get back to the realities of our context and region.