Return to Innocence
A Portrait from Pakistan by Tabish Naeemi
Return to Innocence
A Portrait from Pakistan by Tabish Naeemi
Chinese PM awarded Nishan-e-Pakistan on arrival in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan by President Asif Ali Zardari on his arrival in Islamabad for a two-day trip, reported Express News on Wednesday.
It is Keqiang’s first visit to Pakistan since taking office in March.
The award has been given to other foreign diplomats in the past such as the Prime Minister of Turkey in 2010 and the president of China then, Hu Jintao in 2006.
The JF-17s — a symbol of deep Sino-Pakistan friendship – guided the special Air China Boeing 747 aircraft of the Chinese dignitary to the Nur Khan Air Base.
President Asif Ali Zardari, caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, chief of naval staff, chief of air staff and other cabinet members were present at the airport to welcome the Chinese PM.
The Chinese PM was given a guard of honour on his arrival. (Complete news)
Milk of human kindness
A 45-day-old black bear cub is nursed by a wildlife official after being found by children in a town on the edge of forest in north-west Pakistan. (Copyright: AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors look at a latex russet-coloured sack designed to feel like human skin at an exhibition in Islamabad. While Pakistani artists have traditionally focused on tumultuous political and social changes they are now also engaged in self-examination, say art professors and gallery workers. (source)
Malaysia to set up center to honour Dr Atta-ur-Rehman
A top Malaysian university will set up a research institute to honour prominent Pakistani scientist Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman.
The “Atta-ur-Rahman Institute of Natural Product Discovery (RiND)” will be inaugurated at the University of Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on March 4, 2013, during an International Conference on Natural Products, where Rehman is being invited as a guest of honour to deliver the keynote speech for the “Jack Cannon Lecture”.
The UiTM had awarded Rehman an honorary doctorate degree in 2011 and RiND is another accolade for the scientist.
“The RiND will will work on full-fledged PhD programs in fields such as organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, neuroscience, proteomics, pharmacology, pharmacognosy and molecular medicine with a special focus on the bioactive constituents of terrestrial plants and marine sources,” Rehman said while speaking to Dawn.com. (Complete news)
Scuba diving off the coast of Karachi
Meet Yousuf Ali of the Karachi Scuba Diving Centre (KSDC) and his daughter Rosheen – both teach people how to scuba dive and snorkel in Karachi. A breezy hour-long drive from the city and on towards the Mubarak Village is where the duo take Karachi’s adventure seeking crowds.
From Mubarak Village, people are taken to Charna Island on a boat, where they can experience diving, snorkeling and exploring the extensive marine life the Arabian Sea has to offer. However, as Ali explains in the video, the operations of an oil refinery are about to start in the area, which might just destroy this marine haven.
The KSDC has been in existence for the last 30 years, they promote environmental protection of all kind, especially underwater protection, and take groups for reef cleaning and conservation of the extensive coral reef life down below.
Recently Ali has worked with the WWF to catalog the different kinds of species the sea has to offer – they have compared the species cariation off the coast of sandy beaches versus rocky beaches in the country as well.
View the video to see exclusive footage of the various fish species, corals, plants and other marine life and hear the stories of beginners, amateur and veteran divers of the city.
The other side of the story
There is a marked difference between questions raised by artists and those put by other important figures such as politicians and social scientists regarding society’s shortcomings. The latter seek tangible, physical change within geographical confines whereas the former look to revolutionise society on a psychosomatic level, that is, they investigate the relation between the mind and the body to resolve or understand individual and collective conflicts.
An exhibition of artist Donia Kaiser’s works titled ‘The Other Side’ opened at the Chawkandi Art Gallery on Tuesday. (Complete news)
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy honoured with Crystal Award
Academy Award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was presented the ‘Crystal Award’ by Hilde Schwab at the 2013 World Economic Forum meeting for her efforts in promoting human rights and women’s issues through film. The award was given at the official Crystal Award ceremony held at the World Economic Forum Congress Centre, Congress Hall in Davos, Switzerland.
The World Economic Forum introduced the Crystal Award in 1995 to honour personalities who are highly regarded as both cultural leaders and global citizens committed to improving the state of the world in.
Alongside Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the session awarded Charlize Theron, actress and founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and Vik Muniz, artist and member Global Agenda Council, on the Role of the Arts in Society. The ceremony was chaired by Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Past winners include A R Rahman, Amitabh Bachan, Muhammad Ali, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Richard Gere. (Complete news)
Parkour in Karachi
Vernin U’Chong started jumping around at home at an early age – around when he was six or seven. It was only when he watched a documentary on parkour and free running later in life did he realize that what he was doing was an actual sport. After a little research he took his passion to a whole different level. He is the one of the pioneers of parkour and free running in Pakistan and has inspired many youth into the sport. Vernin is also a professional athlete and has taken part in many national and provincial games. In the recent Sindh games in 2012, Vernin took the gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay races.
Meanwhile his brother, Neil U’Chong, who also practices parkour, has also been break dancing in Pakistan for many years now and has been teaching it to children from his community for around half a decade. He now teaches at the Body Beat Recreational Centre and trains various people in break dance. Neil is also a graffiti artist, who practices the mantra that it’s not vandalism if someone wants it to be done on their property. He has been appointed to do graffiti for various television commercials and also promotes the activity if it is done legally.
For those who are new to this urban sport, parkour was developed in the 1990’s by David Belle in France. The sport is a training discipline that has been developed out of military obstacle training courses. The point is to move from point A to point B, overcoming all obstacles in between. It is a non-competitive sport and all one needs is a good pair of sneakers and the city is your playground.
Free running on the other hand is described by its creator Sébastien Foucan as “the art of expressing yourself in your environment without limitations: It is the art of movement and action”. Foucan explains that free running developed from parkour when he started making the sport more personal — by adapting it to each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Both the brothers have done various parkour, free running, break dancing, and graffiti commercials and projects and intend on promoting the sport as much as they can in the city and hopefully the country. - Text by Kurt Menezes