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)
Working to change the image of Islamabad and spreading a message of hope
It was the “dead city” image associated with Islamabad that Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi wanted to change when he started the “A Day in Islamabad” project.
When Zaidi, 22, looked up “Islamabad” on YouTube, the search results were mostly videos of politicians fighting on political talk shows. He decided to change that.
Over a period of three weeks, him and his friends took around 15,000 photos of Islamabad and edited them to create a time-lapse video that covered life in the federal capital over 24 hours. (Complete article)
Pakistan supernatural beliefs survey: 17% say they have supernatural powers
An online survey of over 500 Pakistanis revealed that 17% of respondents felt they possessed supernatural powers.
The survey conducted by The Express Tribune was completed by 522 people, a majority of whom were males (82%), located in urban Pakistan (74%), between the 18-25 (46%) and 25-40 (40%) age range. (Complete Report)
Thirty-seven years in UAE and looking forward to more (By Iqbal Mankani)
I landed in Dubai towards the end of September 1975. That was the time when apart from construction workers, talented young men from Pakistan comprising bankers, insurers, engineers, doctors and other professionals were still migrating from the country in search of greener pastures. Banks and Life Insurance along with several heavy industries had earlier been nationalized by the Bhutto regime leaving behind a large group of talented professionals whose services would be welcome in any country in search of talented manpower, particularly the oil rich kingdom of the Middle East. The Arabs were indebted to Bhutto for teaching them to use their new found oil as a weapon against the West and to face the Western world with dignity and so they were more than happy to reciprocate by offering jobs to Pakistanis in their country. (complete article)
Young, talented and expressive
There is no need to lose heart. Those who believe Pakistan brims with talent may have a point, at least in the field of fine art. It’s such a heartening experience to witness an exhibition of artworks of the graduating class of 2012 of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture that opened in different sections of the institution on Monday.
The marked feature of the students’ effort, as one would expect, is the diversity of ideas and techniques. The good thing about the ‘diversity’ element is that it seems to be dictated by the heart. There are very few signs of building on pre-determined thoughts. Some students astound the viewer with their concepts and others use techniques that are quite difficult to get a grip on. (complete article)