Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

A stage to tell stories

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The Citizens Archive of Pakistan is a new and upcoming non-profit organisation that seeks to preserve our culture and heritage. It seeks to educate Pakistanis to foster in them an awareness their of history and heritage. The best thing about this is that they do not have haranguing sessions where an old fogey gets on stage with platitudes and platitudes and tells young people what they 'should' or 'should not' do to make Pakistan the world power.

I was invited to the session on 22 June at Faiz Ghar and I discovered a stage to tell stories. Nayyar Ali Dada the architect who needs no introduction, Nusrat Jamil, the tireless social activist, Imrana Tiwana, famous for her brave stand for Lahore under the umbrella of Lahore Bachao Tehreek and of course the inimitable Aijaz Anwar (remember Nanna of Pakistan Times?) gave light, meaning and laughter to the stage. The discussion was on how the city has changed over the past decades. And why?

What was so very heartening was the attendance by young, educated people who were clearly concerned with the way Lahore was going down the road of history. They had questions and they wished to play a part in making things better for their city. The pride in being Lahoris was tangible. It was like an elixir for me, the cynic who has little hope. Just when I being to think there is only darkness all around, such events occur and I meet young women and men as I met yesterday who give me hope.

I think Ahmad Rafay Alam has done the right thing setting up the CAP. I also think that sessions such as yesterday's should be held more frequently with others on stage to show and tell.

PS: Aijaz Anwar read a passage from a book in Punjabi written by his father that could have misted up the eye of any true Lahore.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 13:43,


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days