Archive for December, 2008

The Myriad Dimensions of Pakistan

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

An Exhibition Featuring Pakistani Photographers
Opening: Saturday, 3rd Jan 2009 | 5:00 pm

The Pakistani Photographers’ Organization (PPO), a non-profit entity comprised of Pakistani photographers from across the country and overseas, was set up to develop tourism and to promote Pakistani culture through photography.


PPO’s members have a diverse array of photographic interests; travel photography, people, cultures, street photography, landscapes, nature, and archeology.

Join us this Saturday for the opening of PPO’s first exhibition.

Date: Saturday 3rd January, 2009
Time: 5:00 pm
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

The exhibition will continue until the 9th of January, 2009. T2F’s opening hours are noon to midnight and the gallery is closed on Mondays.

Globalization and Democracy in an Unequal World

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Prospects and Challenges for Muslim-West Relations
Friday, 19th Dec 2008 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for a talk on why democracy holds the key to the future of the so-called “West” and the “Muslim World”. Dr. Adil Najam will explore what democracy should mean in concept, as well as what it has come to mean in practice. The talk will focus on democracy in the US and in Pakistan, as a test case not just for West-Muslim relations, but for the future of democracy itself.

adilnajam.jpgAbout the Speaker

Dr. Adil Najam holds the Frederick S. Pardee Chair in Global Public Policy at Boston University. He also serves as the Director of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and a Professor of International Relations and of Geography and Environment. He served as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); work for which the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore. Prof. Najam has also taught at MIT, University of Massachusetts and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts Univeristy. He has written over 100 scholarly papers and book chapters, he serves on the editorial boards of many scholarly journals, and his recent books include: Pakistanis in America: Portrait of a Giving Community (2006); Trade and Environment Negotiations: A Resource Book (2006); Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment (2006); Environment, Development and Human Security: Perspectives from South Asia (2003); and Civic Entrepreneurship (2002). He is a past winner of MIT’s Goodwin Medal for Effective Teaching, the Fletcher School Paddock Teaching Award, and the Stein Rokan Award of the International Political Science Association, the ARNOVA Emerging Scholar Award, and the Pakistan Television Medal for Outstanding Achievement. He is a frequent commentator on global policy issues in the international media and is the founder of the blog

Date: Friday 19th December, 2008
Time: 7:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

Forced to Marry

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Join us at T2F for a powerful film about forced marriages
Tuesday, 16th Dec 2008 | 7:00 pm

forcedtomarry.jpgEvery year, thousands of young women are taken abroad and forced into marriages by their families. This World gains unique access to the work of the British Consulate’s unit in Pakistan that rescues girls who call them for help. It is a task fraught with diplomatic pitfalls and personal risk, lending this film a real tension as the team bounce over the roads of rural Pakistan on their way to another “rescue”. By calling for help the girls are in danger of losing everything – including all contacts with their families. “Imagine waking up tomorrow and not having a mother”, says one. “A father. A family. Your home. Your community.”

Join us at T2F for a screening of Forced to Marry and a conversation with Producer/Director Ruhi Hamid.

About Ruhi Hamid

Ruhi Hamid has pushed boundaries for Muslim women and specialises as a solo director/camerawoman. After her award-winning series “Lahore Law”, Ruhi has made films for the BBC, Channel 4, Arte and Al Jazeera International including “Women and Islam” and “The Rockstar and the Mullahs”. After working as a graphic designer in Holland, Zimbabwe and in London at the BBC for many years, Ruhi turned her skills to programme making. She worked on the innovative strand of films Video Diaries/Video Nation, dedicated to working alone with DV cameras giving access to ordinary members of the public to have their voices and stories heard on mainstream television. By listening and allowing contributors to open up and trust her, Ruhi has gained access to peoples and cultures and has captured critical moments on camera. This has been the case whether Ruhi worked with a young autistic boy in England, the Kalapalo Indians in the Brazillian Amazon, the shamans in the Siberian forests or the criminal courts in Pakistan.

Ruhi’s film about the Hmong tribe (ex CIA veterans) in Laos was nominated for the Rory Peck Awards in 2004, and “At The Epicentre”, a documentary about the aftermath of the Asian tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, won her the same award in 2005. Her two recent high profile films are “Inside A Shariah Court” filmed in Nigeria and “The King’s New Laws” about law reform in Morocco.

Date: Tuesday 16th December, 2008
Time: 7:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Rs. 50
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

Bayaad-e-Jaun Eliya

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Join us at T2F as we celebrate the rebel spirit of Jaun Eliya
Sunday, 14th Dec 2008 | 6:00 pm

Rarely have Urdu poets enjoyed a cult following like that of Jaun Eliya. The simplicity of his diction conveyed life’s little ironies in intriguing ways and his unique expressions stand out within the traditional form of ghazal. Scanning the last 50 years, one would be hard pressed to identify a figure in Urdu literature as well-versed in theology, philosophy, history, and literature as Jaun Eliya.

Despite the critical acclaim Jaun Eliya received during his lifetime, he is still considered by many as one of the most under-rated poets in Urdu literature. This Sunday, Peerzada Salman, Irfan Sattar and Imam Shamil will Resurrect Jaun Eliya by bringing to light unveiled facets of his persona and works.


  • In His Own Voice: Selected Audio/Visual Recitals of Jaun Eliya’s Poetry
  • Peerzada Salman on Jaun Eliya (English)
  • Anecdotes by Imam Shamil (audience contributions are more than welcome)
  • Irfan Sattar reads from Jaun Eliya’s Poetry

Date: Sunday 14th December, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Every little bit counts and we need your support now more than ever so please be generous.
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

ClickPower: T2F!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Karachi: 5th December 2008

clickpower.gifThere are few people, online or otherwise, who would have not heard about Sabeen Mahmud and The Second Floor. And the reason I can say that so confidently is because Sabeen not only preached New Media and online promotional marketing, but practiced it. Probably the person to have had the longest, most prolific career in New Media, well before the concept even existed, she came across the Apple computer and it hasn’t stopped making her heart go bump. Here’s an amazing story of how Sabeen powers T2F, the brick and mortar café, through the power of the click.

Rabia Garib Reports for CIO and InfoWorld

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Karachi: 4th December 2008

Ever since man could look up at the sky and wonder at the stars and his own existence, the debate over how things came into being has continued to rage.


This thorny issue of creation was taken up at The Second Floor (T2F) on Thursday evening, by Salman Hameed, Assistant Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, who delivered a lecture on the vastly different approaches science and religion have taken to tackle humanity’s unending questions …

Jahanzaib Haque Reports for The News | Salman Hameed’s Blog Post

Gig featuring “Bell”

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Join us for a music performance featuring a talented, emerging band
Saturday, 6th Dec 2008 | 8:30 pm

The 4 members of Bell met a year ago at a jam session. They connected instantly and decided to form a band, committed to making the “Bell” ring! The band is currently working on a 2-CD conceptual album with themes of eternity and terror.

bellboys.jpgThis Saturday, Bell will perform progressive/classic rock covers by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Coldplay, Tracy Chapman, The Doors, Bob Dylan, and Ben Harper.

Zeeshan Lalani on Guitar
Abid Haider on Guitar
Ahmed Nayani on Bass
Shahab Hussain on Vocals

Date: Saturday 6th December, 2008
Time: 8:30 pm
Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

Experimental Films Presented by Brad Butler

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Extracts from the Diary + Work in Progress
Saturday, 6th Dec 2008 | 5:30 pm

Extracts from the Diary – Ian Breakwell

vasl_artangel.gifBreakwell was a prolific artist who worked with different media, including drawing, film, video, photography, installation, slide projection, sound, and words. His Diaries, made in collaboration with Anna Ridley, commissioned by Channel Four and broadcast in 1984, were observations of the ‘side events of daily life’. The Diaries were published as a book in 1986, and serialised
on Radio 3 in 1990. ‘The fact that painting had a thousand year old pedigree and video had none didn’t mean a thing. It was just another means of making things. It didn’t necessarily even have to be visual. A telephone could be used for making art, and radio certainly could. It was just another available tool.’

Work Currently in Progress – Brad Butler [30 mins]

Brad is currently in Karachi finishing his film and this screening is a unique invitation to the audience to suggest how you think the film should develop over the next few weeks. This discussion will be recorded and may be incorporated into the final film itself.

Brad Butler graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Documentary Filmmaking and also has a degree in Anthropology. In September 2000, he was the winner of the BBC2 Documentary Talent 2000 competition. Since 1998, he has been creating a body of work in collaboration with Karen Mirza and this ongoing dialogue about practice has manifested itself in artistic work presented in exhibitions, events and the cinema, and has resulted in the unique space Brad’s most recent work is a return to issues raised in Anthropology having spent 10 years as an active participant in the ideas of experimental film. Brad’s new solo work, In Search of Structure is the first of a new body of work that brings together his experience in both fields.

This event is brought to you in collaboration with VASL and Artangel

Date: Saturday 6th December, 2008
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

Science Ka Adda: Science, Religion, and the Search For Our Origins

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Salman Hameed probes the limits of religion and science …
Thursday, 4th Dec 2008 | 7:00 pm

salmanhameed.jpgSome of the fundamental questions of humanity relate to our origins and our place in the cosmos. Religion has traditionally addressed some of these questions. However, in the past two centuries, science has provided a compelling narrative for the origin of the universe and for the origin of species on our planet. But are there questions about our universe that cannot be answered by science? Conversely, are there questions that should not be addressed by religion?

Salman Hameed is an astronomer and Assistant Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, Massachusetts. Currently, he is working on understanding the rise of creationism in the contemporary Islamic world and how Muslims view the relationship between science and religion. He is also working with historian Tracy Leavelle at Creighton University to analyze reconciliation efforts between astronomers and Native Hawaiians over telescopes on top of sacred Mauna Kea in Hawaii. His astronomy research focuses on star formation in spiral galaxies. He has taught “History and Philosophy of Science & Religion” with philosopher Laura Sizer, “Science in the Islamic World”, along with astronomy courses such as “Introduction to Astrophysics” and “Search for Life in the Universe”.

Date: Thursday 4th December, 2008
Time: 7:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Rs. 100
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

Science and Religion Unite at The Second Floor

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Karachi: 29th November 2008

neurotheology.jpgIs the human spiritual experience a result of the interaction of chemicals and electric impulses in the brain? Can such experiences be artificially simulated? Controversial questions such as these were raised at The Second Floor Cafe following a viewing of the BBC documentary, ‘God on the Brain’.

Jahanzaib Haque Reports for The News