Archive for January, 2009

Science Ka Adda: The Big Bang Machine

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Join us at T2F as we explore the intricacies of the Large Hadron Collider
Thursday, 29th Jan 2009 | 7:00 pm

masonandyrofsci.jpgThe Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is the world’s largest, most expensive science experiment, running through a 26-kilometer underground tunnel below pastures near Geneva, Switzerland. The experiment will collide two beams of protons – miniscule sub-atomic particles that are key building blocks of every atom – with the hope of creating never-before-seen particles that will give us a better understanding the fundamentals of matter, and how the universe worked in the first split second after the Big Bang.

Some say the experiment could destroy the planet, by creating tiny black holes that would swallow the planet from the inside out. But Mason Inman will explain why you shouldn’t worry – and along the way, explain how it was built over the last 10 years, how smashing together particles allows physicists to understand the forces of nature and the universe’s history, and what they hope to discover in these experiments.

No prior understanding of physics needed.

Mason Inman is a science journalist from the U.S., now based in Karachi. After getting his Bachelor’s in physics, he went to journalism school, then later worked in the press office at CERN while the LHC was under construction. He writes regularly on physics, climate change, and more, for National Geographic News, New Scientist, Science, Nature, and other publications.

Date: Thursday 29th January, 2009
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.

No Man’s Land / Everybody’s Land – Glaring in Defiance

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Join us at T2F for 3 days of film screenings exploring partitions, on the
occasion of Lines of Control, an exhibition project by Green Cardamom

30th January 2009 – 1st February 2009

Download the Screening Schedule

“Last night I dreamt of this river. Come monsoon and it swells with defiance. Playful, unruly and rebellious it refuses to circumscribe the land on its either side. It runs amok upsetting all and assuming nothing except its own freedom. Seeing it make a mockery of its given role of a boundary, even I want to re-draw my maps every season.” Sequence from “Temporary Loss of Consciousness”, D: Monica Bhasin; India – Bangladesh Border, Padma River

No Man’s Land / Everybody’s Land – Glaring in Defiance is a series of screenings that leads us to different corners of histories, creating a space to consider the lines we live by. No Man’s Land borrows from Saadat Hasan Manto’s stories – the choice to refuse a given logic, a given order of the sensical and the non-sensical. This series of interwoven films creates an unwieldy narrative over the three days, it does not follow a nostalgic path nor seek a representation of historical events, instead, No Man’s Land offers a cinematic exploration of partitions, borders and walls.

Images: Seaview, D: Paul Rowley, Ireland 2008

The screenings offer a dialogue between films from different geographical and time contexts – South Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This dialogue is not just to accentuate known historical and political relations between those places but perhaps to find unforeseen ones.

No Man’s Land is an experiment and an invitation to go on a cinematic journey. A travel that might foster an exilic state of mind where individual and collective stories, sounds and images, make us stop and glare at the fabric of lines we encounter; at lines that enforce departures, fragmentations, occupations and lines that seek to find old and new relations.

Download Concept Note by Nicole Wolf | Download the Screening Schedule

Friday 30th January 2009
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Welcome and introduction to the film programme and its relation to the exhibition Lines of Control, by Nicole Wolf

D: Monica Bhasin, 35 min, India 2005

D: Philip Scheffner, 87 min, Germany 2007

Talks and discussion with Hammad Nasar, Kamila Shamsie, Adnan Madani and Nicole Wolf

HAD-ANHAD: Journeys with Ram & Kabir
D: Shabnam Virmani, 105 min, India 2008

Saturday 31st January 2009
12:00 noon – 8:30 pm

D: Eyal Weizman, 35 min, UK 2008

D: Enas Muthafar, 4 min, Jerusalem 2006

D: Oreet Ashery, 14 min, UK 2005

D: Gerd Conradt, 10 min, Germany 1989

D: Frauke Sandig & Eric Black, 85 min, Germany 1999

D: Paul Rowley, 82 min, Ireland 2007

D: Simone Bitton, 95 min, France/Israel 2004

Sunday 1st February 2009
12:00 noon – 9:00 pm

D: Supriyo Sen, 120 min, India 2003

D: Samina Mishra, 30 min, India 2005

D: Shyamal Karmakar, 52 min, India 2008

D: Cornelia Klauss, 44 min, Germany 1996

D: Ramona Koeppel-Welsh, 9 min, GDR 1988

D: Otolith Group, 30 min, Palestine/UK 2008

Discussion with Amar Kanwar via Webcam

D: Amar Kanwar, 115 min, India 2007

Final Round of Discussion with Hammad Nasar, Amar Kanwar (if
available online) and Nicole Wolf

Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

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

The Community Responds

Monday, January 19th, 2009

We are so glad that the landlord’s warning turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Can’t wait to check out the new venue on our next visit! T2F is an awesome initiative, and was a source of much life and respite while we were there. Thanks so much for creating it, and working so hard on it. We hope that all the financial and other challenges that you currently face melt away, and to help a little, Jahanzeb and I have sent a check for $500 through the PayPal link on your website.

Nosheen and Jahanzeb

I visited T2F a couple of times in the past and without a doubt, it is playing a pivotal role as a vibrant centre of Pakistan’s developing civil society. Hats off to the whole team for this commendable effort.

Heard about the shifting issue … we all are with you no matter what!!!!!

If you need voluteers, I would be the first to list my name for PeaceNiche. Although I can’t give time on weekdays due to professional commitments, on weekends I could contribute some time for this noble cause.

S. Farhan. H. Zaidi

I stumbled upon T2F through some random google search one night a few months back, and have been itching to come and check it out. Then, one fateful day a week or two back, i get the email, with the disastrous news! T2F is being evicted?! My feelings were … well bluntly put … PISSED!!!! So here I am, eager to see T2F get to where it needs to be. I’d love to help financially, as that would probably help the most, but I’d love to volunteer and try and help any other way possible. Always interested in helping for a good cause.

Billal Murtaza

Just can’t imagine life without T2F. Though I don’t go there regularly, the feeling of having T2F there is enough.

Muhammad Omer Arshad

I’d like to help in whatever way possible … are there any meetings going on that I can attend to figure out what I can offer my help for? I am a devout habitue to T2F and would love to be of assistance somehow.

Hani Naveed

A few months ago my husband and I heard about T2F and promised ourselves that we would definitely visit! It’s rare to come across a place in Karachi which has so much to offer and to meet people who contribute towards society selflessly and intellectually! This weekend we will definitely visit! I can’t believe we waited this long! I’m sorry to hear about the news of having to vacate your current location but i’ve read the comments so far and I’m amazed at the response! Even though we haven’t contributed in any way so far we would love to help in any way possible! I’m convinced that the matter will get resolved in due time and our support is always there!

Rania Ghanghro

I am behind T2F all the way 🙂

Faisal Kapadia

I have never been there, but one of my cousin’s in Karachi swears by it. It will be a loss if it disappears.


I spoke at T2F and found it to be one of the better stops on my book tour of Pakistan last year. The audience was engaged and lively and since many of them were young bloggers I found myself invigorated by the exchange. I am ready to help in any way I can, including financial support.

Shuja Nawaz

T2F is an incomparable asset for Karachi. It will not only survive this little setback, but thrive. There’s no better time for Karachites, here and abroad, to come together and support a priceless institution.

Shahjahan Chaudhary

When one door closes, another opens. I see great opportunity in this change, though at the face of it any adversity that forces us to change seems just that – an adversity. In the eventuality of time, though, an adversity overcome becomes our great asset.

What I mean to say is that – congratulations! This is the year of greater beginnings for many and how often am I seeing friends being cornered into unlikely situations, only to realize how well gifted they are and hence they emerge triumphant.

You know there had to come a situation when T2F became as public as it is and the responsibility was shared with all the people whom T2F has served so proactively. This situation has helped shake up the supporters and given the people the opportunity to work together – however each may – to preserve and grow a cultural institution that citizens have set up for citizens.

The only way, then, is forward.

On this note, Sabeen, I remember your dreams of having a center-of-the-city T2F2 – maybe this is the chance? Far more people can join in the daily activities if the new venue is more accessible to the northern and central parts of the city. I wish with quite certainty that the best will happen.

Ramla Akhtar

On the face of it, this sounds upsetting. However, you never know this forced change may bring some good and turn out to be a blessing of sorts. It is moments like these that test our resilience and capacity to fight and achieve our objectives despite all odds. So lets all join hands and show everyone that come what may T2F is here to stay and grow, if not at the current location then at a new address that all of us would help find. We are with you.

Junaid Zuberi

It broke my heart when I read it in the paper but I have all the faith that what T2F bought to us was so valuable that everyone would come up to save it. I cannot offer space or money but I have all the time in the world whenever I’ll be needed.

Paras Allana

You’re doing a great job in waking up our beloved city – Karachi – to its traditions and culture, which you know is something very close to my heart. Don’t have words to appreciate your contribution. So proud of you.

Zafar Masud

You have done a great job with T2F and this is the time for the community to do its bit. I would like to pledge a modest amount of Rs 5,000.
Good luck!

Niilofur Farrukh

I came to know about you only two weeks ago and could not manage to visit the place. However have a desperate wish to make is as soon as possible. So this news is really depressing. ALL the best, would like to make efforts if I could be of any help to you.

Noureen Merchant

I heard through a friend that you folks are planning to move the location of T2F and if not able to, also intend to close it. I just wanted to say that DON’T.

I want to help, tell me how?

Rakesh Kumar

I am always there in what ever capacities I can help because T2F brings energy into the lives of Karachiites and it was created here to live forever.

Rahim Jindani

You are doing great work. We would like to contribute by Paypal.

S. Haider

I read about T2F’s predicament. I am very sad to hear that you guys have to move. I am a student, so that means I don’t have any money. But what I can do is help you guys move. I mean when you guys find a place and want to move, I can help with the logistics (lifting things and stuff). I can also help in any other endeavor that requires manpower. Do tell me.

Burhan Abro

I read Bina’s article in Sunday’s paper. Wherever you move Sabeen, I can do my best by setting up the WiFi for your new place.


This is awful. Please let me know how I can help!

Mariam Bilgrami

This is absolutely sad!

Anila Weldon

T2F has been my place of serenity and peace … you guys have my whole support I will do what ever I can …

Fahd A. Paracha

It is sad to hear this but am sure with all the support you have got, soon there will be a new permanent place for T2F. Please keep us informed of the new venue.

Nishat Ishaq

I am shocked but, I know one thing. Your enthusiasm combined with the spirit of T2F will live on and we will make it work. T2F to me represents a safe haven which assists in developing the minds and refreshes the soul of anyone who visits.

Talha Iqbal

I only came to know about T2F after reading about it on ATP but feel it is something precious that should go on. If you can give out some details as to how much money needs to be raised etc and put up some targets on the site, it would be helpful. Although I am a first time visitor, you have my moral support and hope I can help some with funds etc.


Really saddened to hear about everything going on with the landlord. Hate to see T2F relocate, after months of establishing the place. I hope that soon you will find a place that will host T2F on a permanent basis. I came earlier today to t2f thought maybe I’d see you and personally tell you that the check (around RS 1000.00) that was there for me from my album EARTHIOTIC…sales, please keep it as a donation from TEE-M. Also my remaining cds that are there, you could use the money as a future donation whenever they sell. I’d be happy to be a part of any fundraiser you plan to do in the near future or I could arrange one if you’d like me to….I’ve just extended my stay in Karachi till Feb 21st.

Thanks for holding TEE-M shows.

Tariq Mirza / TEE-M

It had not need be said but we are all proud to be associated with this mini-revolution kick started by you and supported by so many… our support; financial, spiritual and physical (if need be for manual labor) is always available… just give a yell .. and we’ll be there

Chak day phattay!

Add me to your list. I am there for you guys.

Imran Aslam

I really hope that T2F finds a permanent space soon. I am really glad that I was able to spend some time at the place and soak in its vibrant, warm, and inviting ambience. Looking forward to falling just as much in love with its new venue that I hope will be found soon. Knowing your indomitable spirits I have complete faith that this will prove to be a stepping stone rather than a hurdle.

Sabahat Zakariya

I’m sad the venue will change. The memories and moments and smiles attached to that place will be etched in my heart forever. Wishing you courage and sending you all my love.

Rabayl Manzoor

Just heard about this news today, and it came as a big shock. Though I didn’t visit the place more often that I always wanted to do. Timings and work related commitments have been the major hurdle but I along with others who have ever been to t2f got only nice things to say.

You guys are doing an awesome job and we Karachiites can’t afford to lose t2f. I hope that the new location is in the middle of the city so that more and more people can come and be the part of the t2f experience and not only the DHA residents.

Ammar Yasir

Just read the news about having to vacate – that’s awful. please let those of us who are overseas know how we can help. paypal donations?

Sahar Shafqat

I’ve always been a huge fan of T2F and its really sad hearing u guys r going thru this … will definitely spread the word … hope to help more.

Saima Qureshi

I wanted to donate to PeaceNiche and T2F. How can I send it from Lahore?

Mariam Durrani

Would you like us to take this issue up on the radio? We would love to. Also how can we be of help otherwise?

Sara Taher Khan

If we put all the creative minds together that we all bring to T2F I think we could brainstorm a better place. I wish everyone the best of luck in obtaining a “permanent” and more spacious place for T2F even if means having a misnomer if the floor level changes. Or we could keep the name and explain to the future generations of members how the initial name came about.

Khawar Nehal

You’ve started a courageous movement and I am sure this will lead to something even better.

Durriya Kazi

T2F was like a breath of fresh air to this mad city! Although I came only once to listen to Asad Rafi’s talk it has definitely left a huge impact on the people of Karachi. Keep your chin up! You did a great job! May you find a better space than the one right now. Why don’t you sell the concept to big-wigs like DawnNews and make it into a weekly television programme where every week we have a live show on a particular subject on your set? Media makes a huge impact and it’s time T2F went bigger as I feel you have to reach out to the masses! Good Luck!!

Quratulain Ahmed

Even though i couldn’t make it to many many events that i excitedly read about in T2F mails, the knowledge that they were happening with such regularity was very reassuring. Am writing to be counted as an enthusiastic supporter.

Masuma Javaid Lotia

I’m sorry for what’s happening with T2F. I love the place, the book shelf, the walls… everything! I just hope and pray that something positive occurs in the situation.

Hyra Hanif

Count me in for a $200 donation towards whatever is being decided.

Aassia Haq

I’ll give it all for the donation campaign!
t2f rocks… its here to stay 🙂

A Student

If I can help in any way – if you would like for a fundraising performance before Feb. (altho we can only raise a relatively small amount in that) just let me know. I don’t mind playing in any kind of programme you decide, as right now T2F is the priority. I’m sure this is for the best as T2F would have needed to expand in a few years. Maybe this will give us incentive to collect together and work for it.

Leena Ahmed

I am writing to you as a follow up to your communication with Mir Ibrahim Rahman. We have heard very nice things about t2f – and have written about it in our publications as well. We would be happy to meet and discuss how we can be of assistance. I would be happy if you, or anyone from t2f, could email or call me to that we may meet and discuss how we can be of help.

Shahrukh Hasan

Do tell what we can do… It is indeed a great place and Karachi is richer and more beautiful because of it.

Nargis Khurram

It indeed is pretty shocking news, however obstacles are like air pockets and come only when you fly high. I really appreciate your efforts.

Junaid Khalid

Sabeen, it’s really shocking news. Anyway, I will certainly join you in whatever we can do together as you are spreading love and peace.

Sajid Mahmood

I feel your enthusiasm and commitment, your cause is so great that it can not be abandoned simply. I will reach out to my friends, few sponsors I know who have helped me in making events possible at IBA.
All good causes are faced by problems, don’t let this make you feel down. If there is no T2F, imagine how unproductive our society will be especially in these challenging times.

I am there for T2F. We all need this!

Zunaira Sohag

Simply a travesty of justice. I’ll mention this on my radio show and encourage all listeners/callers/texters to donate and/or help however they can!


These temporary setbacks provide opportunities. You have hundreds of supporters for this wonderful avenue of rational discourse/debate/discussion in a secular environment. As a business person, you are well aware of the crashing real estate markets, especially on the hugely inflated Defence Phase 8 area. Bide your time, you will get a better and bigger space, which will probably be owned and not rented.

Suggest you also start a Facebook donor drive. Furthermore, the next few events should be ticketed at a minimum of Rs.250/head or more depending on the draw.

Ali Abbas Inayatullah

I read it with sorrow and anger. But – all my “forced changes” till now turned out to be for the best. In the long term I always found the right people – or they found me. With the support of your “community” something better will come for sure.

All the best and support from far away Berlin.

I admire your resolve towards a worthy cause. Please dont hesitate to let me know if I can do anything for you.

Imtiaz Piracha

I will wait for your follow-up on specific requirements, and as suggested start spreading the word. The challenges will only allow T2F/PeaceNiche to focus on sustainability and allow you to come out of this predicament stronger.

Farzal Dojki

Sabeen, with your determination T2F will inshallah continue. As a small gesture, i would like to match Batool’s donation. I will drop it off when at T2F next … will continue to think about ideas re premises.

Riaz Kamlani

Just read your email and while reading my heart just sank and lifted back up 🙂 Not the best of announcements BUT I just want to let you know I am with you guys. I would love to contribute as a volunteer and meanwhile spread the word around in search of a place that is rent free and permanent.

Nida Zarar Meyer

Things HAVE to work out & they WILL for sure.
AND we are going to make it happen NOW!

Yahya Hussain

im sorry to hear about your current predicement and would like to support your cause in my due capacity. i was wondering that if i or people i knw can spread the word and ask people to help you in form of donations which i belive would be your prime need? i just can’t see the place shutting down with determined people like you at the helm of things. i sincerely hope that i may be of any substantial help and do let me know without any hesitation. i wish you all the luck in the world!

Taha Hasnain

I wish I could do more… let me know if there is anything else I can make my self useful for.    

T2F has brought so many likeminded people together, it promoted our culture, raised issues, invoked constructive thoughts and promoted so many young people (including me) and all that in such a short span of time, which is a remarkable achievement but more importantly t2f has proved itself as a dependable asset of immense value for us and the coming generations of this region.

Who ever fails to see this is a complete fool, no doubt we have a lot of them in the world. But they can’t win not this time and not ever and that too for their own good.

Jamal Ashiqain

I’m there.  Just tell me what you need (specifically) and keep your chin up.  There HAS to be some good out of this… And yes, you are most definitely not alone.  It’s time like these that all the giving that you did, will come back to you full circle. Keep in touch with what you need – plus I also pledge a donation.

Fareen Effendi

Please let me know if there is anything Jang Group and GEO can do to help.

Mir Ibrahim Rehman

the love you, zak and co. have shown me and my work has been a source of encouragement and affirmation. given my insatiable appetite for it, i would be more than happy to do another one for you as soon as you find yourself a permanent venue. i’m overcommitted at the moment and will be till my april showing in islamabad, but as soon as i wrap that up, i’ll be rearing to let loose on your walls. we can discuss details in the fullness of time but for now i just want to say that t2f has provided the city with a much needed nerve centre of artistic activity and debate and i am heartened by your resolve to proliferate your agenda beyond the venue at ittehad.

all my love,
asim butt

Oh Sabeen, this made an awful read… I do not have a place of my own to offer but let me know what can be done to sustain T2F. I know a woman who has worked with donor agencies here… I will take it up with her.

Sophia Hasnain

In today’s business environment I’m shocked that your landlord would force you out and can imagine how difficult it must be for you guys to have to relocate in such a hurry. I hope you find a new place soon and in the meanwhile I will look around for whatever rent free or low rent places I know of.

Madiha Sultan

on the way back from yesterday’s event i was thinking of how to raise funds for t2f to continue and one of the ideas that stood out was to have a jumble sale of books and cds or paintings etc that one can spare and sell. if we can collect a min of 40 lakhs to get a small office space say in an old building in (somewhere like phase 2) where there is decent amount of night life and no security issues. each item can be sold at min Rs. 1000/- and with only 4000 sales u will have your funds.
i know it sounds too basic but it could work.
Ruqayya Rizwan

So very sorry to read all this. Though I don’t come, I read every one of your emails what you are offering and many I would love to attend. Can’t persuade my other half to come and since I don’t drive I lose out. But I know with your commitment and enthusiasm you will succeed and though this is a set back, these things usually are for the best in the long run.

Toxy Cowasjee

I know that this may have come as a surprise, but I think you and we have seen how much love and support T2F has created in the community for what it offers and the generosity with which it does this. We are here, you are not alone, and we will help in any way we can.

Shazia Mohamed

You know me but by face only. I have been a regular fan of T2F and have been coming there regularly since you began. First just to mention how very much I enjoyed last evening with Muneeza and the authors. It was a privilege to be with so many well known authors. I am an avid reader and have read most of their books. Thank you so much for arranging the evening on such short notice.

Regarding the upsetting news about moving, I wish I were in a position to help but financially I cannot but with my heart I will do all I can by asking people and praying for a home for PeaceNiche. God Bless you for making this peaceful home for all of us to enjoy and expand. You have so much support from all of us and all our prayers, God will listen I am sure.

Mona Sheikh

That is very upsetting news. You had put in so much effort, love, care and hard work in setting up this place and filling it with such wonderful programs. Hope you find a more permanent place. Will keep a look out.

Naeem Sadiq

You have achieved a great deal. You have made the impossible possible. We are with you in thinking a larger space, perhaps wih some partners, funders, which is just as vibrant. altho i haven’t been there why not the India Habitat centre and the like. Thinking back I recall one group which wanted to copy your experiment, and i thought, well let them try …

In any case you have our support.

Mauj Collective

Read your posting. I will commit $150/-  Do send me the info via email and will see if can help in any other way. Though I have never visited T2F I have only heard good things about it from those who I know in Karachi. You are doing a wonderful job and the work must go on.

Asif Alam

Sabeen, I am so sorry that you will have to move. Please let me know if I can help out in any way, T2F is such a valuable space to the community!!

Shazia Mohamed

Hey, This indeed is a very sad news. T2F has always been something i have really been proud of. Hope things work out and you guys find even a better place. The whole idea shouldnt die, no matter what.

Saad Hayat

It was really distressing to hear that you may have to move. I do hope this resolves itself soon. T2F has made such a difference to us all.

Muneeza Shamsie

Stop the Bloodshed

Monday, January 19th, 2009

An Exhibition of Gaza Protest Posters
Opening Date: Wednesday, 21st Jan 2009 | 6:00 pm

When T2F started, we wrote a blog post about “Design Anarchy” – a plea to graphic designers to use their talent for social commentary. Read the post here:

We hoped it was only a matter of time before someone would step up and and demand a platform …

A few days ago, Shajee, a design student, wrote:

gazaposter.jpg“The situation in Gaza bothered me and I started thinking about what I could do. I started putting up pictures on Facebook, hoping to provoke people into reacting. I soon realized it wasn’t enough and that something more public needed to be done. I remembered our campaign against the university fee hike and decided to use the medium of graphic design to condemn the offensive in Gaza. I talked to a couple of colleagues, and soon, over a dozen people came on board, including teachers and alumni. We were wondering if we could put up an exhibition of protest posters at T2F. We’d like to open on 21st January because it will be the first Bush-Free day in 8 years!”

Obviously the answer was a resounding YES.

Please join us at T2F for an exhibition of posters by graphic designers expressing their outrage against the violence in Gaza.

Opening Date: Wednesday 21st January, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

Hitting the Ground Running …

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Dear PeaceNiche and T2F Community,

612 days ago T2F opened its doors to you. Our vision was lofty, and frankly, a bit mad. Who would walk up to the second floor of an office building on Khayaban-e-Ittehad to listen to a poet rambling on about revolution, or a scientist arguing in favour of evolution, or some kids playing drums? Well, as it turns out, thousands of people …

In these 612 days minus Mondays, our tiny space has hosted over 150 events featuring thought leaders, artists, poets, musicians, scientists, magicians, writers, philosophers, dancers, actors, lawyers, and activists. Hundreds of you have written in to tell us how much T2F means to you and to the city of Karachi. Every e-mail, snail mail, text message, and Facebook Wall post that you have sent has given us the strength to carry on. Many of you have supported us through your donations and even helped us replace our stolen Mac. We can’t thank you enough.

By now you are probably thinking that we’re closing down and that this is a goodbye note. No such luck 😀 But there is some critical news that we need to share with you.

We called our landlord the day-before-yesterday, to ask him when he was going to get the lift fixed. He was non-committal and then said he wanted us to vacate the premises. The initial shock was soon replaced by calm determination and optimism.

At yesterday’s literary event, we broke the news. Practically everyone came forward to express solidarity and support. Some of you graciously volunteered your offices, houses, gardens, and basements for us to conduct our events till we find our own space. And one of you, a volunteer/student/journalist, kick-started the donation drive with a contribution of Rs. 5,000. Thank you Batool.

So, here’s the plan:

We plan to vacate the current premises by early February 2009. We have already been offered several temporary spaces to conduct our events until such time that we find a permanent venue. We would like to move to a new space – a home we can call our own – as soon as possible. It’s going to be tough and we can’t do it alone. We simply don’t have the funds. As you know, PeaceNiche is a non-profit organization and we have meagre funding. We are reaching out to you to help us in any way that you can. We will be writing to you again with specific requirements, but in the meanwhile, please spread the word about our need for a permanent, rent-free space so that we can get up and running without losing momentum.

Over the next few days, please come to T2F as often as possible – we’ll recreate the magic wherever we go but this is where it all started. Thank you Karachi for believing in us.

17th January 2009

Why We Write in English

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Readings and Conversation with Pakistani Women Writers
Friday, 16th Jan 2009 | 7:00 pm

andtheworldchanged.jpgDespite individual success, English language writing by Pakistani women, as a body of work, is not widely known. The intention of the anthology, And the World Changed, is to break that silence and explore the fiction and creative prose of Pakistani women who, by choosing English as their creative medium, write from the extreme edges of both English and Pakistani literature. Their work challenges the stereotypes imposed on them, as women and as writers, by the patriarchal culture of countries both in the diaspora and in Pakistan.

Edited by Muneeza Shamsie, this stunning collection of stories by some of the most creative women writing in Pakistan today is remarkable for the range and accomplishment of their writing. Fable, fiction, prose-poetry, memoir as social history, autobiography as political commentary; familiar genres are coaxed into new forms, conventional content is upended to excavate experience and memory. A rich and uncommon literary feast to savour and delight in.

Join us this Friday for an evening of readings and conversation with a group of Pakistani women who have contributed to And the World Changed.

– Ameena Saiyid
– Bina Shah
– Kamila Shamsie
– Muneeza Shamsie
– Sehba Sarwar
– Nayyara Rahman

We are grateful to Ameena Saiyid and Oxford University Press for supporting this event.

Date: Friday 16th January, 2009
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

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

An Exhibition of Political Cartoons

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Join us at T2F for an exhibition of Zahoor’s political cartoons
Opening: Saturday, 10th Jan 2009 | 6:00 pm

Muhammad Zahoor, one of Pakistan’s leading cartoonists, thrives on contentious social and political issues. With a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Peshawar University, Zahoor kicked off his career at The Frontier Post. In the company of editors like Aziz Siddiqui and Mahir Ali, and cartoonists like Feica and Vai Ell, Zahoor developed his political ideas and started expressing his views through caricatures and sketches.


Pakistan’s checkered history of military rule, a beleaguered economy, rising fundamentalism, and debilitating poverty have provided Zahoor with a limitless stream of subject matter. Now at The Daily Times, he continues to be a voice of resistance, speaking out against injustice and corruption through his cartoons.

Amongst other accolades, Zahoor has won the APNS Award for Best Cartoon four times. He recently participated in the first-ever Himal South Asia Regional Cartoon Congress, held in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2008 and his cartoon was chosen for the Top 20 Editor’s Pick list.

Please join us this Saturday for the opening of an exhibition of Zahoor’s cartoons. Zahoor will be in Karachi for one day only so don’t miss the opportunity to meet with him.

Date: Saturday 10th January, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

T2F’s opening hours are noon to midnight and the gallery is closed on Mondays.