Archive for February, 2009

Our Moving Experience!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Dear PeaceNiche and T2F Community,

It’s been a little over a month since we wrote to you about T2F having to vacate its premises. A lot has happened since and we wanted to share some updates.

New Premises

groovybird.gifThe landlord’s notice has proved to be the blessing in disguise that journalist/film-maker/activist Beena Sarwar hoped for. An absolutely amazing individual, who would like to remain anonymous, has donated a space to PeaceNiche! The good news gets even better … we have a ground floor AND a first floor to call our own 🙂

T2F version 2.0 will be located in a building off Sunset Boulevard. It is very close to the current location and is easily accessible. The building is currently under construction and we hope to be able to move in by May/June 2009. We will also have a child-friendly space. Parents, rejoice 🙂

Current Premises

While we had originally said we would vacate by early February, we will be at the current venue until the first week of April 2009. Please do visit as often as you can, and tell your friends who still haven’t been there, to come and check out Asim Butt’s mural – that’s the one thing we can’t take with us. We will continue to hold regular events at the Khayaban-e-Ittehad location for the next few weeks, and as always, we’re open from noon to midnight, every day except Mondays. Do swing by …

T2F at the Shanaakht Festival

The Citizens’ Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is holding the Shanaakht Festival 2009 at the Karachi Arts Council from 8th – 12th April 2009 and we are delighted to announce a CAP/T2F collaboration. T2F will be located in the parking lot of the Arts Council for 5 days and we will host a range of exciting events in the evenings. Stay tuned for details closer to the time.

T2F at Nando’s

Nando’s has graciously offered us the first floor of their Clifton outlet for once-a-week events during the period that we are ‘homeless’. We will share schedules with you after the Shanaakht Festival.

Fundraising Events

We will be holding a series of events to raise funds for our shift and to seed our endowment fund. A set of 5 music events will be held at T2F throughout March, featuring a number of exciting, underground bands and an Open Mic Night. Watch for announcements. In fact, now is the time to sign-up for SMS alerts!

Two outdoor music fundraisers will feature Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammad Qavvaal Party, the scions of the legendary Munshi Raziuddin, and Tina Sani. These events will be held on 21st March and 17th April 2009 at Indus Valley School. Please save the dates and tell all your friends.

New PeaceNiche Projects

Thanks to our anonymous donor, we now have the space to initiate new PeaceNiche projects. In addition to our regular event programming, we will be undertaking the following projects:

– Art and New Media Gallery
– Arts Education and Outreach
– Eastern Classical Music Classes and Listening Room
– Urdu Poetry Archival Project
– Counseling for Parents of Young Children
– PeaceNiche Publications

We need financial support to launch and sustain these projects and look forward to collaborating with like-minded organizations, patrons of the arts, and visionary individuals.

The Second Floor on the Ground Floor?

We’re officially switching to T2F 🙂 Check out our modified logo!

In Gratitude …

We have been overwhelmed by the ownership people have taken for T2F. Articles in the press, blog posts, financial contributions, offers to help paint walls and shift furniture, technology services, fundraising, volunteering, moral support…

We know we are not alone, and together, we can deliver on the promise of a vibrant civil society in Pakistan.

We look forward to seeing all of you at T2F version 1.0 until the end of March, then at the Arts Council, at Nando’s, and finally, at T2F version 2.0 by mid 2009.

In complete solidarity!
Sabeen and the PeaceNiche Board

Cricket In Crisis

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Is Pakistan cricket doomed or will it be able to weather the storm?
Thursday, 19th Feb 2009 | 7:00 pm

osmanandsaad.jpgCricket has been Pakistan’s pride and passion. The country has produced players of the caliber of Hanif and Fazal, Imran and Miandad, Wasim and Inzi. It has notched some impressive wins, including a memorable World Cup in 1992 as well as famous Test and ODI victories around the cricketing globe. Yet all that now seems overshadowed by disappointments and controversies – doping scandals, embarrassing defeats, security fears and administrative mismanagement.

Join us for a conversation with cricket analysts Osman Samiuddin and Saad Shafqat to discuss the ongoing crisis and help find a way out of the mess. The discussion will be moderated by Ahmer Naqvi, DawnNews.

About Osman Samiuddin

Osman Samiuddin grew up in Saudi Arabia and completed university education in the UK. He began writing and reporting on cricket in 2002. As Pakistan editor of, cricket’s leading international website, he is recognized as the leading Pakistani voice in world cricket media. Osman’s writings have appeared in Wisden, The Wisden Cricketer, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. His book on Pakistan cricket will be published later this year by HarperCollins.

About Saad Shafqat

A neurologist by profession, Saad Shafqat also devotes his energies to cricket writing. His articles have appeared in DAWN, Cricinfo, The Calcutta Times, and The Wisden Cricketer. Saad also co-authored Javed Miandad’s autobiography Cutting Edge, published by Oxford in 2003. His cricket column Reverse Swing appears fortnightly in DAWN Magazine.

Date: Thursday 19th February, 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.

Celebrating Charles Darwin

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Join us at T2F’s Science Ka Adda as we explore Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
Thursday, 12th Feb 2009 | 7:00 pm

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.

Narrated by Liam Neeson | Duration: 120 minutes

darwin.jpgFor 21 years, Charles Darwin kept his theory of evolution secret from all but a few friends. He confided to one: “It is like confessing to a murder.” His torment resonates in society today – in the challenge his incredibly powerful idea poses to our understanding of our world and ourselves. We interweave the drama in key moments of Darwin’s life with documentary sequences of current research, linking past to present and introducing major concepts of evolutionary theory. We also explore why Darwin’s “dangerous idea” matters perhaps even more today than it did in his own time, and how it conveys the power of science to explain the past and predict the future of life on earth.

Date: Thursday 12th February, 2009
Time: 7:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Rs. 50 (includes popcorn)
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

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

Basharat Peer Reads from Curfewed Night

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Meet Kashmiri Journalist and Author, Basharat Peer
Sunday, 8th Feb 2009 | 8:00 pm

curfewednight.jpgBasharat Peer was a teenager when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir in 1989. Over the following years, countless young men, seduced by the romance of the militant, fuelled by feelings of injustice, crossed over the Line of Control to train in Pakistani army camps. Peer was sent off to boarding school in Aligarh to keep out of trouble. He finished college and became a journalist in Delhi. But Kashmir – angrier, more violent, more hopeless – was never far away.

In 2003, the young journalist left his job and returned to his homeland to search out the stories and the people which had haunted him. In Curfewed Night he draws a harrowing portrait of Kashmir and its people. Here are stories of a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches her son forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when his entire family is killed. Of politicians living in refurbished torture chambers and former militants dreaming of discotheques; of idyllic villages rigged with landmines, temples which have become army bunkers, and ancient sufi shrines decapitated in bomb blasts. And here is finally the old story of the return home – and the discovery that there may not be any redemption in it.

Lyrical, spare, gutwrenching and intimate, Curfewed Night is a powerful and intensely moving debut.

‘Beautifully written, brutally honest and deeply hurtful.’ Khushwant Singh.

Curfewed Night will be available at T2F’s Bookshop and Basharat Peer will sign copies after the reading.

Date: Sunday 8th February, 2009
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

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

Mizraab – Live at T2F

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Mizraab is Back!
Saturday, 7th Feb 2009 | 9:00 pm

mizraab.jpgMizraab is Pakistan’s first and only progressive rock band, headed by the legendary Faraz Anwar and supported by Shahzad Naseem on Rhythm Guitar, Rahail Siddiqui on Bass, and Irfan Charlie on Drums.

Date: Saturday 7th February, 2009
Time: 9:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Rs. 300
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F)
Address | Map

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

In Her Own Voice: Kamila Shamsie Reads from Burnt Shadows

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Join us for an evening of readings and conversation with Kamila Shamsie
Friday, 6th Feb 2009 | 7:00 pm

In a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. How did it come to this, he wonders …

kamila_burntshadows.jpgAugust 9th, 1945, Nagasaki. Hiroko Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss. In a split second, the world turns white. In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realisation. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost. In search of new beginnings, she travels to Delhi two years later. There she walks into the lives of Konrad’s half-sister, Elizabeth, her husband James Burton, and their employee Sajjad Ashraf, from whom she starts to learn Urdu.

As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts. But the shadows of history – personal, political – are cast over the entwined worlds of the Burtons, Ashrafs and the Tanakas as they are transported from Pakistan to New York, and in the novel’s astonishing climax, to Afghanistan in the immediate wake of 9/11. The ties that have bound them together over decades and generations are tested to the extreme, with unforeseeable consequences.

Sweeping in its scope and mesmerising in its evocation of time and place, Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed.

Burnt Shadows will be available at T2F’s Bookshop. Don’t forget to get your copy signed by Kamila.

About Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie (b. 1973) is a Pakistani novelist, who writes in the English language. Kamila has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College, and an MFA from the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she was influenced by the Kashmiri poet, Agha Shahid Ali.

Kamila Shamsie is the author of four previous novels, including Kartography and Broken Verses. She has written for various publications including The Guardian, TLS, The Telegraph (UK), DAWN and Newsline (Pakistan), The Daily Star (Bangladesh) and the New York Times, and is on the editorial board of the Index on Censorship. She grew up in Karachi, went to university in the US, and now lives in London.

Date: Friday 6th February, 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.

Zehra Nigah Reads Ashraf Suboohi

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Join us for an evening of readings and conversation with Zehra Nigah
Thursday, 5th Feb 2009 | 7:00 pm

zehranigah2.jpgA few months ago, we were honored to host Zehra Nigah at T2F. Zehra Apa read from her own works and shared delightful anecdotes with the audience. If you missed our last event featuring Zehra Nigah, you now have another chance to meet one of Pakistan’s most prominent and loved poets.

Zehra Nigah will read from the prose of the late Ashraf Suboohi, who will be introduced by Dr. Aslam Farrukhi. Ashraf Suboohi was renowned for his colourful and vivacious sketches of interesting characters from the streets of Delhi. If we’re very lucky, Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi will join us in the audience.

About Zehra Nigah

Zehra Nigah appeared on the literary horizon as a child prodigy in the 1950s and has consistently been hailed as the one voice worth listening to on the mushaeraa circuit. Zehra Nigah views life around her through the eyes of a woman but her concerns are not those of a woman alone. She speaks in a woman’s tongue, using feminine imagery and idiom to make powerful social and political commentary. She has alluded to the bitter war that culminated in the creation of Bangladesh as well as the heart-rending situation in Afghanistan. She has written of the repressive Hudood Ordinances introduced during General Zia’s oppressive regime and also about love, friendship and small everyday joys and sorrows.

Zehra Nigah has published two volumes of poetry, Shaam ka Pehla Taara and Waraq. She says she has never felt the urge to be prolific, to write when there is nothing to say. Yet every word that emerges from her pen, every syllable that she speaks, carries the spark of a luminous intelligence. (Some excerpts from the Hindu Literary Review)

Date: Thursday 5th February, 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.