Archive for May, 2009

T2F Turns 2 :)

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Hi everyone!

On this day, 2 years ago, T2F opened its doors to the public. It’s our second birthday today and I thought I’d use this occasion to say hello and share some updates.

A quick repeat for those who have joined us recently … 2 floors of space have been donated to PeaceNiche following the eviction of T2F from its premises on Khayaban-e-Ittehad. We marked our last day there with a final cup of coffee and a salute to new beginnings.

PeaceNiche and T2F 2.0 will be housed in a building in the commercial area of Phase 2 Extension in DHA, Karachi. Thanks to the generosity of our donor, we will have more space than before, enabling us to embark on new projects which we’re very excited about.

It’s hard to say exactly when we will re-open, as our new home is in a building that is under construction. We’re working feverishly and several hot, sticky hours each day are spent at the site trying to get things done. We’re aiming for end June/early July 2009 and will do whatever is humanly possible to meet that target. Even if everything is not exactly how we’d like it, we will start beta testing T2F 2.0 as soon as the building is electrified.


We’d like to thank all the wonderful people who have donated time and money to help us shift and fund our music fundraisers. Fareed Ayaz & Abu Mohammad Qavvaal Party and Tina Sani made the music events possible by donating their time and we are immensely grateful to them for all that they do for us.

We still need to raise money to purchase a generator as KESC becomes more unreliable by the day. If anyone reading this owns a generator company or has friends who own generator companies, please get in touch. Alternatively, if 200 people donate Rs. 5,000 each, we will meet our target 🙂

Here’s how you can help:

On this special day, we’d like to share some audio and video highlights from previous T2F events:

Mohammed Hanif Reads From A Case of Exploding Mangoes
David Barsamian Reports Live from The Second Floor
Rasa Chughtai Recites at T2F
Tina Sani – T2F Fundraiser [A Geo News Report]
Fareed Ayaz Qavvaal Party Featuring Yasir Q on Darbuka – T2F Fundraiser

On 8th May 2009, Women’s Action Forum organized an evening of resistance at Karachi Press Club. Arundhati Roy delivered the closing keynote and I managed to capture it with a little Flip video camera. While this event had nothing to do with T2F, I am sure our community will be very interested in what Arundhati had to say, so check out the two-part video on the PeaceNiche YouTube Channel:

Arundhati Roy Video – Part 1
Arundhati Roy Video – Part 2

And just in case you’re missing T2F 1.0, browse through our photo album:

We will keep you posted about progress and look forward to seeing everyone in person, really soon. Can’t wait 🙂


Frequently Asked Questions

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

If you’re a non-profit organization, why don’t you give everyone free coffee?

Non-profit organizations are set up to support a cause or an issue. Our mantra is to make meaning; to become a vibrant centre of civil society, through culture, the arts, and public discourse. The coffeehouse component of our organization is a vehicle that helps us generate some revenue. To achieve our lofty aspirations, we have to be sustainable. The money we make is spent on paying our bills, staff salaries, and running the generator. If we ever make a profit, the money goes back into running the organization and not into the pockets of our board members. Non-profits do not issue stock or pay dividends, unlike for-profit corporations, which are set up primarily to make money for shareholders. If you decide to provide us with funding, you benefit when we achieve our vision of ‘intellectual poverty alleviation’.

Why do you close on Mondays?
We’re terribly inspired by barbers. Everyone needs a day off and we thought we’d all take a break on the same day. We are considering opening 7 days a week though. Stay tuned.

What is the legal status of T2F?

T2F is the first project of PeaceNiche, which is a not-for-profit NGO, registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, Pakistan in 2007. The Registration Number of PeaceNiche is KAR 0115.

What’s with the Macs and iPods?
We’re Apple evangelists and can’t get enough of Steve’s shiny toys. All our Board Members use Macs and if you need buying advice or training, call us. We recently launched a Desi Apple User Group to provide a platform for Apple fans to hang out and learn new stuff.

Why don’t you send out event invitations by post?
We’re tech-savvy tree huggers. E-mail and web-based announcements are cost-effective and no money is wasted on printing and postage. No trees are cut down either. Sign up today!

Do you have Wi-Fi?
Yes. And it’s free. (Thank you, Maxcom.)

Who owns T2F?
T2F is a project of PeaceNiche, a non-profit NGO set up in 2007. The Founder of PeaceNiche is Sabeen Mahmud, a social entrepreneur, activist, graphic designer, and technology consultant. PeaceNiche is governed by a Board of Founder Members and an Advisory Council. Seed funding for the organization was provided by Sabeen Mahmud and a few wonderful well-wishers. Donations are welcome!

Can I borrow a book from the browsing shelf? Just for one day?

Can I donate books to T2F?
Yes. We’ll take pretty much anything but Time and Newsweek end up in the loo and we totally draw the line at Readers’ Digest.

Why don’t you advertise so more people find out about T2F?
We spread our message through our opt-in mailing list, (WE DO NOT SPAM!), Facebook, the T2F website, Twitter, word-of-mouth, referrals, and UNSOLICITED media/blog coverage. Karachi is a large city and we can’t reach everyone, so please help us spread the word. Tell a friend about T2F.

I’m a graphic designer/artist/photographer/whatever. Can I exhibit at T2F?
If your work is compelling, yes. Printing and framing costs are yours and we charge a 30% commission on any work that gets sold. Social themes, political commentary, and thought-provoking content preferred.