Archive for November, 2014

A Conversation about Writing and Translation featuring Muhammad Umar Memon

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for an evening of conversation with Urdu devotee, Muhammad Umar Memon.

Umar MemonMuhammad Umar Memon is emeritus professor of Urdu, Persian, and Islamic Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.His collection of short stories, Tareek Galee, appeared in 1989. He has translated widely from English and Arabic into Urdu and from Urdu into English, and his critical writings and translations of modern Urdu fiction have played a prominent role in introducing the English-speaking world to giants of Urdu such as Intizar Husain and Naiyer Masud.

Starting in the 1970s, Muhammad Umar Memon made a study of Intizar Husain’s fiction for nearly two decades, copiously translating him, writing academic articles on his work, and engaging in getting his now much talked about novel Basti translated into English by F. W. Pritchett. Among his translations from Urdu are Naiyer Masud’s The Essence of Camphor, Snake Catcher, and The Occult, as well as several other collections of short stories, including The Colour of Nothingness, Domains of Fear and Desire, The Tale of the Old Fisherman, Do you Suppose It’s the East Wind?, and An Epic Unwritten. His translations into Urdu include writings on Sufi metaphysics, and over a dozen novels by internationally-acclaimed foreign authors such as Orhan Pamuk and Milan Kundera.

“Every act of translation is also an act of self-discovery”.
Muhammad Umar Memon

Born in Aligarh, India, in 1939, Muhammad Umar Memon gained a master’s degree in Arabic from Sindh University in 1961. He taught at Sachal Sarmast College and Sindh University before travelling to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship in 1964. Here he gained his MA in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Harvard and PhD in Islamic Studies from UCLA. His study of the Muslim philosopher and theologian Ibn Taimiya was published in 1976. Muhammad Umar Memon is editor of The Annual of Urdu Studies, the only English journal in the world devoted solely to Urdu humanities.

Muhammad Umar Memon will be in conversation with Zahra Sabri.

Zahra Sabri is a doctoral student in South Asian Studies. She has taught History and Urdu literature at the University of Karachi’s Pakistan Studies Centre and the Aga Khan University, and has worked as a journalist and literary translator.

Date: Wednesday, 3rd December, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
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Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

T2F presents Creative Karachi Festival

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

T2F is excited to present the Creative Karachi Festival; a celebration of the talent and spirit of Karachi’s creative community. The weekend programme features music performances, qavvaali, dramatic readings, art, photography, design, crafts, dance, stargazing, and a host of interactive activities.

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Dates: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November 2014
Time: 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm
Venue: Alliance Française de Karachi
Entry: Rs. 300 per day (Tickets available at Alliance Française)

Creative Karachi Festival

The Herald Forum Presents a Panel Discussion on Religious Violence

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Sunday, 23rd November 2014 | 6:00 pm

The last few weeks saw a despairing display of cruelty driven by religion and fanned by fanaticism. The brutal murder of a Christian couple, Shama and Shezad, along with their unborn child; the killing of an alleged blasphemer by a policeman using an axe, and the attempted rape and murder of a 7 year old Hazara girl, Sahar Batool, and many similar events show how the brutalization of society has plumbed new depths. These events also point to the role of the state in institutionalizing and perpetuating religious and sectarian divides that are both causes and effects of religious extremism and the violence it spawns. The state, as many analysts have pointed out, promotes religion and in extreme cases, uses religion-inspired militias as foreign policy tools with disastrous consequences for marginalized religious groups.

While it is crucial to protest against these events as violent infringements of the basic right to life, it is also important to ask why the frequency of incidents involving religion-based violence has increased in the recent past and what factors perpetuate this phenomenon.

Herald Forum Panel Discussion

The Herald has invited experts of civil society, law, human rights, politics, and journalism to discuss these questions on November 23, 2014 at The Second Floor (T2F) at 6:00 pm. To participate, log on to or join us at T2F to interact with our panel.


Ali Usman Qasmi is a professor of history at LUMS and author of Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan.

Asad Jamal is a human rights advocate and a legal researcher who has written extensively on religion-driven violence. He is also a lawyers practicing at the Lahore High Court.

Ayesha Khan is a senior researcher at Collective for Social Science Research and has worked on issues regarding conflict and civil society.

Babar Ayaz is a former journalist who writes regular columns in various newspapers. He is the author of What’s Wrong with Pakistan?

Syed Jaffar Ahmed is the director of Pakistan Study Centre at the Karachi University.


Javed Jabbar is a writer and analyst. He is an expert on media affairs and has served as a member of the Senate as well as Federal Information Minister.

Date: Sunday, 23rd November, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

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

Story Hack by Roobaroo

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Sunday, 23rd November 2014 | 12:30 pm

Campus Diaries India, in collaboration with T2F, presents Story Hack.

Story Hack is produced by Roobaroo: Beyond Borders, a project designed to create socio-cultural exchanges between youth communities in India and her neighbouring countries. Participants in Bangalore, New York and Karachi, connected via a virtual window, will write letters to each other on, answering questions that will aid cross-cultural exchange and collaboration.

If you are interested in creative writing, storytelling and making new friends, sign up for Story Hack. E-mail to register. 25 spots are available. You will need to bring your own laptop and show up on time as Story Hack will take place simultaneously in Bangalore, Karachi, and New York.

Story Hack

Date: Sunday, 23rd November, 2014
Time: 12:30 pm
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

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

A Case Study of Prison Reform at Karachi Central Jail

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Friday, 21st November 2014 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F to learn about the Criminon rehabilitation programme, dedicated to addressing the causes of criminality and restoring a criminal’s self-respect through effective drug detoxification and education.

Saleem Aziz, the founder of The Society for the Advancement of Health, Education and Environment (SAHEE), moved to Karachi from Islamabad a few years ago. The deteriorating security conditions in the city got him thinking about jail reform. “Prisons in Pakistan lack a proper corrections system which can help a prisoner get back into mainstream society; instead they are influenced by hardened criminals. This, and harsh prison conditions, makes many prisoners commit themselves fully to a life of crime.”

Saleem met with Prison Department officials who were receptive to the idea of initiating a rehabilitation programme and the journey began with 50 literate prisoners who agreed to sign on as the first batch of students.


Saleem Aziz will speak about the 4-step Criminon programme that has now been running at Karachi Central Jail since 2007. He will share insights and experiences about rehabilitation for prisoners and SAHEE’s plans to work with women and juvenile offenders.

Date: Friday, 21st November, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

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