— Karachi, Pakistan
With everything that’s been going on recently, I’d really like to shed some light on my birth town, Karachi (Pakistan), and share a few really important points as well as spread awareness on how truly amazing my country really is. Heads up, this is going to be a long one.
If you read my ‘about’ section, you know I was born in Karachi, Pakistan and moved out at the age of 1. However, I go back once a year almost every year. What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Pakistan’ or ‘Pakistani’? (Drop a comment below if you like). Thanks to media and people that face (and are spreading) Islamophobia, a majority of the world bears a negative connotation with the two terms above. They think ISIS, terrorists, bomb blasts, illiterate people, basically everything and anything that is violent and bad. What they don’t think is that it is just another country that has its strengths and weaknesses like any other place in the world. What they don’t understand is that there are normal people living there, going on with their lives, content with whatever they’re given. What they don’t understand is that the most deadly ISIS attacks are the ones that happen within Pakistan itself and the ones we hear the least about. A gun shooting or simple act of violence takes place in a first-world country such as France, and it breaks the internet – with trending hashtags and filters with the French flag. If the same bomb blast takes place in America and the whole world just collapses for a while and feels so utterly remorseful. These are things known by everyone, its a fact that people just aren’t willing to accept. A victim is a victim, no matter what race or gender. So why the lack in heartfelt condolences from all over the world just because the victims are Muslims? Facing physical and verbal violence is something that Pakistanis have become so accustomed to, it’s become a part of their reality. This rant could go on forever…
All i’d like to say is that Pakistan isn’t as bad as it sounds. Life is difficult for those living there. Safety is a major issue. But that’s just life. Fun fact: Pakistan doesn’t even fall under the ‘top 50 most dangerous cities in the world’. Countries like America and Brazil (along with many other countries on that side of the world) have some of the highest crime rates. So look at the imperfections and weaknesses of your own country before pointing out flaws of others and feeling so threatened by a place such as Pakistan just because of what you hear on the news. People in Pakistan are extremely genuine, caring and helpful. It’s a country that is still developing for sure, but I love going back every year and continue to pray for it’s well-being.
On a brighter note, here are some really relevant and meaningful quotes/sayings about Karachi followed by my collection of photos.
“Living in this city, you developed a certain relationship with violence and news of violence: you expected it, dreaded it, and then when it happened, you worked hard to look away from it, because there was nothing you could do about it – not even grieve, because you knew that it would happen again and maybe in a way that was worse than before. Grieving is possible only when you know you have come to an end, when there is nothing more to follow. This city was full of bottled-up grief.” – Bilal Tanweer,
“All around us, Karachi kept moving”
― Kamila Shamsie,
“When travelling in the back of a Bolan, Karachi moves behind you. When you look straight ahead, the city seems to be perpetually leaving you behind. And you – sweaty, panting, clutching your heart – spend the rest of your life doing nothing more than catching up.” – Unknown
“People say it has a darkness and a decadence, which it tries to hide; they say it’s full of the pretentious and opulent trying to strangle the dark reality. But that’s true for most of the other great cities too. There is a soul here, and that soul is as pure as the heat of the sun that shines down on it and the rain that falls to purify it.” – Unknown
“The best thing about being from Karachi is the fact that it will never resent you for hating it. You may scream, you may complain, you may weep – and it will listen silently, without retaliation. And then tomorrow, when the sun shines again, and things seem just a little bit brighter, it will welcome you back without asking for an explanation or accuse you of being disloyal. Broken cities do not produce broken people; they sustain strength, and promote patience.” – Unknown
From Karachi, To Karachi. With love