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Past Programmes

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Photography – THE HISTORIC TORKHAM VALLEY

Sunday, 19 March 2023

PLAN AHEAD!

Day Trip-Travel by coaster.

Join us for this very special ,truly enthralling trip to the Torkham Valley!

Torkham is a major border crossing between the Pakistani city of Torkham and Afghanistan, located along the Grand Trunk Road on the international border between the two countries that traverses through the famous Khyber Pass. It connects the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan with Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is the busiest border land port which is being developed as a state-of-the-art Border Crossing terminal under the Asian Development Bank-funded Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program to make Pakistan a regional transit hub.

The location has been used throughout history by Afghan and Turkic caravans, including marching armies of mighty empires and later on by the British, and contains relics like the historic Michni Fort established in 1920 by the British. Situated right before the Pak-Afghan border at a higher point, Michni Fort offers breathtaking views of the Pak-Afghan Border and Taimur Lane's jail where he executed prisoners.

The Khyber Rifles Mess at Landi-Kotal is another historic landmark of British Rule enroute to Torkham Valley. Established in 1878 by Sir Col Robert Warburton, the beautiful Mess housed officers who commanded Khyber Jezailchis (Afridi Tribesmen recruited by the British Army to serve as one of the eight 'Frontier Corps). The Mess has a museum that contains antique guns and rare historic photographic sections of foreign dignitaries like Shah Iran, Queen Elizabeth, and Lady Dianna, visiting the fabled Khyber Rifles Mess. The Mess also contains a century-old Banyan tree arrested in 1913 by a drunken British Officer, James Squid, and remains in shackles since then !!

 

Monday, 27 February 2023

Literature - THE STORIES WE HAVE TO TELL

Monday, 27 February 2023

In conversation

Arshad Waheed's latest novel "Other Days", is an eventful story exploring how identities change, and what happens when people choose a non-conformist way of life.

It is a story of the past, which still reflects present-day Pakistani society... a tale of alienation and heartache, an underlying theme in this novel is also the writer's urge to tell the one story that always haunts him- a lifelong project which takes him back to the place and the people where it all started.

At the centre of the story are Daud and Sara, two Pakistani immigrants living in the UK. Due to an incident decades ago, linked to the prevailing sociopolitical atmosphere in their home country, they both carry with them the stamp of the outsider...

Arshad Waheed published his first novel in Urdu "Gumaan", in 1995. He has also done groundbreaking translation work, opening the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "Love in the Time of Cholera” , Milan Kundera's "Immortality” and “The Art of the Novel” to Urdu-reading audiences. With a medical degree and an MSc in social policy and planning in developing countries from LSE in London. he currently serves as Technical Advisor of Social Policy &Planning at the Institute of Social Policy in Islamabad.

 

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Adventure Club, Archeology, Hiking - TILLA JOGIAN: A DAY TRIP/HIKE

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Day trip

Alberuni in his travelogue “Kitab ul Hind” has mentioned the legendry ‘Tilla Jogian’ (Peak of Jogis) near Jhelum as the center of Jogis (Ascetics). This centuries old monastery of Jogis was in existence when Alexander the great fought the famous battle with Raja Porus near this ‘Tilla’ in 326 BC. It has also been known as ‘Tilla Gorakh Nath’ and ‘Tilla Bal Nath’ at different times. The remnants of the monastery and shrine still exist like a big pond with balconies, masonry tombs, places for meditation, and banyan trees among others.

Tilla Jogian is the highest peak in the Salt Range 3200 feet above sea level. It offers a panoramic view of the Potohar plateau and splendid scenic beauty throughout the trip. We will travel on the G T road and then about 35km off-G T road to reach (via Domaili & Gattat villages) at the village ‘Bheet’ located at the base of Tilla Jogian mountain. One-way travel time is about one and a half hour or slightly more. The hill is quite steep and after a maximum one & half hour’s moderate to strenuous hike, we shall reach at the top of hill.

Wear sturdy shoes; bring refreshments.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Film Club - TEN (IRAN-2002)

Thursday, 23 February 2023

 

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Screenplay: Abbas Kiarostami

Cast: Mania Akbari, Amina Maher, Kamran Adl, Roya Akbari, Roya, Arabshahi, Amene Moradi, Mandana Sharbaf, Katayoun Taleizadeh

Abbas Kiarostami, often called Iran's greatest filmmaker, is fond of stripping personalities bare through conversations they have while riding in cars!The entire film almost seems like a documentary and is filmed with a dashboard camera whose focus rarely leaves the taxi's front seat. This is a rare chance for viewers to eavesdrop on everyday talk in Tehran that, although fictionalized, must approximate what really happens in Iran's busy capital.

In this film he pushes his favourite dramatic device to its limit as he fills a whole movie with close-ups of a smart, independent-minded Tehran woman and a series of passengers in her front seat including her sister, a religious old woman, a prostitute, and her pre-teen son.

The mercurial taxi driver turns her position into a platform from which she can rage. She is angry at her ex-husband, whom she divorced. She's volatile with her young son, who is equally on edge with her. She's philosophical and inquisitive with riders, all of whom (except for her son) are women. These are private moments on the streets of Tehran where every subject is discussed, including sex and desire...

 

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Performing Arts - THE STORY OF 'QAWWALI'

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Presentation,Demonstration & Performance

A rare opportunity for you to understand & appreciate the finer nuances of the 'Qawwali' tradition of the Sub-continent!

Qawwali evolved in South Asia from the 13th century as a musical form, created through the mingling of Indian and Turco-Iranian traditions. It was the response to the multi-lingual and polytheistic milieu of the Subcontinent that the Sufis encountered, and this was their unique gift offering unity in diversity.

One name is an integral part of Qawwali, that of Amir Khusrau (1253-1325). A mystic, poet, musician, dancer, warrior and courtier, he best embodied the musical and philosophical dialogue between Hinduism and Islam. Born to a Turkic family of the Sachin tribe in Delhi, Amir Khusrau created it in the form as it exists today. It is impossible to have a traditional session without singing at least one of his texts.

The Qawwali ensemble comprises a lead singer with answering soloists, and chorus with two harmoniums. Explosive, vigorous and forceful hand clapping together with a powerful drum pair (tabla) tends to produce a trance-like state in the audience.

A masterful rendition is able to move the most heterogeneous audience, even if they do not understand a single word!

THE PRESENTER

Based in the USA, Ally Adnan is a well known writer, cultural commentator and public speaker on topics of culture, history and the arts. He has conducted seminars internationally and locally at prestigious Universities and Literary festivals. An accredited member of the International Federation of Film Critics (fipresci) and the Dallas Fort Worth, Film Critics Association, he is considered a 'Subject Matter Expert' in the field and has conducted extensive research particularly on Qawwali and Ghazal .

  • Facebook.com/allyadnanjanjua

THE QAWWALS

Ghayoor Moiz Mustafa Qawwal & party are direct descendants of Miyan Samat Bin Ibrahim.-the first representatives and practitioners of ‘Khusravi Qawwali’.Representing the twenty-seventh generation, and recognized for their authenticity, purity and fidelity of the musical tradition- masters of music, poetry and rhythm -they are considered to be the foremost young ‘Qawwals’ in the world today. The ‘Qawwali’ that they perform is the same as one practiced more than 800 years ago. Nothing has been allowed to change…

  • Facebook.com/ghayoormoizmustafaqawwal
Saturday, 18 February 2023

Cuisine - THE PALESTINIAN TABLE

Saturday, 18 February 2023

'Palestinian' cuisine is a diffusion of the cultures of civilizations that settled in the region of Palestine, particularly during and after the Islamic era, beginning with the Arab Ummayad conquest, then the eventual Persian influenced Abbasids and ending with the strong influences of the Ottoman Turks.

Cooking styles vary, and types of cooking style and ingredients used are generally based on the climate and location of the particular region and on traditions. Falafel, hummus, the mussakhan, qedreh, maftoul, sumaghiyyeh are very popular and considered as 'Palestinian' dishes. 'Musakhan' is the national dish of Palestine and is a unique and flavorful Arabic dish made of sumac, olive oil, spiced chicken, red onions, and served on top of a huge flatbread. The dessert Kunafa originated from Nablus city is most popular. The olives and it’s oil are one of the best of this region...

This is a rare opportunity to taste some of these dishes on the very kind invitation of Madame Amal Rabaie spouse of Ambassador of Palestinian in Pakistan H.E. Ahmad Rabaie!

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Comparative Cultures - THE INDUS SAGA

Sunday, 12 February 2023

‘Sindhu’ to ‘Indus’ – the mother, the nurturer- a magnetic calling for millions over millennia. Not just a river, she has been home to societies and cultures for over 7000 plus years.The first step is recognizing heritage at a deeper, more profound, celebratory, soulful architectonic conversation …

Over refreshments of artisanal vegan snacks created by Chef Hamza Azim, spend a Sunday afternoon understanding the mystique of the River Indus. The Indus River Valley Institute (IRVI)invites you to a presentation/get-together on the enigmatic River Indus, with architect/cultural anthropologist Zain Mustafa through his body of work!

The Indus River Valley Institute (IRVI), Pakistan’s first Culture & Heritage think Tank for research & Development, set up in 2022 in an idyllic rural earth based setting- on the outskirts of Islamabad- aims to bring the language of an erudite cultural identity to a singular space, with dialogues, data, research, collaborations, curated courses and residency programs, reclaiming the lost 12 nation family members of the bioregional Indus lineage. A blood line history that has been often forgotten or marginalized…

 

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Cycling - INSIDE F-9 PARK !

Saturday, 11 February 2023

sA family ride

Fatima Jinnah Park also known as Capital Park or F-9 Park, is a public recreational park that spans the whole of Sector F-9 of Islamabad. It is named after Mādar-e Millat Fatima Jinnah, the younger sister of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah. At 304 hectares (750 acres), it is just smaller than New York's Central Park. . It was designed by Michael Japero, and was inaugurated in 1992. The park’s original master plan was prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and was revised in 2005 by Pakistani architect Nayyar Ali Dada.

Fatima Jinnah Park's vast acreage is mostly covered by greenery, with a few man-made structures dotting the landscape. Most of the park area is effectively a wildlife sanctuary, except for a few areas of the park that are close to residential districts. A well laid network of footpaths lies inside the park, with neat grass and a few statues.

Recently a new pump track and cycling routes have been added within the F-9 Park, this month we will explore these!

It is an easy ride for everyone to join and it’s on the road and on slight off roads so all kinds of bicycle can join.

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Wildlife &Environment/Photography - A HAVEN FOR 'TWITCHERS' & 'DUDES'

Saturday, 11 February 2023

'Don't put them in a cage, let them fly free...'

Birdwatching at dawn at Rawal lake.

As the winter season with all its festivities is nearly over, we bring you a very different programme-as our feathered guests will not stay here long and will be flying back home soon, don't miss this opportunity exclusively with our group!

According to reports, the Indus Flyway is one of the seven routes- around the globe- that birds use to escape severe weather conditions, and feed and breed in some cases. The migratory birds escape the harsh cold in Russia and China and travel more than 4,500 kilometers to enter Pakistan from the North- and following the mighty Indus River all the way down to the South- stopping at more than 300 water bodies and wetlands dotting the land!

Cranes, ducks-mallards, common pochards, common teal, northern pintail, northern shoveler, cormorant, snipes, stints, plovers, gulls and score of other birds fly to Pakistan every winter. Unfortunately, the number of migratory birds visiting Rawal Lake in the winter season has dwindled, apparently due to habitat destruction and increasing human activities in and outside the Rawal Lake.

And for those of you who are wondering- "Twitchers & Dudes" are terms popularised by Lynn Horton- a free lance writer and bird watcher:'Twitchers are bird watchers who travel long distances to see a rare bird & Dudes are enthusiasts who enjoy the surroundings and are happy even when unable to add new, rare and exotic birds to their journals...'

For photography buffs/ and enthusiasts: Do bring your own binoculars and cameras to capture some memorable moments!

Also a good idea to bring along refreshments!

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Gardening / Botanical Walks - IT'S THE SEASON FOR ORANGES!

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Join us to learn more about the 'Orange' season in Pakistan!

'We only sell, what we grow'...Khalis farms is conveniently located in the suburbs of Islamabad. It is a small family run enterprise that organises fruit pickings on a regular basis and promotes healthy community activities!

Oranges & other organic vegetables will also be available for sale!

We will collect at Bilal Nursery ( Corner of Chak Shahzad/ Kuri Road)at 10:30am sharp and drive to the farm from there.

WhatsApp location pins will be shared with all participants

 

 

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For pictures of past programmes, click over to our "memories" page.

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