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- Raza Rumi on the current political crisisRaza Rumi on the current political crisis by razarumi1JahaneRumi
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- Raza Rumi on the current political crisisRaza Rumi on the current political crisis by razarumi1
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- Raza Rumi on the current political crisis
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- Lahore at its best[This image by Rahat Dar of The News]
- Trees of LahoreSalman Rashid Until the 1970s some one hindered and sixty species of birds were listed in Lahore. While the city had such green spaces as Lawrence Gardens, Aitchison College, the cantonment and Model Town, farm and forest on the outskirts began where Defence Society or Allama Iqbal Town and the innumerable societies now sprawl in […]
- The Lahore that I grew up in was a great placeI grew up in Lahore. All my life I lived here except for the seven years in the army and ten in Karachi. I returned again in December 1988 and have lived here since. I knew a Lahore that was a very beautiful city. It was a city of people who ere cultured, courteous and with […]
- Odysseus LahoriFellow of Royal Geographical Society, Salman Rashid is author of several books including jhelum: City of the Vitasta and The Apricot Road to Yarkand, Riders on the Wind, Between two Burrs on the Map, Prisoner on a Bus and Sea Monsters and the Sun God. He is the only Pakistani to have seen the North […]
- Lahore Metro – Pros, Cons & PerceptionsA state of the art metro bus system – brand new and unique in Pakistan – should make every Lahori proud of their city today. A lot has been written and said about this system. And as is the case with almost everything in Pakistan, the points of views are poles apart. Many people regard […]
- Lahore at its best
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By: Halima Khan
While there is no dearth of opportunities to kick off your boots and enjoy good food and have good fun, Lahore also offers the best shopping experience. So if you decide to keep your boots on and want to gear up for an unforgettable spree that’s exactly what this city has in store for you. International brands and local chains to retail outlets; Liberty, Anarkali, Shahlmee, there’s everything of every sort! Hafeez Center is the biggest computer market, and the prices you’ll find here can’t get better.
By: Halima Khan
While I rant to prove how passionately Lahori believe in preserving their taste buds it will be unfair of me to neglect the cultural activity and the entertainment this city is bursting with. But then of course no denying that it all does end up on food! The wedding season which seems to be in season all year round but reaches the climax around November and December and lasts till February? Wedding can be considered the most elaborate occasion on the family event calendar with ‘dholkis’ ‘mayo’ ‘mehndi’ etc spanning over months before the eventual day. Fun and frivolities mark the celebration all through. The preparations involve shopping and the dowry for the bride, which is a traditional gift of clothes, furniture etc to the newly weds. The exquisiteness of the lavish food is the real delight of this whole affair.
By: Halima Khan
World’s largest existing historical mosque is also hosted by this city of old tales. Blend of white marble and red stone and beautifully engraved Quranic verses Badshahi Mosque stands tall as a symbol of Mughal religious zeal. The neighboring Lahore Fort was founded way back in the B.C era. However it got its present face by the infamous architects aka Mughals. The Sheesh Mahal (The Palace of Mirrors), Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), Diwan-e-Aam (Court for the Commons), Hathi Per (Elephant Steps are masterpieces in themselves and best preserved too. The Fort also has a museum covering the Mughal and Sikh periods.
By: Halima Khan
Sights and sounds. Distinctive! Setting one piece of land apart from one another; thus the world has it all a Lahore, a London, an Amsterdam too. What all these cities share is the keen-ness to preserve culture most predictably. But then this is where this masterpiece of a city, Lahore really stands out. Here we emphasize on preserving our taste buds; the real essence of survival. Or so they are considered here. So if live to eat is your business don’t miss out on why ‘Lahore Lahore hai!’ (Lahore is Lahore.)
Photos by Amarjit Chandan
By Nauman Tasleem
LAHORE: The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) is neglecting hundreds of small parks in different parts of the city.
The authority has been focusing on 600 parks, including a few main public places, while ignoring the remaining 400 situated in different localities of the city. The PHA was established in 1998 with the objective of making the city “clean and beautiful”. The authority works on the parks and grounds of housing schemes approved by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA). The PHA is neglecting a little under half of around 1,000 parks in the city, leaving most of them in an abysmal state. Continue reading
Hamid Rashed’s visit to Heera Mandi is an engaging account that demystifies its snazzy reputation:
I visited Texali Bazaar of Lahore on August 16, 2009. I reached the infamous locality at 10pm and remained there until 3am.
A pimpled prostitute, wearing a black bra one size too small, laying on a stained mattress, awaiting the customers in a dusty room overpowered with strong smell of incense is the situation most people assume you into when you mention the name of this bazaar.
Contrary to popular practice of the visitors of this bazaar, mine was an informative trip. My friend Tariq Yar (from PTV) had invited me to Texali. I had a vague idea that the trip will be educational but didn’t know the extant.
Yar, who is doing research on the walled-city of Lahore voluntarily, introduced me to two of his friends. Advocate Iqbal, who also runs the Ustaad Damin Academy, and Mirza Rashid.
Iqbal is from Okara and is living in Texali for the past 28 years. He is a chronic bachelor and has no apparent appetite for facilities the neighborhood can offer at any time of the day.
Mirza is the inhabitant of the walled-city for the past so many generations. He knows the webbed streets of the walled-city like the back of his hand.
* Outgoing American Consulate principal officer says visits to madrassas and orphanages etched in his memory
* Says consulate’s faculty members have imparted valuable services to Punjab University
LAHORE: Outgoing American Consulate Principal Officer Bryan D Hunt has said he was mesmerised by the grandeur of the historic city of Lahore and will miss the warmth, generosity and loving spirit of the people of Lahore Continue reading
Lahore Nama hosted a small discussion group Lorraine Adams yesterday. Miranda Husain, freelance journalist and a writer – also an active participant at the event – reports below:
We are happy to humbly term our discussion group with Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Loraine Adams a resounding success, with most of those gathered proudly showcasing their verbal animation skills!
Ms Adams may now be known to many as a critically acclaimed novelist. However, her extensive career in political and investigative journalism means that behind the creativity lies a woman with a solid understanding of US foreign policy, especially within the global war on terror context. Significantly, she believes that despite the recent regime change in Washington, Pakistan remains immensely vulnerable in the face of the world’s largest military machine.
And this really sums up the reason behind Ms Adams’ visit.
Viewing fiction as the best means of engaging the reader’s imagination – while continuously reiterating a shared humanity – Ms Adams has deliberately chosen to set her next novel in modern day Lahore. Thus she aims to use the reader-character relationship as a vehicle to debunk the many false or distorted stereotypes about this country and its people. Such efforts must not only be welcomed, but be seen for what they are: Ms Adams’ personal contribution to the discourse on Pakistan and its position on the world stage at this critical political juncture.
Refreshingly, Ms Adams is not bashful when it comes to recognising that she, as an American and also as a Pulitzer Prize winner, is taken seriously when engaging in such dialogue. Equally refreshingly, this does not stop her from trying to seek out the entire octave range of the Pakistani voice. For she does not believe in speaking for people, but in listening to them.
This is why she asked those gathered to fill in any gaps in her research approach. Thus the discussion leapt from the real or imagined Western media bias against Pakistan to insistent requests that she visit Old Lahore. Also touched upon were issues of class divisions at the national and provincial levels based, among other things, on language. However, the recurring theme appeared to be the heterogeneous nature of Pakistan and its multiple identities, even though these were, admittedly, restricted to the Muslim realm, with no real mention of minority group identities.
Nevertheless, the discussion’s fundamental success was this: what began as a Western-Eastern exchange of perspectives transformed into an exchange of ideas on a human level. And such exchanges must never be underestimated.
Lahore Nama would like to thank Ayesha Nasir for the geneorus hospitality and a great venue for this event.
Unaffected by the prophets of doom, a Lahori decides the city is the place to be
By Raza Rumi
Twenty years ago, I left Lahore. Excited by prospects of quality higher education and the adolescent yearning for freedom, this was a moment that only with age I have understood. A flash that alters the life-path even when one is not aware of it. As I grew up and visited Lahore from a multitude of cities and continents, Lahore’s provincialism and inward-looking ethos irked me. However, the splendour of its lived history and multi-layered present fascinated me endlessly. A false sense of fatalism whispered that my exile was going to cover a life-span.
The last few years were spent abroad: so dejected I was that not living in Lahore would mean living just anywhere. When I decided this summer to return to Pakistan, I was astounded by the reactions from all and sundry. I was told that I am ‘mad’ to have chosen to return to a burning, imploding and crashing Pakistan. Such is the power of global corporate media that even the discerning and schooled Pakistanis have started to believe in the failed state mantra scripted outside Pakistan. Continue reading
Josh Loeb writing for this week’s Friday Times
Delhi Gate – entrance to the
The Dhai Anga Mausoleum
The derelict tomb of “Buddu,”
“Cities that survive and prosper are not cities which destroy their heritage. People don’t visit Paris because of business; they visit because it is a beautiful city”
“This country is strewn with heritage,” she continues. “Turn a stone and there’ll be something there. And it should not be the preserve of intellectuals – ordinary people are interested” – Yasmeen Lari
“He who has not seen Lahore has not been born,” the saying goes, yet speak to those interested in old buildings and they will tell you that Lahore is dying.
Earlier this year, English architectural historian Simon Jenkins issued a stark warning. “Lahore’s past is collapsing around it,” he wrote in a British newspaper. “Hovering over its ancient walls is a sense of utter neglect.” He went on to warn that cities that neglect their past endanger their future. If this true, Lahore’s future is bleak.
Take the mausoleum of Dhai Anga, wet nurse to Mughal Shah Jahan. Completed in 1671, the building is situated in what was once a rose garden but is now a mini-wasteland – the haunt of drug-addled young men who pace about with bloodshot eyes beneath the arches of the tomb’s chambers. Of the “beautiful enamelled tile mosaics” proclaimed on the information board outside there is now almost nothing left. Whilst funds are directed towards Lahore’s two world heritage sites – the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens – other historic monuments are turning to dust.
Mohammad Imran makes a living guiding visitors around historic sights like the Dhai Anga Mausoleum.
“I want to see this building in a good condition,” he says. “I want to see a restoration but I want to see it done in the right way. A lot of buildings are restored half-heartedly. It should be restored to its original shape or else there is no point.”
Imran trots out the old refrain that antique buildings should be looked after for the sake of tourism (something with which Jenkins agrees). But Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect and the director of the Pakistan Heritage Foundation, takes a different view.
“I’m not bothered about tourists,” she explains. “Frankly, the way things are in the country right now, tourists are not going to come anyway. Conserving our heritage is something that should be done for our own pride and for social cohesion. It’s something to understand ourselves by.
“This country is strewn with heritage,” she continues. “Turn a stone and there’ll be something there. And it should not be the preserve of intellectuals – ordinary people are interested.”
Back at the Dhai Anga Mausoleum, two workers from the mysteriously (and perhaps misleadingly) named Archaeological Department are engaged in what appears to be dusting stones. “Small repairs,” explains one, Furqan Ullah, yet there remains an air of hopelessness about the endeavour. Continue reading
By Saad Javed
Amidst its layers of histories and cultures, with its contrast of crumbling monuments, bustling food-streets, sprawling gardens, broad avenues with rickshaw trumpets, red sandstone colonial buildings, serene canal-cum-dynamic-public-bathtubs, labyrinthine old quarters, high rise glass and steel towers and ancient city gates, Lahore has so many pleasures to offer, so many virtues to display. And so much to hide. To hide and to nurture, the biblical seven cardinal sins…
He arrived at the famed Salahuddin haveli and saw that the party was in full swing. Familiar to the quarters, he found his way through the dancing, swinging bodies and managed to be served with the right blend of whisky. And he saw her first over the top of an ambassador’s bald head. Continue reading
by Raza Rumi
Also published in Himal Magazine’s October issue
There was a Lahore that I grew up in, and then there is the Lahore that I live in now. Recovering from an exile status for two decades, I find myself today turning into something of a clichéd grump, hanging desperately on to the past. Yet I resist that. Writing about Lahore is a sensation that lies beyond the folklore – Jine Lahore nai wakhaya o janmia nai (The one who has not seen Lahore has never lived). It has to do with an inexplicable bonding and oneness with the past, and yet a contradictory and not-so-glorious interface with the present.
Lahore is now the second largest city in Pakistan, with a population that has crossed the 10 million mark. It is turning into a monstropolis. Had it not been for Lahore’s intimacy with Pakistan’s power base – the Punjab-dominated national establishment – this would be just another massive, unmanageable city, regurgitating all the urban clichés of the Global South. But Lahore retains a definite soul; it is comfortable with modernity and globalisation, and continues to provide inspiration for visitors and residents alike.
Over the last millennium, Lahore has been the traditional capital of Punjab in its various permutations. A cultural centre of North India extending from Peshawar to New Delhi, it has historically been open to visitors, invaders and Sufi saints alike. Several accounts tell how Lahore emerged as a town between the 6th and 16th centuries BC. According to commonly accepted myth, Lahore’s ancient provenance, Lohawarana, was founded by the two sons of Lord Ram some 4000 years ago. One of these sons, Loh (or Luv), gave his name to this timeless city. A deserted temple in Lahore Fort is ostensibly a tribute to Loh, located near the Alamgiri gate, next to the fort’s old jails. Under the regime of Zia ul-Haq, Loh’s divine space was closed and used as a dungeon in which to punish political activists. Continue reading
By Afnan Khan
LAHORE: The government has appointed a number of volunteers at various public places in the city, under a programme to create awareness among citizens to keep the environment clean, in accordance with international standards.
The move can be made a law to maintain cleanliness in the city and the people caught throwing garbage could be fined, as practiced in developed countries.
A number of volunteers carrying dustbins and literature highlighting the hazards of throwing garbage in public places have been deployed at different places especially on The Mall. The volunteers have been trained to convince citizens not to throw all kinds of garbage such as polythene bags on roads. The volunteers have been trained to offer dustbins to people so that they may dispose of garbage. The volunteers wear grey and yellow uniforms and are paid Rs 6,000 every month and remain on duty at their assigned spots till night.
DCO: District Co-ordination Officer (DCO) Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta told Daily Times that the campaign aimed at educating people about the hazards of throwing waste on roads and public places, which affected people’s health and the environment. He said the volunteers were initially going to be deployed on The Mall on a trial basis and if they were found making a difference, similar teams would be deployed at other public places across the city, such as the Racecourse Park, Model Town Park, National Park and Kalma Chowk. Continue reading
Ranpreet Bal a visitor to Lahore has shared his impressions in an exclusive article for the Lahore Nama.
I was thinking to visit and explore the Historical City of Lahore for a long time. My first visit was very short with excitement and I tried to visit as many places as I can visit.
I am grateful to my friend and elder brother Jamil Ahmed Mir who received me warmly and made me feel at home and his sons Bilal and Avais who assisted me to see some of the places which I would never be able to see without their support.
Lahore is a City of Gardens, Colleges, British era buildings and Mughal and Sikh architecture old monuments and Havelis.
Some of the places of my interest were Shahi Quila, Samadh Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Kharak Singh and Naunihal Singh, Samadh Maharaja Sher Singh and Baradari,Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore Museum, Shalamar Gardens, Punjab University, Landa Bazar, Dayal Singh College, Mall Road, Hall Road, Lakhmi Building, Sardar Dina Singh building built in 1927 on Mall Road, and Gawal Mandi Food Court. The other interesting place is the Canal which passes through Lahore and during Basant Festival it is decorated beautifully.
The British built some important buildings like General Post Office, High Court, Punjab University, Museum, Railway Station, Chief’s College, Government College, King Edward Medical College, National College, Forman Christian College, Dayal Singh College and so many other Victorian style architecture heritage buildings.
The city was famous for its Educational Institutions. Punjab University has the largest campus in the city. Aitcheson College is still the most expensive educational institute The Maharajas and some Chieftains of Punjab got their education from this college. Continue reading
Damanbir Singh Jaspal- GUEST IN TOWN
Lahore is a city of tremendous beauty and lights. I stay in Lahore whenever I came to Pakistan, as this city has its own historical features that cannot be forgotten, Damanbir Singh Jaspal, Information and Public Relations principal secretary (Transport) for the government of Indian Punjab, said on Saturday.
Jaspal is in Lahore not only on an official tour, but is also carrying out a research on 48 shrines that are named after 17 species of trees.
The study he has done in India, and now doing in Pakistan, includes photographs of the shrines – with the trees in the foreground – a description of botanical feature of the trees, and the relationship between the species and the historical and the religious background of the shrines. Continue reading
SOLID WASTE management department of City District Government Lahore (CDGL) is heavily contributing in polluting the environment of the provincial capital in one or another way.
As per the figures collected from solid waste management (SWM) sources, around 6000 tons of solid waste is generated daily in Lahore, while over 500 tons waste is generated in Lahore cantonment board, model town society, defence housing society and other areas. Sources revealed that out of this 6000 ton of waste, 35 per cent remained on the roads due various reasons including low lifting capacity of SWM, lack of proper training to staff regarding lifting garbage, absence of staffers from duties etc. Continue reading
By Ali Usman
LAHORE: Lahore is a romantic city and leaves many visitors mesmerised, said Danish artist Evalajka on Friday.
Evalajka is currently visiting Pakistan. Taking to Daily Times, she said she had always found Lahore fascinating and Lahoris hospitable.
“A stranger in Lahore feels at home and Lahori food is delicious. I go to Regal Chowk to enjoy fruit chaat daily,” she said. Continue reading
I have been having these vivid dreams. Places and conversations continued from Lahore. Waking up every morning is quite a disorienting experience. The landscapes are stuck, the tape paused. I guess it can all be ascribed to jet lag or to this rather unmoored feeling that envelopes me. Whatever the case may be, I find myself existing, still, in Lahore.
Lahore is an imperial city and often, an impersonal city. It is aloof to most visitors and residents. It breathes around you, moving at a hectic pace here and just somnambulant there. But it has never seemed distant to me or impersonal. I have memories imprinted on almost every nook and cranny of that city of rooftops and minarets. This is Lahore.
But, no. That isn’t really Lahore. Those rooftops and minarets are but a blink of an eye in the history of this city. It will forget them soon enough.
No, Lahore is much more organic.
This has grown, in what must have been once, the widest swath of the flattest earth on god’s green world. Perhaps the alley that swallowed it some 80 years ago was itself a stream before that. I don’t know. This alley, now, is a long one. The front is used for parking motorcycles and suzuki 80s. The back lies forgotten except for the mechanics who have set up their shops in the shade of the tree. Continue reading