Lahore has shaped and moulded me says Iram Zia

Malik Omaid


“I have been in the field of design education for almost 23 years now. I was born, brought up, educated, and married in Lahore. I live here and eventually whenever that is, hope to die here too. I feel Lahore has shaped and moulded me into what I am today. Data Darbar, Mian Mir Sahab’s Mazaar, Bibi Pak Daman, Mela Chiraghaan, Masjid Wazir Khan’s tiled decoration, Maryam Zamani mosque’s frescoes, Taaveez Dhaagay on different mausoleums around Lahore, hence my thread and Taweez collection of various motif and design all speak profoundly of the cultural and the socio-political concerns that are owned and celebrated in my works. Shahi Qila’s Haathi darwaza, the old city with all its enclosed gardens and alleys, colonial buildings on the mall, Shalamar Bagh’s picture wall, Alhamra by Nayyar Ali Dada, Lahore Museum, National College of Arts, popular Punjabi food, the cinema hoardings that I experienced when going to school on a Tonga, the trucks and the colorful imagery ….these are all part of my being. This imagery constantly informs my work. The basant that we have lost, how we no longer can accept and appreciate diversity is an ongoing tragedy for me, I am constantly incorporating these in my works through metal, stones and cloth.”

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One response to “Lahore has shaped and moulded me says Iram Zia

  1. You are not the only crazy lover of Lahore. I was born and raised here, Received my early education and then went aboard, did my engineering and employment in different countries. Got married to an educated girl from the Walled City. Again traveled a lot together, our children are from different countries. The whole family traveled and used to visit Lahore every now and then.
    My travels and lucrative life style of living and working abroad could not erode my love for Lahore, its Bassant and other Meelas plus happy go lucky easy going attitude of Lahori culture.
    I had a great desire that my children should be raised and get their early education in Lahore and be proud of belonging to Lahore and its rich culture where every Street / Bazaar corner has a long history and they should have their roots in Lahore.
    At the prime of my carrier I relocated to Lahore and I am one of those very fortunate Lahoris who got well set and established in Lahore. Except for the early hiccups and settling in problems, the children have their roots here.
    The thing that bothers me and makes me cry with pain is the that when I see Walled City’s old houses getting replaced by Markets and ugly concrete structures.
    Now, there are more Afghanis and Pathans in old Lahore than native Lahoris. The spoken language of Walled City is rapidly changing from Lahori Punjabi by Pashto.
    The only way we can halt this slide is to de-commercialize the Walled City like it was planned at one time back in late fifties; Akbari Mandi was to be relocated to Badami Bagh where Cars Spares Parts Market is now established. Only a few dealers of rock salt moved from Akbari Mandi to the new location and no one else moved. I assume those few who relocated then may have moved back to their original shops?

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