To celebrate the spirit of the holidays and reinforce the pleasure of gift giving to promote good will over the next few weeks, all the Metroblogging cities are giving 7 gifts to the world throughout the week of NOV 26th – DEC 2.
This is Islamabad’s 3rd Gift to the World.
Islamabad has long historic perspective of the land where it is situated today. The area has been a seat of the world’s leading civilizations from the time immemorial. There is plenty of evidence to support this argument. For example, 20 million years old fossil remains, 2 million years old man-made stone tools, 7000 years old early human settlements which lead to the world famous Indus Civilization, Gandhara Grave Culture and Gandhara art, early Islamic settlements, Sultanate and Mughal period, their art and craft. There are many Budhist Caves dispersed around the Margalla Hills. However, 30 kilometers northwest of modern Islamabad rest the ruins of one of the oldest civilizations on the planet called Ghandara.
It was only a few weeks back that I and a friend were discussing our future as businessmen. One word to decribe it all – pathetic. With no formal educational or work experience in the field, we are still adamant at doing something with in Islamabad.
Panspermia is a theory that suggests that the seeds of life are prevalent throughout the Universe and life on Earth began by such seeds landing on Earth and propagating. The theory has origins in the ideas of Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher. Modern time astronomers and Nobel prize winners support the idea. The Egyptians traced the origin of our civilization to a comet. The comet’s name is Pythom. Since the beginning of time, our Earth has been explored and its horizon expanded by wanderers and adventurers. Names like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Ernst Shackleton are forever etched in the exploration history of man.
If there are three things that I would choose from Islamabad, if asked to.
They would be:-
1) Margallah hills
2) Faisal Mosque
3) Faisal Mosque
Faisal mosque, the largest and the most beautiful mosque of Pakistan. It is the largest mosque of South-Asia. Located very aesthetically at the footprints of Margallah hills, it gives the very best of Islamabad. The mosque was a dream made true by His Excellency [Late] King Faisal of Saudia Arabia. The very elegant and pleasing design was a masterpiece by the Turkish architect Vedat. And due to the great interest and force of His Excellency [Late] king Faisal, this mosque is named Faisal Mosque.
The mosque holds beautiful Islamic artifact work done by famous Pakistani artists Gulgee and Sadiqain[whose page does not exist on wikipedia unfortunately]. And the mosque used to hold the campus of International Islamic University that is one of the premium educational institute of Pakistan. Another great thing about Faisal Mosque is that it hosts Dawah academy, an academy that promotes peaceful teaching of Islam. This academy prints and distributes very professionally managed weekly sermon freely on Friday prayers. There is a shop in Faisal mosque that sells very good books like Masnawi of Maulana Rumi, Harun Yahya books, and other great books.
In the evenings – whether it be winter, summer, spring or autumn – it is a great feeling to walk in the corridor of Faisal Mosque and after that one can have tea or cold drinks and samosas from the mini-cafe there.
Islamabad owes a lot of its beauty to Faisal Mosque. We – Islooites – pray to Almighty Allah that may He bless His Excellency Late king Faisal for his dream, efforts and continous support to provide us with this entity that is truly the identity of Islamabad.
And it is also a noteworthy fact that Faisal Mosque is about ten minutes walk from my house :).
Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) situated at Garden Avenue, Shakarparian, Islamabad was established in 1976 under the patronage of Pakistan Science Foundation, Ministry of Science & Technology (Government of Pakistan). It has four principal divisions namely Botanical Sciences Division, Zoological Sciences Division, Earth Sciences Division and Public Services Division. The first three divisions are engaged in the collection, identification and research activities pertaining to plants, animals and mineral resources of Pakistan respectively, while the latter is responsible for mass education and popularization of natural history various displays, exhibits and dioramas. In addition various projects such as Virtual Orientation Gallery (VOG), Biodiversity Database and Global Networking (BGN) and Focus Baluchistan have also been initiated.
The British Airways could have done better. The least it could do is to make sure it doesn’t hurt the sensitivities of people, who it flies with, hopefully, more than just economic interest.
The BA flight 129, which landed at Islamabad International Airport early Sunday morning from London Heathrow, had a crew member, whose announcement metier left a few Pakistanis disgruntled.
He dropped in three times to make what appeared to be sundry announcements on safety precaution but these were all in chaste Hindi, which while perhaps offering a light vein with the innocuous translation of a seatbelt being referred to as a “kursi peta” was less humorous when it began to lose sight of the kind of nuanced approach befitting the plentiful majority made up of Pakistanis and British-Pakistanis, who usually board the aircraft this way.
Not content with speeding his way through “shudh” (pure) Hindi that would put many a pretender in a Bollywood flick to shame — Hindi movies are actually easy on comprehension and more likely closer to Urdu — he rounded up with a well-pronounced salutation that left many stunned.
Given the familiar territory, one would have expected — reasonably fairly — for the send-off to be a Muslim greeting, if at all it had to be a religious one. But what did we get to hear?
Namaste — a Hindu salutation!
When this scribe approached a couple of crew members to ascertain the identity of the announcer, they baulked and referred yours truly to another crew member, who, in turn also refused to recall who their co-member onboard the flight was!!!
Exasperated, this scribe made his displeasure known to the unhelpful crew staff in response to which, one grudgingly, pointed to a lady crew member, Ms Anne, who was bidding the disembarking passengers adieu.
Ms Ann finally, volunteered to name the crew member as a certain Sunil, but did not, like the rest of the crew members, have a clue to his full name and identity. The reaction appeared devoid of conviction — for, it is a little strange, not to know a bit about your colleague, at least his/her fuller name and identity.
“In the spirit of all the holiday gift giving that will be taking place over the next couple of months, all the Metroblogging cities are giving 7 gifts to the world throughout the week of NOV 26th – DEC 2.”
Vital Signs, POP gurus of 80’s and 90’s stand as 5th Gift to the world from Islamabad
In the shadowy days of 80’s … four youths hailed from this city to form the musical Band, Vital Signs, that later became the Passion of Young Blood of that era. Nazia & Zoheb, the two siblings, were already rocking the sub-continent with their sweet … melodious … uniquely new … groovy tunes while Alamgir, Rushdi and Roona Layla already gave way to POP sounds in Pakistan, earlier. But Vital Signs can be remembered as the first sole successful POP Band of Pakistan … hence the Pioneers of POP Music bands in Pakistan.
Though I risk sounding effeminized, the moon is an immensely beautiful object, something that you could just sit and gaze at. Man has always been fascinated by the moon and its beauty, and for the next few nights, so will be Islamabad. We have a waxing moon tonight and in about a week’s time it would reach its peak, glowing in its pale golden splendour.