Archive for the ‘Metblogs7Gifts’ Category

Islamabad’s 1st Gift: The Metamorphosis

This post is about Islamabad’s first gift to the world. For all other gifts posted, check out here. For an aggregation of world’s gifts to the world, check out here.

Since the topic is haphazard, so will the post as it is – the combined efforts of all the [busy] authors :), please excuse that.

Jaded share her passions:

Through my age of living here, and with all the things I’ve taken for granted I’ve never been able to quite understand what it is about Islamabad that makes it home. If I was a person of fancy, (And I am) I would say there is something in the air, a magic or a spell that seems to weave an aura of ever-change, never constant in the city.

But maybe you will see it only if you’ve lived here. There are still time zones here; past, present and future, each holding its own remarkable view. The lush greens, and large organized blocks of residence that still hold the quiet secrets of an era of security and calm that became the identifying feature of the city as we know it. Come forward to the areas that have grown in front of you and me, to see roads meandering past homes that resemble the Roman Forum or abode of the Greek Pantheon that signal the new beginnings of Islamabad architecture complemented by the splendor of buildings going mile high along the wide Quaid-e-Azam Avenue leading now to what is being projected as the face of the new futuristic Islamabad, the Centaurus.

All debates aside, the point remains that Islamabad in its own way is in perpetual motion. See its beautiful face and you will see contradictions within it even in terms of the people and the place it identifies. It is the crossroads where you will see people coming in from rural and urban centers around the country with their own cultures, languages and lifestyles and notice them amalgamate into the uniqueness that is Islamabad alone.

For me, there is no other city that holds within it so much and yet, continues to have room for more, opening its heart and mind to change, to new things and new people and still hug its own delicious secrets to itself.

The most beautiful thing about Islamabad is that it most beautifully amalgmates the eastern values alongwith the western corporate culture. The city has changed a lot in the last forty years, of which the last 20 years I have witnessed myself. Islamabad, what once was what could be quoted as Oscar Wilde’s heavenly crave for nature, with soundless yet full-of-nature natural life is now the combined

Moods of Islamabad - I

Backpacker count Islamabad’s assets rationally:

Islamabad is “Intriguing” in many ways from the moment you step into the city. The city is known for its “Serene” atmosphere. However contrary to many myths, it is always bustling with “Life”. For a person like me it offers a lot of opportunities for “Adventure” sports. Besides having a great outback it also has the “Magic” of a cosmopolitam city. Being the Captial of Pakistan it’s an “Abode” to a large number of expatriate population, and not to forget the “Basecamp” of all foriegn expeditions comming to Pakistan. Due to its distinct “Aura” as compared to other cities, living in Islamabad is a “Dream” for many.

Phil says with a witty touch:

With the winters coming in Gas heaters are the soul of Islamabad ; )

… Gas Heater’s are not only the ‘joy’ of winter’s in Islamabad, but they add to the subtle uniqueness of the city which can only glorify these ingenious ‘contraptions’. They are so to say, the inspiration of life in a few cases too :)

Moods of Islamabad - 2

A for Apple goes all emotional:

Islamabad is a city of dead for people coming in from Lahore and Karachi … for a bred-in soul like me it’s more than home to me – it’s an un-detachable part of my life …!

I strongly believe that the soul of this city is totally unmatchable … this is one city where you can find a spot to cater every mood of yours … this city has the quality to reflect moods and feelings of real human beings not the cars and machines … even the seasons echo emotions … winters (nostalgia strikes) … autumns (tranquility stays) … summers (dreams nourish)… springs (life blooms) … every season giving way to live your life …!

Whenever I’m out of the city and return to my home … words of “Islamabad – The Beautiful” and “Welcome to Islamabad” gives an untold pleasure and it’s an always feeling …!

It’s a city that has grown and lived to 40 yrs mark … becoming mature with every passing day … offering more than serenity and tranquility … offering REAL LIFE that only a true Islooitte can understand … there’s some magic in this city … it makes you addicted to its charms and you never want to leave … it’s not a city to me … it’s my home … my addiction (apart from Tea ;-)) … whether it be the mountains … skies … lake … flowers or even roads of this city … they call on me … and I’m becoming more and more addicted to it … with every passing day … An year back when tragedy hit the city … and beloved Pakistan … it shook us all … and I wish and pray that the love and passion I saw in people, in those days stay for you Islamabad and for Pakistan and for every city and town of Pakistan …I Love You Islamabad … May you stay Green … Beautiful … Progressive … Happy … Blooming … Amen!

Update: Thanks to A for Apple for compiling the pictures.

Islamabad – 2nd Gift to the World

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 2nd Gift to the World.

Islamabad, unlike many other cities, has a variety of weather changes. Within the 12 months, the city faces as many weather conditions than any other city can ever expect. In summers, the temperature reaches even higher than 40 degree Celsius. Splashing monsoon rains try to cool things out. While, in winters, the temperature goes below freezing point and warm clothes cover things up. In between we have sweet spring and awesome autumn, too.

Rain, snow, wind, hot, cold, wet, dry … you name it, and the roads of this city have faced it. In short, Islamabad is the heaven of weathers. Come to see it for yourself :)

Since November 26, Metroblogging sites around the globe have been unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days. David Markland over at the Los Angeles metblog site has put up an ongoing guide for all the posts on this subject.

Islamabad – 3rd Gift to the World

Budha.jpgTo 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.

Islamabad’s 4th Gift: Faisal Mosque

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 ...!

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's Faisal MosqueIslamabad 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 :).

Islamabad’s 5th Gift: Vital Signs “POP Gurus”

“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

vital_signs.jpgIn 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.

Islamabad – 6th Gift to the World

Margalla Hills Islamabad.jpgTo 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 6th Gift to the World.

Islamabad – 7th Gift to the World

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 7th Gift to the World.

Welcome to my fair city of planned roadways and residences, of lush greenery and a clear blue sky. Follow the straight and not-so-narrow Quaid-e-Azam Avenue for fifteen minutes or thereabouts to stand upon the Constitution. I beg your pardon, Constitution Avenue, of course. Behold, the wonder before your eyes, the House of Parliament, the representation of the strength of the ordinary people of Pakistan, a symbol of the highest authority after the Bureaucracy, the politics of contacts and the military. Look to your right to see the presidency that has housed more Chiefs of the Armed Forces rather than the civilian propagated by the constitution, and to your left a rising, jutting structure that looks like a marble mausoleum or is it a mosque gone horribly wrong because really the builders had no idea that they were making the Prime Minister’s residence and offices. Go along further to come upon the misguided, misused, mistreated and mistaken for justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan.

However, as interesting as all these are, I return time and again to gaze in wonderment at the parliament house in all its quiet dignity and suffering. Stand there a while and you will see in all their magnificent masses, the elected representatives of our poor nation. How do you recognize them you ask? Why, can you not see how much they resemble the ordinary man? See, how they are chauffeured in cars that are just barely last year’s models, with guards flanking them back and front and the secret forces running beside them. Of course, you must know that 95% of these brilliant people do not even own cars; they just ‘borrow’ them from relatives and even wives. Can you not see the starched stiffness of their white clothes, holding up against the bulges of their poor, undernourished bellies and see the proof of their despair in the eyes hidden behind black or brown tinted glasses?

Come a little closer, walk through the gates and slip into the gallery where you can watch them struggle and strive for your fate. Watch them sit and discuss pragmatically in the calm and soothing environment that would put a fish market or an impending street fight seem tame. Do you hear how they protest by banging the desks and stand and shout slogans to declare how insignificant the increase in their salaries and benefits have been? Imagine, they’ve been unable to holiday in Europe or the States this Summer.

Witness their dedication in the archives where a poor soul has determined that during the last years session, time spent on actual legislative issues and viable debate was less than 48 hours. Blessed be the little dickens with their tantrums and pampered lifestyles should you ever see them in a non-political environment. Did you not hear of the Governor, Minister and their -er… colleagues who planned on going on a pilgrimage? Poor, misguided, innocent ones actually believed showing up at the airport a half an hour before the flight would be enough to get them on the plane, and all the arrangements done. Imagine the horror their poor souls must have suffered to be turned back before the crowds who had actually had the affront to pay for tickets and were unwilling to share.

These brilliant people are so beyond us in their generosity and human spirit. You just need to lift the newspaper and see the effort they put in to entertain you. The speeches and the silences; the blackmail and the extortion; the catfights and friendly doggedness; all aimed at providing you and me the laughs we need to get through our day.

May we all NOT be blessed with that same generosity of spirit, ever and simply retain our distinction of being human.

Happy Holidays All!

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