Eye on Pakistan

The West *hearts* Begum Nawazish

Posted in Culture by onpakistan on December 19, 2009

“Run a story on the Begum” cry the editors. “She subverts the stereotypical picture of Pakistan!”

The Begum says: “I have read the Koran, and Islam is the most liberating, most human of religions.” And The Independent loves it.

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AFP interviews the Curator of Taxila Museum

Posted in Culture by onpakistan on December 15, 2009

AFP have a short interview with the curator of the Taxila Museum. He complains about the lack of foreign visitors, and feels threatened.

Movie: ‘Son of a Lion’

Posted in Culture, Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on November 15, 2009

A recent movie based in Pakistan’s tribal weapon-making village of Darra Adam Khel.

For a Berlin Film Festival review see this.

For the official site see this.

For a youtube promotional trailer see this.

I have not seen this movie, but I am concerned somewhat by the juxtapositioning or placing in opposition arms manufacture and education. In fact, in reality, the relationship is opposite: the most ‘educated’ are the biggest lovers of arms and armament manufacture – the United State, Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine, Netherlands, UK. See this.


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Sufi Shrines, Crocodiles, and Sulphur Springs at Manghopir

Posted in Culture by onpakistan on June 18, 2009

See Pakistan in a new light.

An excellent blog article on the Sufi Shrines, Crocodiles, and Sulphur Springs at Manghopir (North Karachi). Who says Pakistani bloggers don’t produce interesting and original articles?

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Partial Solar Eclipse on 22 July 2009

Posted in Culture by onpakistan on June 16, 2009

You heard it here first: a partial solar eclipse will be winding its way through Southern Pakistan soon. So, Pakistanis, make sure you have a look outside on the morning of the 22 July 2009. A NASA animation showing the path of the total eclipse (the black dot) and area of a partial eclipse (the large moving shadow) can be seen here. The diagram below illustrates how the eclipse occurs:

The mechanics of an eclipse

The mechanics of an eclipse

Unfortunately only a partial solar eclipse will be visible from Pakistan. The total eclipse (or rather, the near-total eclipse) will only be visible within the bands shown in the diagram below:

Path of Solar Eclipse

Path of Solar Eclipse

For an interactive map of the eclipse, see this.

In Karachi, the partial eclipse will start at 6:05am and end at 7:49am, but will be at its greatest extent at 6:55am. In Lahore, the partial eclipse will start at 6:07am and end at 7:53am, but will be at its greatest extent at 6:58am. Now as sunrise in Karachi will be at 6:58am, you’re unlikely to see much before then, but this does not mean the event will be uninteresting.  To quote wikipedia:

The phenomenon of atmospheric refraction makes it possible to observe the Sun (and hence a solar eclipse) even when it is slightly below the horizon. It is however possible for a solar eclipse to attain totality (or in the event of a partial eclipse, near-totality) before (visual and actual) sunrise or after sunset from a particular location. When this occurs shortly before the former or after the latter, the sky will appear much darker than it would otherwise be immediately before sunrise or after sunset. On these occasions, an object (especially a planet, often Mercury) may be visible near the sunrise or sunset point of the horizon when it could not have been seen without the eclipse

So, folks, you’re be seeing a rising partially eclipsed sun alongside a bright planet. Remember: try to position yourself high up so that you can see the horizon, and don’t look directly into the sun. For some tips as to how to safely observe solar eclipses, see this and this. For more on the physics behind the eclipse, see this.

Representing Pakistan at the Jaipur literary festival

Posted in Culture by onpakistan on June 6, 2009

Wendy Kristianasen, writing for the Le Monde Diplomatique on the recent 6th annual Jaipur literary festival has noted the presence of two Pakistani authors: Daniyal Mueenuddin (Pakistan is “a war zone”) and Nadeem Aslam (“I have acquired a huge library”). How nice.

Whilst we’re on the subject of Indian literary festivals, did you know that “India reads, but it reads overwhelmingly in Indian languages”? Perhaps you did, but the article is nevertheless well worth a read.

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