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Celebrate by digitizing Pakistan

31 Jul

As 14th of Aug is coming, you will see huge number of messages, facebook pages and websites about being proud Pakistani, there will be pictures of faces covered by flag paint, there will huge flags themselves. And as usual like anyother year we will keep liking them, forwarding them or commenting on them.

I invite you to do something different, that is write about Pakistan and increase Pakistan’s presence on electronic map.

There is extreme deficiency of information regarding Pakistan. Try searching any urdu poem, you will not find any reliable source and most probably you will not find the poem or ghazal if it is not famous. Try googling  some Pakistani authors and search result will be useless, even Wikipedia will not be able to provide you any information e.g. search Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and the Wikipedia page is quite pathetic for it. Bano Qudsia wikipage has less information than some semi famous English song, same is true for other authors.

Search some Pakistani song and you will not find it’s lyrics or information about who wrote it, who is musician, when it was recorded, etc…. Same is true about the Films and actors (Wahid Murad appears to be exception, whose Wikipedia page is quite detailed).

Try searching about 12 Oct. Army overtake by Musharaf, there is no information about timeline of events, look at Kashmir Earthquake you will not find about the huge effort done by people all around Pakistan.

And one can forget about any information regarding Pakistani politicians (except few top leaders) or finding about their voting record, career, political leanings, etc……

Just saying that people should know about Pakistan will not take us anywhere,.. most importantly we have to register this information for ourselves and our people.

So if you want to do something about Pakistan, pick your pen or you just pick your keyboard, write about your experience as Pakistani,

  • Write about any Pakistani author you like or any book you have read
  • if you can, pick a you-tube clip of some Pakistani drama and give it’s English subtitles
  • Go to Wikipedia an write about the episodes of Sona-Chandi, Un-Kahi, ….. any drama you like.
  • Make Wikipedia page about your school, your city, your street or shrine that exists on the corner
  • Get information about who is your MNA, MPA, put it on Wikipedia.
  • You are singing any Pakistani song or any ghazal, put it on the web, even if it is single verse
  • You commonly read Ashfaq Ahmed‘s zavia, translate it into English, even if it single sentence.
  • You like going to some cafe in Lahore, or visit some place in Karachi or Queta or some other small or big city, …… put it on Wikipedia. Get information and put it there.
  • Blog about your experience of event in Pakistan
    • write how you felt about earth quake and how Pakistani’s put their efforts together to help their citizens
    • write how you felt when Musharaf took over the govt., write about timeline, whatever you remember, put it there. Or were you there when in Lahore high court, when Lahore was under siege during Lawyer movement, chronicle your experience.  Or were you part of LUMS and FAST student protests against sacking of Chief Justice? give your day an e-life.
    • What happened when floods engulfed huge chunk of Pakistan? put your thoughts in.

There is not much patriotic zeal in it as it might look, but what you are doing is making your country searchable. You are recording your history, your culture; in small little steps. These small not so important appearing information what makes culture. People write stories, dramas and make movies around these mundane appearing details. You are chipping away ignorance about Pakistan with your small electronic saber.

So pick up a week, lets say a 7th to 14th of Aug. and celebrate Write About Pakistan Week? we write about whether our writing is of good quality is not is another question but we write to take first step and then clean it up as we go.

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19 responses to “Celebrate by digitizing Pakistan

  1. aZ

    August 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

    love the idea

     
    • mohsenali

      August 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks aZ,
      might be we start either choosing few topics on which to invite people to find information and write about (e.g. some Pakistani author, place or event)
      or pick few songs or clips we want to be sub-titled in English.

       
  2. Akeel

    August 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

    This should be the resolution of the year.

     
  3. Mohsin Rasool

    August 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Great idea…. This post must go viral. We should celebrate “Write About Pakistan Week”. I will be part of it.

     
    • mohsenali

      August 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Mohsin,
      I think we need to work on how to make people more easy to contribute, might be if we can pick few topics or provide some tools that people can just feel, ok I can use it, spend 10 minutes and contribute.

       
  4. Uzair Malik

    August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    yaar motivate tau bohat huwaa main abhi perh ker. Per bhook saari motivation khaa gai. Chaa gai hain waisay aap.

     
  5. Aamir

    August 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Assalamualaikum MohsEn. My dear Shah Ji,

    Thanks for the share. Some very relevant and nice points touched upon. If life spares me enough I’ll want to start inking a blog

    None but yours
    – AA

     
  6. Arif Mahmood

    August 4, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Great idea. I am already thinking to translate Faiz Ahmad Faiz poems and Ashfaq Ahamd books to English.

     
    • mohsenali

      August 4, 2012 at 3:50 am

      It’s great idea. There are some translations of Faiz, but I have not seen anything on Ashfaq Ahmad.
      His words will resonate will lot of people that read Paulo Coelho

       
    • mohsenali

      August 4, 2012 at 5:27 am

      Arif when you do that, please share the link with us

       
    • politicallyincorrectpakistani

      August 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Count me in. For some time, I had been thinking of translating some Urdu literary fiction (particularly the Imran series) as well. We should all work towards making this a reality.

       
      • mohsenali

        August 16, 2012 at 2:01 am

        Thanks Karwasach.
        We have to document Pakistan. I feel by not doing so, we are loosing the history and in the end 20 years from now we will be fighting about how Pakistan was today instead of knowing though documented history.

         
  7. azka

    August 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

    That would be great.

     
    • mohsenali

      August 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      thanks Azka

       
  8. politicallyincorrectpakistani

    August 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Mohsen, I am going to start putting a nice package around this idea of yours and also publicise it on my blog. I’ll make sure that there is a rather helpful description of different tools available that people can use straight away to start contributing to this idea of yours. If you allow me, I’ll add more to this idea on my blog. And perhaps, we can collaborate through our blogs to bring it to fruition.

     
  9. mohsenali

    August 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I tried to write something about Pakistan, https://mohsenali.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/4-moments-as-pakistani/
    but I am stuck on deciding what could be other two moments I should give preference from.

     

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