It’s Earth Day and I am feeling so blessed to be living on this incredible planet of ours.
Although we can gripe about pollution or worry about O-Zone layers, depleting water supplies and so many other things wrong in our world, there is so much more to be grateful for. The amazing way the sun rises every morning, only to be followed by the moon each night.
I recently went for a yacht ride on the full moon to Oyster Rocks. Just a 20 minute ride from Karachi, this island has a beautiful view of Manora and Karachi and we climbed to the top quite easily. Arranged by Neshmia Ahmed, we indulged in masala popcorn crabs and shrimp curry, and mused how this could easily work as a tourist resort.
Although it’s springtime, Pakistani born American Sadia Shepard held a premiere for her award-winning “The September Issue” in conjunction with the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi and the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture. Her documentary revolves around editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team as they put together the 2007 September issue of Vogue Magazine. The film won the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2010 Cinema Eye Honors.
Having seen the film when it was part of Toronto Fashion Week last Fall, it’s certainly a great achievement for the rising star and author of “The Girl from Foreign: A Memoir,” who produced the film.
As springtime brings with it greater heat and people start planning for their summers, there has been a plethora of events. Pakistan Fashion Week 2 took place, Frieha Altaf and Catwalk celebrated their 20th anniversary in style at Mohatta Palace, Ensemble moved location and they marked the occasion with a night to remember. Canvas Gallery also had a very special show titled “Black on Black” which featured some ground-breaking armor work by Amin Gulgee. One piece in particular – a collaboration with fashion designer Aamna Mirza Shah (who recently moved to Karachi from NYC) – combined art, sculpture and fashion and I for one can’t wait to see this dynamic duo take it to the catwalk or stage at a later point.
We at Dawood Capital Management Ltd., managers of LADIESFUND™ , held our second LADIESFUND™ Women’s Entrepreneurship Awards, once again at the beautiful Mohatta Palace, and it was heartwarming to see the overwhelming response. This year’s winners include Begum Sughra Kazmi for LADIESFUND™ Lifetime Achievement, Nilofer Saeed for LADIESFUND™ Momentum Award, Khadija Malik and Kiran Aman for Trailblazer 1, Lal Majid and Madiha Sultan for Trailblazer 2, and Ruth Pfau for LADIESFUND™ Woman of the Year.
Chief Guests were former Nazim Nasreen Jalil and Member of the National Assembly Khushbakht Shujaat, moderator was Sidra Iqbal and the judges were Barrister Shahida Jamil, Frieha Altaf, Chuni Saigol, Ameena Saiyid and former winner Sameera Raja. The guest list included Ayesha Tammy Haq, Nida Butt, Begum Salma Ahmed, Laeeq Akbar, Marium Shams, Zahida Habib, Peng Qureshi, Selina Rashid, Naushaba Burney, Nadira Panjwani, Hina Bayat, Naaz Fancy and Sana Bhagat.
However, probably one of the most exciting things to happen is the launch of ground-breaking Eco-café “N’Eco’s” in Karachi. This is Pakistan’s first organic café and it has within a deli as well as a store for organic goods. Although many might feel the nation’s not quite ready for the premium priced wholesome items, proprietor and founder Nilofer Saeed, who started the café culture with her Copper Kettle and high bakery standards with Hobnob Bakery, is confident about introducing the concept of wholesome eating in Pakistan.
The café opens at 8 am and closes at 10 pm to encourage patrons to eat at healthier (and safer) times. I fell for their world class French toast and must say their flatbread sandwiches rocked. The prices – as is typically for organic products – are a little on the steep side, but the quality is there and most importantly, the heart is there. You can tell the minute you enter and see a tree right in the middle of this café that the concept is well grounded.
Speaking of being grounded, a friend recently told me about a theory (perpetuated by Facebook statuses) that the sijdah that we do in prayer grounds the body the way an electrical current needs to be grounded.
Apparently, electronic appliances and their electromagnetic radiations around us create an electrical charge within us and touching one’s forehead to the floor apparently “grounds” us because the earth can absorb charges.
This definitely seems like a longshot but if true, is just another reason to love Mother Earth.
T U Dawood is an expert on Women and Money and is a consultant for companies on how they can increase their market share of women clients.