This weekend was one of those fascinating days when you meet amazing new people and come across fascinating ideas and accomplishments that inspire you. And when those fascinating people are women, it makes it all the sweeter for us women!
Pakistan Women’s Club of New Jersey
At noon Fauzia Iqbal and I went to the Pakistan Women’s Club of New Jersey founded by Kalsoom Kazmi and her sister, and now completing its 5th year. Our dear friend Zarmina was a featured speaker, and shared about her MediSpa Laser Vein Institute, and how important it is to care for our outer beauty while we develop our inner beauty and spirituality. This was followed by the new Pakistani Consul-General Aisha Ali, a smart, young, well-spoken and highly traveled diplomat, who shared with us some of the changes taking place as the Consulate tries to upgrade and improve its services for the Pakistani American diaspora. The event was so well-organized and classy, and the vendor booths of shawls, Pakistani costume jewelry, beauty services etc. were lovely to browse through. As the final event of the afternoon took place – a Pakistani singer- Nuzzo and I had to leave for another event at Nuzzo’s friend Khurrat’s house. Congratulations to the whole organizing committee including Nighat Khan for a great event.
“A Guest in the House” by Maniza Naqvi
“A Guest in the House” is the self-published book by Maniza Naqvi. While working as high-ranking executive at the World Bank, an article in a Pakistani newspaper about a bookstore in the heart of Karachi called Pioneer Book House had drawn her in and fascinated her. The book tells the story of how she traveled to Karachi, telecommuted for World Bank for two years and slowly got entangled in the bookstore, its Memon owner family, the surrounding shopkeepers and most importantly the history of Karachi until eventually resigning from her executive position at the World Bank. Maniza’s storytelling kept us in a trance and left us with awe at the human spirit, which when inspired can conquer all challenges and invent, resurrect, recreate where there was nothing. Now all her ideas, energy, networks are being used to support the bookstore. Like her, I only spent a few years in Karachi, but I continue to be mesmerized by Karachi’s energy, much as I am entranced with New York City’s energy. So when I heard a fellow globalist listening to her inner voice, and dedicating her energy to resurrecting a small section of Karachi, I was totally in awe. As Maniza said, having worked in international development, money is not what saves humanity. It is energy and action and she is truly role modeling it!
Here is a brief excerpt to illustrate her gift of storytelling and weaving visions with words:
“The bazaar is Karachi. It is this: a steadily heightening, swirling, frenetic energy. It is this: a theater of risk taking which follows the calls of hope timed to the arc of the sun; peaking in its fading light, by night disappearing behind shutters, swallowed by empty lanes lying silent and desolate. The, it is this all over again the next day, morphing back to the cacophony and crescendo of movement and labor; becoming an incoming rising high tide of waves upon waves of thousands upon thousands of moving parts all seemingly in motion in thousands of intricate and overwhelming directions, cramming and crowding every inch of air and space with din and do Yes it is this: a miraculous city.”