Meraki – A Clothing Affair, new in town  

Brand ‘Meraki’ was originally founded in Karachi by Creative Director Arif Sheikh and his talented sister Hifza. It is getting a very positive response due to the elegance, style and panache that the label represents. From prêt to western and maternity to nursing the label is getting good appreciation for its exquisite creations.

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Meraki is a latest addition (opened December 2017) to Karachi’s long list of trendy outlets offering branded clothing and cosmetics for girls and women. Meraki is divided into three main sections which are clothing section, cosmetic section and kids wear. They have almost a solution for very age of women who is in search good and trendy outfit. Even the best thing about this brand is they prices are very reasonable.

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The Brand meraki is only using imported garments in their outfits. They store has a wide variety of Abayas, MATERNITY/nursing clothes, western-wear like tops, shorts, jump suit, evening gowns and lastly but not least they have a great variety for KIdS in their store. All these are available with ready to wear and you also have an option to customize your dresses of your choice or size. Moreover the brand has a stitching facility in their store which you will rarely find anywhere else. All you need bring you cloth and the staff will get that stitch from their professional tailors.

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At the cosmetics and accessories section they have selected items of top brands like M.A.C and Huda Beauty, you can also let them know about your preferred brand, and Meraki will arrange it for you. Furthermore you can be sure of the fact that all cosmetics that you buy here at Meraki are 100% original.

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Overall it’s one of the places where every woman should visit,  see and  get impressed by what’s on offer.

 

Don’t forget to visit their outlet at Khayaban-e-Nishat opposite Burger King.

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Shahid Afridi Foundation and Microsoft Pakistan join hands

Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) and Microsoft Corporation Pakistan (MS) have joined hands to jointly work for Youth Enablement and Empowerment through information and communication technology integration and trainings.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between both the organizations, MS committed for capacity building of young individuals especially from less privileged community on ICT skills (Coding & Microsoft Technologies) and soft skills. MS to initiate their “Train the Trainer Program” for teachers from SAF Schools on digital skills. Microsoft will share the digital skill curriculum for capacity building programs and promoting employment opportunities and enterprise development among the youth in Pakistan under this collaboration jointly with SAF.

Global Chairman of Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) Mr. Shahid Afridi, Global Chief Executive officer of Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) Mr. Zeeshan Afzal and Country General Manager Microsoft Corporation Pakistan (MS) Mr. Syed Abid Zaidi jointly signed and exchanged the MoU documents. Senior officials from both sides were present to observe proceedings from the ceremony.

Mr. Zeeshan Afzal Global Chief Executive officer of Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) spoke about SAF’s initiatives and this collaboration with Microsoft;

“SAF has undertaken different initiatives in Health, Clean Water, and Sports Rehabilitation with special focus on its education sector”.

“This partnership with Microsoft would further speak about SAF’s resolve to empower youth especially from the less privileged community through information & communication technology integration and trainings under this collaborative effort”.

“SAF aims to uplift the underprivileged communities in Pakistan with the help of corporate community and especially from Multi-national Companies (MNC’s) through their CSR initiatives”

Mr. Syed Abid Zaidi Country General Manager of Microsoft Corporation Pakistan welcomed Mr. Shahid Afridi at their MoU signing ceremony at the local hotel in Karachi and highlighted Microsoft’s roles as responsible corporate entity. Country General Manager of Microsoft Corporation Pakistan also spoke about Microsoft’s role in giving back to the society through their program for the community development under Microsoft Philanthropies program.

Country General Manager of Microsoft in Pakistan stressed upon the importance of educating youth of our beloved nation in the field of information and communication technology. He also highlighted the support of Microsoft to the Non-Government Organization (NGO) sector under their Microsoft Non-profits program whereby they provide free of cost or discounted products / solutions to NGO sector.

Mr. Abid Zaidi further highlighted the points of understanding with SAF for this collaborative effort and its objectives and thanked Mr. Shahid Afridi for joining hands for this common cause of education and wish that all our collaborative efforts may produce desired results and brings betterment in the society.”

Mr. Shahid Afridi spoke in the concluding remarks of the ceremony and shared his dream and commitment towards this philanthropic career and said;

“I highly appreciate and thank the management of Microsoft for entrusting and acknowledging my pledge and strive for the cause”.

“I strongly believe that all the privileged communities, especially the corporate sector has to come forward and contribute their part to return back to the society for which I am very grateful to Microsoft and its management for joining hands with Shahid Afridi Foundation”.

“I would like to thank Microsoft to support SAF’s cause through empowering youth and also request Microsoft management to support SAF’s other initiatives especially in the field of Health and Clean Water”.

“And finally I would also like to thank the media for supporting and projecting my cause by providing coverage of our events and activities”.

 

Gujjars are back.

Punjab is the biggest province of Pakistan and that also makes Punjab as the largest market for many sectors (including movies, films etc.). More than 45% Pakistani’s call Punjabi as their native language/mother tongue and if we also include local dialects like Saraiki, Hindko, Pahari, Gojri and Kashmiri then it’s almost 65% of Pakistani’s.

With the recent success of ‘Punjab Nahi Jaon Gi’, focus of filmmakers and producers seems to shifting back to the mentality of rural Punjab. With ‘Maan Jao Naa’, Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) seems to be welcoming the Gujjars back to its main stream.

Gujjars who once ruled Lollywood’s Punjabi movies with absolute power had faded out but not completely. From early 80’s onwards almost every other Punjabi movie either had a Gujjar title or at-least one of the male lead used to have a Gujjar name. This trend soon shifted towards urdu movies too resulting in a disaster for majority of cine goers.

Gujjars were so good at making movies that they kept on making movies until Lollywood was admitted in an intensive care unit (ICU) and then they left abruptly. Then some well reputed doctors like Shoaib Mansoor etc came to rescue the ailing industry and did well for revival of Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) to some extent, but now it seems as Lollywood is going back to the state of 80’s and 90’s.

Keeping the Gujjar perspective in mind, watching ‘Maan Jao Naa’ was fun, female lead and debutant Elnaaz Norouzi seemed like a younger and skinnier version of Saima with just few difference like acting and dancing at which Saima was really good at, whereas Elnaaz Norouzi had an expressionless face all throughout the movie and didn’t know how to dance.

Watching Adeel Chaudary act was pure mental torture and some who had planned to cast him opposite Elnaaz Norouzi must be punished for casting him opposite Elnaaz Norouzi who at times seemed a foot taller than Adeel Chaudary. Director Aabis Raza must be feeling really proud for casting both leads with no acting skills.

After watching ‘maan jao naa’, I must say we urgently need another revival for Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) as soon as possible or else we will end up watching similar type of movies like the ones produced during 80’s and 90’s.

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Schole International Academy launched.

A launch and open-house event of Schole International Academy took place recently at their newly opened and spacious venue.

Visiting parents and children were over-whelmed by the sprawling custom-made premises that was beautiful decorated with balloons in the school colours.  After being directed to the Red Carpet they participated in fun, inter-active session with teachers, demonstrating the motto of the school – “learning with leisure” –, where the activities were geared to enhance the confidence and vocabulary of the participants in a very playful way.

Hi tea and a tour of the school followed where parents satisfied themselves by asking questions to the concerned faculty present.

This one-of-a-kind school, which aims to put the child’s need and comfort first, Schole also boasts a gymnasium and swimming pool facilities, both for parents and children.

All in all, it was a well-attended launch, and the guests left impressed by what they saw.

The event’s public relations and event management was handled by StarLinks PR headed by Mrs. Shenaz Ramzi and Mr. Turab Ramzi.

Aakhri Station coming

Aakhri Station is a seven episode mini-serial depicting important social issues plaguing our society and aims to highlight women specific issues in a sensitive and realistic manner. Based on real life stories and narratives, it is all set to air on 13th February 2018 at 09:00 pm on ARY Digital.

The lead protagonist is Sanam Saeed playing the role of a woman battling depression. Other main leads are played by Nimra Bucha, Malika Zafar, Eman Suleman, Farah Tufail, Anam Gohar and Amara Butt with acclaimed actors like Mikaal Zulfiqar and Irfan Khoosat as the supporting cast. Directed by Sarmad Khoosat, written by Amna Mufti and produced by Kashf Foundation, Aakhri Station touches upon taboo topics like HIV, drug addiction, forced prostitution and more. The music is the key component of the series and in addition to Amjad Islam Amjad’s lyrics for the original sound track title ‘mujhey apney jeenay ka haq chahiyeh’, a special rendition of the poetry is done by Shabana Azmi.

Seven women who do not know each other, co-incidentally ride in the same train compartment, and as the journey progresses, they learn more about each other and come to realize that though they seem different at first but they are actually very similar. All of them are on a journey of empowerment.

Like its predecessors Udaari and Rehaii, Kashf’s media projects are always based on real life stories, questioning deeply held views about and girls in the society. Aakhri Station provides an opportunity to reflect on gender inequity in our society but also conveys a positive message of not delineating women as victims but as survivors.

“The mini-series is about lending voice to women so they can share their stories and inspire other women to change their lives, to provide hope to those women who lack agency or support,” states Roshaneh Zafar, the Managing Director of Kashf Foundation.

Kashf Foundation would like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Government in bringing this project “Aakhri Station” to life.

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“Azad” expected to do better then other releases.

The cast and crew of “Azad” walked the Red Carpet at the premiere of their much-awaited movie at a Nueplex Cinema.

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The movie was well-received by the stars, media representatives and socialites attending the premiere with most raving about the stellar performances given by the actors, and the tight-knit plot and storyline. Adding to the charm of the movie is its brilliant music.

The Red Carpet was hosted by Sana Humayun. Apart from those from the cast such as Rehan Sheikh, Sabreen Hisbani and Salman Shahid, many other celebrities such as Maria Wasti, Shehzad Sheikh, Atiqa Oudho, Ejaz Aslam, Humayun Saeed, Asfar Rehman, Sania Saeed, Yasira Rizvi, Jinnan Hussain and Adnan Siddique were present too at the premiere of this one-of-a-kind movie.

“Azad” produced as an independent film, is an off-beat comedy drama with a unique take on story-telling and has a hint of romance. With its dynamic and realistic characters, the film breaks away from traditional narratives, and take the audience on a humorous and engaging journey of self-discovery.

Slated for release on February 9th, “Azad” a joint-venture of Bling Studios and Roomi Films is their debut art film boasting brilliant direction by Rehan Sheikh, music by Ali Moin and Abass Ali Khan, and the brilliant singing by Nastasha Humera Ejaz, Schumaila Rehmat Hussain and Abass Ali Khan and is being distributed nationwide by Eveready group of companies.

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Summer Wine by Aima Baig and Mubasher Lucman.

Aima Baig did justice to an old and very amazing song Summer Wine which was originally sung by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. Mubasher Lucman does have a husky voice but could have done better with his english accent.

Overall I would rate this performance as 4.5 / 5.0 and reason is Aima Baig only, as she has that talent that can take her to level above the rest of (female) singers in Pakistan. By far she is the best new talent to emerge from sub-continent during last few years.

The trailer launch of Pakistani animated movie “TICK TOCK”.

The trailer of upcoming Pakistan animated adventurous movie “Tick-Tock” was unveiled at local hotel in Karachi. “Tick Tock” is set to hit theatres nation-wide on 23rd March 2018. Present at the trailer launch were the main voice-over artists of the movie including Ahsan Khan, Alyy Khan & Maria Memon.

Tick-Tock is produced by Sana Tauseef under the banner of Hum Films and is written by well-known movie film Omair Alvi. Tick Tock is directed by well-known name in the entertainment industry as a fil maker Omer Hassan.

Main voice-over of the characters in the movie is by

  • Ahsan Khan as Hassan
  • Maria Memon as Daanya
  • Alyy Khan as KK
  • Ghulam Mohiduddin as Gobo

Tick-Tock is an animated movie about history buffs Hassan and Daanya, who embark upon a time travel adventure along with their teacher KK and anti-hero Gobo who wants to change the history for his own benefit. The story evolves into a fun-filled adventure as they meet and greet the greatest heroes in Pakistan history and how our heroes overcome all the negative forces to keep the timeline intact. Adventurous twists and turns, packed with fun and action makes this movie a spellbinding and unique experience for Pakistani audiences. The story has a subliminal educational message.

Omar Hassan director of Tick-Tock said; “animated content is a team work of 60 to 70 people who mostly stay hidden but are the back bone of any animated project. If we start making only 4 ~ 5 animated movies every year, we will succeed in creating an animation movie industry in Pakistan”.

Speaking at the trailer launch Sana Tauseef said: “tick Tock has historical value and our main object was to introduce real heroes of Pakistan to new and young generation”.

She further went on to say that; “animation is an expensive industry and our animation industry is still in its infancy stage. We look forward to support from Government sector as well as from budding investors willing to invest in this new and infant sector which is globally an industry of US$ 244 Billion (2015) and growing by 5% every year”.

On the concluding note Sana Tauseef said; “Tick-tock is 100% made in Pakistan and we are proud of it”

Second flagship restaurant of “Golden Chick” inaugurated in Karachi.

Golden Chick, the American fast-food chain, opened their second flagship store yesterday at Sea View opposite DHA Beach View Club on main Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue (formerly Sea View Road), Karachi. Sea View with its splendid beach and soothing sea breeze is one of the most the preferable spot for Karachiites for relaxing.

The evening started with guests mingling at the Red Carpet and partaking of welcome drinks as they interacted with one another in the lounge area. The Red Carpet hosting was done by Sabeen Jaffer, while introduction to Golden Chick was given by Muhammad Hassan, assistant marketing manager.

Mr Naim Anwar, CEO Crescent Star Foods spoke about the brand, followed by a speech by the chief guest, US consul general Karachi, Ms Grace Shelton. Mr Joshi, the director of the International franchise support of Golden Chick also shared a few words on this occasion.

Mr. Bilal Anwar, executive director of Crescent Star Foods gave the closing note and expressed his gratitude to everyone who attended, after which the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Ms. Grace Shelton, and Ms. Zarina Bano mother of Naim Anwar CEO Crescent Star Foods and Mr. Mohammad Abdullah chairman Sapphire Group, it was accompanied by balloons being released in the air, party poppers going off and cold fire, adding a festive touch to the evening. To the delight of all present, scrumptious dinner platters were served from the restaurant’s menu.

All in all it was a well-attended and fun opening and the event saw many members of the media and socialites mingling and enjoying themselves thoroughly.

Golden Chick is an American fast-food franchise, which opened first in Texas in the 1960s. It fuses the mouth-watering taste of chicken with the exiting new technique of either getting it fried or roasted. Their top of the line offering is ‘Golden Roast’ which is uniquely roasted chicken created by the development of secret marination and batter mixes without using any oil.

The event’s public relations PR and Event Management was handled by StarLinks PR headed by Mrs. Shenaz Ramzi and Turab Ramzi.

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09TH KARACHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2018 ANNOUNCED

The 9th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), the country’s most anticipated literary event, is scheduled to be held on 9th, 10th and 11 February 2018 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi.

A vibrant programme of talks, interviews, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English poetry readings/slam, Urdu mushaira, Sindhi mushairo, stand-up comedy, author signings, performing arts, film screenings, open mic, book fair, and literary awards has been lined up. With ideas and subjects as diverse as cricket, child abuse, writing autobiographies, and pop culture being explored at the KLF, the event promises to be a literary and cultural feast.

Around 200 Pakistani and 30 international authors and speakers from ten countries will participate in the 9th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF). Francis Robinson and Noor-ul-Huda Shah will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration and the closing ceremony will be addressed by Anwar Maqsood, Amit Chaudhuri and Mani Shankar Aiyar.

There will be 26 book launches and more than 70 sessions. This was announced by Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), and Founder/Director, Karachi Literature Festival, and Co-founder, Children’s Literature Festival, at a press conference held recently.

Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and intellectuals participating are Abdul Malik Baloch, Ahad Raza Mir, Amir Adnan, Amin Hashwani, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Arieb Azhar, Arif Hasan, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Asif Raza Mir, Attiya Dawood, Bari Mian, Bushra Ansari, F.S. Aijazuddin, Fasi Zaka, Hafiz Pasha, Hameed Haroon, Hamid Khan, Harris Khalique, Huma Baqai, I.A. Rehman, Iftikhar Arif, Imdad Hussaini, Iqbal Akhund, Irfan Khoosat, Ishrat Husain, Izhar Soomro, Javed Jabbar, Kaiser Bengali, Kamran Asdar Ali, Kami Chouhdry, Kishwar Naheed, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Mehreen Jabbar, Mohammad Zubair, Mujahid Barelvi, Nadeem F. Paracha, Nadeem Hussain, Nafisa Shah, Neelam Basheer, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Raza Rabbani, Sabyn Javeri, Salman Ahmad, Samina Ahmed, Sania Saeed, Sarmad Khoosat, Shaharyar M. Khan, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Sheema Kermani, Sima Kamil, Syed Salim Raza, Syeda Abida Hussain, Wasif Rizvi, Zafar Hilaly, Zarrar Khuhro, Zia Mohyeddin, and Zubeida Mustafa.

Kesho Scott, Tahira Naqvi, A.G. Noorani, Saif Mahmood, Sheela Reddy, Y. Venugopal Reddy, Amarjit Chandan, Isambard Wilkinson, José Oliver, Jürgen Wasim Frembgen, Ibrahim Waheed Ogaru, Aurélie Salvaire, Amardeep Singh, Claire Chambers, Kamila Shamsie, Qaisra Shahraz, and Victoria Schofield are some of the international authors participating in the festival.

“Karachi Literature Festival, the ninth in this city, is like a beacon whose light spreads out far beyond the grounds of the Beach Luxury Hotel indeed, far beyond this city and country,” said Ameena Saiyid. “The Festival has grown rapidly. Attendance rose from roughly 5,000 in 2010 to 200,000 in 2017” she added

While talking to the media, Ameena Saiyid mentioned that four prizes are awarded at KLF every year. These include the;

  • KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize, KLF-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize,
  • KLF-German Peace Prize (Consulate General of Germany),
  • KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize
  • Italy Reads Pakistan Award (sponsored by the Consulate of Italy).

The submissions received for the prizes are evaluated by panels of jury members comprising eminent critics, writers, and scholars.

Books shortlisted for these prizes were announced at the press conference. The three books shortlisted for the KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize are;

  • ‘Lahore in the Time of the Raj’ by Ian Talbot and Tahir Kamran
  • ‘Urban Traditions and Historic Environments in Sindh’ by Anila Naeem
  • ‘Imagining Pakistan’ by Rasul Bakhsh Rais

The KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize of Rs 250,000 goes to the best non-fiction book originally written in English in 2016-2017 by a Pakistani or Pakistan-origin foreign national.

The KLF-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize will be awarded to the best novel or short story collection originally written in English in 2016-2017. The author (a Pakistani or a Pakistani-origin foreign national) will be awarded Rs 300,000. The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid; Exit West by Mohsin Hamid; and Snuffing out the Moon by Osama Siddique are the three books shortlisted for this prize.

Prison Narratives by Akhtar Baloch; Indus Waters Treaty: Political and Legal Dimensions by Ijaz Hussain; and Imagining Pakistan by Rasul Bakhsh Rais are the three books shortlisted for the KLF-German Peace Prize which is a joint project of the Consulate General of Germany in Karachi and KLF. The first prize of 3000 euros is given to a fiction or non-fiction book that promotes peace, tolerance, and international understanding, written by a Pakistani or a Pakistani-origin foreign national, or any foreign national residing in Pakistan.

The KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize of Rs 200,000 will be awarded to the best book of prose or poetry in Urdu. The books shortlisted for this prize include Deed wa Deed by Altaf Fatima; Qila e Faramoshi by Fahmida Riaz; and Aatey Hai Ghaib Sey by Anwar Sha’oor.

“KLF is not merely a local affair. With participants and visitors from all over the country, from all four provinces and all of our major cities, this is truly an all-Pakistan event. More so, with participants from UK, USA, Germany, Maldives, France, India, Singapore, Italy, and Canada, it is truly an international event,” said Asif Farrukhi, Co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.

This year Pepsi Co is the title sponsor of the event. Sponsorship is also provided by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL); United Bank Limited (UBL); Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Karachi; Goethe-Institut; Embassy of France; Alliance Francaise;  British Council; U.S. Consulate General, Karachi; Getz Pharma; Infaq Foundation; Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung; Tapal Tea; Habib University; LUMS; I AM KARACHI; and TV One.

See you at the Beach Luxury Hotel on the 9th, 10th and 11 February 2018! Don’t register in advance: just turn up!

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