Rumana Husain’s ‘Karachiwala’ launched
Text and photos by Ameer H Ahmad
KARACHI: The much talked about book “Karachiwala: A Subcontinent Within A City” by Rumana Husain was launched at the Arts Council by the Honorary Consul General of Netherlands Tarek Khan on Wednesday.
The book provides a firsthand look into the multi-layered and multi-faceted city of Karachi, and documents the social and physical diversity through the personal stories of over 60 families, groups and individuals of diverse ethnicities, religions and professions.
At the launching ceremony, the writer said she had always been interested in the lives of other people, and their histories, customs, beliefs and traditions. This book is a tribute to all those people who contribute to diversity and rich culture, she added.
While carrying out research for the book, she interacted with families, travelled with them on their weekly visits to Zinda Pir, had tea with the “untouchables” in EI Lines, performed the customs and rituals of a Sindhi family living in Parsi Colony and even traced the ancestry of a Chinese restaurateur whose father and grandfather traversed the famous old Silk Route.
The book, which is over 330 pages, contains illustrations, photographs, family trees, maps, diagrams and foldouts. The book also features brief essays specially written by five distinguished citizens, Dr Hamida Khuhro, Arif Hassan, Prof Akbar Zaidi, Luthfullah Khan and Zubeida Mustafa.
“Karachiwala” is Rumana Husain’s first book for a wider audience. She is a distinguished artist, teacher-trainer and author/illustrator of over 40 books for children in Urdu and English. She is also an art critic and a regular contributor to the English language press. She has also worked as the head of Activism and Outreach at the Children’s Museum for Peace and Human Rights.