January 2020

OUP Opens Flagship Bookstore

Oxford University Press launched its flagship store at Park Towers in Clifton, Karachi recently. Fathima Dada, Managing Director, Education Division, Oxford University Press, UK, inaugurated the store.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Mike Nithavrianakis, was the chief guest. The keynote speech was presented by Dr. Shahid Siddiqui, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Modern Languages. Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director, OUP Pakistan, welcomed th guests.

Fathima Dada said that the bookshop is a key element in the learning process as it acts as an enabler of the flow of information, knowledge and wisdom from the world’s scholars and authoritative experts to the readers. Arshad Saeed Husain said the premier bookshop offered all the knowledge and learning resources of the great University of Oxford whose values and mission were being promoted through the OUP.

The event concluded with a performance by Zambeel Dramatic Readings titled ‘Dhal Gaya Hijr ka Din: Letters by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Alys Faiz’ which represented the years of hardship, struggle and loneliness that both Faiz and Alys experienced during Faiz’s imprisonment.

The OUP flagship store, which is the fifth OUP bookshop in the city, has a section especially for children, a teachers’ resource centre and an ‘Experience Zone’ for digital and e-learning solutions. There’s also an area where book launches, children’s events, readings and discussions can be held.

A dinner was held the next day at the Sindh Club in honour of Fathima Dada.

Pakistani Female Mayor

The new mayor of the British coastal town, Seaford, is a Pakistani and her name is Nazish Adil. She is the first mayor of Pakistani origin in southeast England. Born and educated in Karachi, Nazish Adil did her LLB from the SM Law College and her masters in international relations from the University of Karachi. She later did her LLM in criminology from the SM Law College. She moved to the UK in 2010 with her husband who is also Karachi-born and is a banker.

Nazish Adil says Imran Khan is quite popular where she lives. He used to play cricket from East Sussex, the county where her town is situated. She, however, maintains that politics is quite different in Pakistan than in the UK.

Turkish Serial in Urdu

Pakistan Television is all set to broadcast the Turkish historical fiction series, ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’ in Urdu. Prime Minister Imran Khan had recommended to all Pakistanis to watch the drama serial as it promoted love for Islamic values. PTV is dubbing all five seasons of the serial in Urdu for the Pakistani audience.

‘Drisilis: Ertugrul,’ is also described as the Turkish ‘Game of Thrones’ as it is set in 13th century Anatolia in times before the Ottoman Empire.

Journalistic Newseum

The foundation stone of Siddique Baloch Media Academy has been laid in Quetta by the chief minister Jam Kamal. The academy is named after the late journalist Lala Siddiq Baloch.

It is planned to build the Siddique Baloch Academy as a Journalistic Newseum where portraits of distinguished journalists will be placed. The Academy would also foster journalistic and educational activities in the province.

Fighting Global Warming

APakistani aerospace engineer is developing a pollution-free engine for aircraft that will reduce global warming and induce artificial rain during flight.

as a Master’s in Aerospace Dynamics and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Propulsion from Cranfield University in the UK, is confident that she will create a revolution in aviation.

Her father, Masood Latif Qureshi, is also a prominent physicist and a scientist. They have together started a company called Aero Engine Craft to develop environment-friendly engines for aircraft.

Sarah and her team have developed a contrail-free aero-engine to counter global warming. The engine will have a unique pressure-based condensation system that will cool the water vapours in the exhaust of an aircraft. This water can be released as rain where required. Dr. Sarah says air pollution is equally dangerous for the environment as land pollution.

McDonald’s Brings Back Retro Happy Meal Toys

The Happy Meal turned 40 this year and with it, McDonald’s has brought back its most popular Happy Meal toys in a nostalgic bid to drum up visits from families with young children to snag another Beanie Boo, Furby or Hello Kitty.

The toys coming back include Patti the Platypus, the Teenie Beanie Baby (the best-selling Happy Meal toy), Tamagotchi, Furby along with Hot Wheels Thunderbird, Power Ranger, Space Jam and Bugs Bunny toy, all from 1990. McNugget buddies Mr Potato Heads from 1988, cowboy, fireman, mail carrier, Grimace and Hamburglar toys from 1990’s Happy Meal.

The push comes a year after McDonald’s celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Big Mac sandwich and saw lots of positive responses from that marketing approach. McDonald’s has pledged to reduce its reliance on plastic toys. It’s already on track to distribute 540 million books globally by the end of 2019 through the ‘Happy Meal Readers’ program introduced in 2018.

The Happy Meal debuted in the U.S. in June 1979 as the ‘Circus Wagon Happy Meal’ and hit international markets in 1982. The world’s largest restaurant chain has updated the food in the Happy Meal in recent years by eliminating artificial preservatives from chicken nuggets, adding apple slices and yoghurt as side items and reducing the number of fries that come with the meal to appeal to pickier parents. Soda was also eliminated from the menu, prompting more people to order them with milk.

Swedish Royals for Ending Kashmir Curfew

King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden have demanded an end to the curfew and communication blackout of Jammu and Kashmir. The Royal couple advised the Indian government to involve the people of Kashmir in finding a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.

King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia termed the dreadful situation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir as “worrying.” The Royal couple emphasized the importance of human rights and said that an escalation of the situation in Kashmir should be avoided and a long-term political solution found.

Maj. Samia Rehman Gets UN Recognition

Major Samia Rehman of the Pakistan Army has made Pakistan proud at the international stage by winning the United Nations Special Representative for Secretary-General (SRSG) Certificate of the Year, 2019.

The MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) Force Acting Commander, Maj. General Thierry Lion, presented Maj. Samia with the certificate on behalf of SRSG for her exceptional performance in mission level studies, analysis and her other valuable contributions.

Pakistan is the biggest contributor of military troops to the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

75 Years of ICI Pakistan

ICI Pakistan recently celebrated its 75 years of growth and success at an exhibition. The company worked with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) to conduct an extensive review of archival material and collect oral histories of retired and current employees to celebrate its rich legacy. Pictures dating back to pre-partition days and anecdotes from retirees were some of the features of the exhibition. State-of-the-art technology was used to make the experience exciting.

naged to achieve the iconic status of being known and trusted by generations across Pakistan. Starting from a single manufacturing unit to becoming one of the largest and most influential companies in the country, th seven and a half decade legacy of ICI Pakistan has grown tremendously.

Asif Jooma, Chief Executive of ICI Pakistan Limited, shared his views on the occasion saying, “The company has laid solid foundations for future growth, with major expansion projects and investments across its diversified portfolio. We look forward to the next 75 years and beyond with even more enthusiasm and confidence to uphold our brand promise of ‘Cultivating Growth’ and our mission of improving lives”.

Sohail Tabba, Chairman, ICI Pakistan, said, “With the acquisition of majority shareholding by YBG (Yunus Brothers Group) in 2012, the growth story of ICI Pakistan Limited accelerated, while the company remained firmly linked to its core values, which emanate from its distinguished legacy”.

The e-learning potential

The Islamabad Policy Research Institute organized a lecture by Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi, former Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on December 11, 2019 in Islamabad. It was attended by academicians, students and journalists. The lecture was on ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Prospects of Distance & E-Learning for Human Development’.

Dr Sangi provided an overview of how AIOU broke new ground in professional, scientific, and technical education by reaching out to the remotest areas of Pakistan through modern information technology. He said that in far-flung areas like Umerkot, D.G. Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, and Multan, there were now state-of-art study centres, with no faculty, which were imparting online training and education to rural students.

He was of the view that the full potential of CPEC is yet to be understood, especially in terms of its prospects for human development. “The bigger picture is that Pakistan has a great deal to learn from this extensive cooperation with the second largest economy in the world - China.” He urged that the National Education Policy of Pakistan must catch up with the CPEC initiative. He called for the need to develop dynamic professionals in commercial and engineering disciplines through strong processes and linked activities, safety procedures, skills, communication methods and teamwork ethics for rapid growth and quality-conscious output.

App to Find Missing Children

A “Mera Bacha Alert” app has been developed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to help people find their missing children.

The application is an addition to the KP Citizens Portal and will also be included in the Pakistan Citizen Portal. It will help recover missing children and will also discourage unpleasant incidents concerning children. The idea for developing the app came after many cases of child abuse were reported.

NAPA Mentors Bahria Students

The students of Media Studies Department, Bahria University, Karachi held a 3-day workshop with NAPA in collaboration with ZAHRSSS at the university premises to train aspiring actors. Various activities were assigned to the students who prepared skits on issues on education, water shortage, conflict in media industry, etc. Zakiullah Khan mentored and polished the students’ skills.

IPPA Awards in Oslo

The IPPA (International Pakistan Prestige Awards) event was held in Oslo recently.

The event was attended by showbiz people, government officials, media representatives and socialites. It attracted people from the Pakistani entertainment industry and served as a platform to project Pakistan’s soft image.

The first two IPPA Awards events were held in London.

Influencers and PR

Pakistan PR Influencers’ Chat (@PakistanPR) which is a twitter-based forum to facilitate conversations amongst public relations professionals in Pakistan, had its third online conversation under the hashtag #PakistanPRchat. The PR exclusive interaction, which was hosted by Warda Iqbal, Head of Client Services at BBPR and Events, discussed the role of influencers in PR and how it is evolving and introducing advancements in technology.

Influencers are like opinion makers as they mould and steer their followers the way they want to but their personalities should match with the brand or corporate personality. They also play a vital role in increasing sales of a product, as most people wait for feedback from their favourite influencers before making a purchase. Therefore picking the right ones can help in creating a positive brand image.

In Pakistan, the trend of Micro and Nano influencers is slowly emerging and a lot of companies are shifting from macro to Micro and even Nano influencers as they are effective, economical and have the ability to reach more people.

Pakistan PR Influencers’ Chat was established to discuss the unrecognized role of PR and communications in improving different aspects of business and society. It is operating with the twitter handle @pakistanpr and conversations are available under the hashtag #PakistanPRchat.

Showcasing Pakistan

A talented graphics designer, Assam Artist, has made life easier for those who want to see this beautiful country Pakistan by pictorially putting all these tourist attractions across Pakistan on a map.

The map features geographically referenced pictorial representations of 71 tourist attractions across the country and each of these places is a must-visit for travel lovers. The attractions include Khunjerab Pass, K2, Deosai Plains, Neelum Valley, Saif ul Malook, Kalash Valley, Taxila Stupa, Katas Raj Temple, Harappa Civilization, Hanna Lake, Hangol National Park, Ranikot Qila, Bolan Pass and lots more.

Assam decided to create the map to showcase Pakistan in its true splendour.

Chip on CNIC

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has proposed that a chip be installed on computerized national identity cards to indicate whether the cardholder wants to donate his or her organs. However, NADRA has been asked to come up with a simpler mechanism that is easier to comprehend for the people.