faisal.kapadia

Faisal Kapadia

A Karachi based writer who blogs at deadpanthoughts.com and tweets @faisalkapadia (twitter.com/faisalkapadia)

Concerts in Karachi: Bring back fun to this city!

I was at a Strings concert a few days ago. It was one of those fancy sit down affairs, with hideous white sofas and people taking selfies of each other to upload on social media. Bilal Maqsood began singing “mera bichra yaar” and the LCD screens behind him played a very old video from the 1990s. It was then that it hit me. Suddenly I wasn’t nodding and smiling politely to the music, but in a half built amphitheatre, I was screaming as the crème de la crème of the urban rock phenomena in Pakistan belted out their numbers. Coming up… ...

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Photojournalist Farrukh: A true inspiration!

I first met Farrukh when I was speaking at the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) event in Karachi. I saw him sitting there on his motorised chair smiling and listening attentively. As soon as I was done speaking, I stepped down from the podium and went straight over to him to sit down and talk. Farrukh is an inspirational human being because he has not allowed his physical disability to slow him down. Below his neck, he only has command over one hand, with the rest of his body paralysed. However, he is a photojournalist who just had his first exhibition this year. Farrukh’s family ...

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Our new, increased education budget is a victory for Malala and every Pakistani

We have never given a toss about education in Pakistan. This is not a blanket statement but a fact pretty easily verified if you look at statistics of literacy in this country or the work done on education in our sixty year history. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) puts our literacy at 56%, but also reports that the largest part of our nation which is the rural Pakistan has more than 70% illiteracy, when our regional neighbours like India and Sri Lanka boast literacy rates of around 75% and 91%. In fact education is such a huge priority ...

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How much Klout do you have?

Is there a way to measure your influence on social media sites? People have forever been confused about what exactly makes one important online and where they rank. Is it traffic or engagement? What is the actual standard for success online?  In September 2009, a small San Francisco-based start up with 40 employees stated that they had the answer to all of this. Their answer was Klout. Klout essentially claims to be the standard of gauging how much influence a person has in the world of social media by aggregating their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other footprints to come up with a score for influence. Yes, there are tons of social ...

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Use or abuse: How far will social media activism go?

On 26 February 2012, an unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin was shot in the chest by George Zimmerman. Minutes before the shooting Zimmerman called 911 and allegedly said – as has been proved by the release of dispatch tapes – that Trayvon “looked suspicious.” He claimed self defense and no charges were filed, however when police arrived on the scene all they found with Trayvon was a can of iced tea and a bag of candy. This incident did not explode on  mainstream American media for a while. But the uproar was loud and clear on social media platforms. It became big on Twitter, Facebook ...

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Asad Mehmood’s out-of-this world dream

The first time I gazed at the sky in fascination was on a clear night on an off-road trip in Hingol, Balochistan. I had never seen a sky so full of stars and stood awe struck at the beauty and magnificence of the heavens. Naturally, my next impulse was to buy a telescope powerful enough to see them up close. I found this to be a very costly venture as telescopes, especially good ones are expensive. So I proceeded to scrounge for details on how to build one on the Internet. When I discovered that building one requires an ...

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Jawwad Farid and risky business in the IT sector

Whenever we dicuss the IT sector in Pakistan, the conversation is usually about what we lack and not what we have. Then we compare it to India with all its government subsidies, state of the art infrastructure and lament all the catching up we have to do. While there is nothing wrong with making that comparison because competition is healthy, we need to realize that Pakistanis have been blazing trails in the IT industry for some years. Even with all the hurdles we have in our way, the sector has been providing niche services and is often unnoticed. There is ...

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So what’s wrong with being connected?

Look at the picture above. It was taken at an event attended by the most connected people in Pakistan, sitting row upon row, young and old alike. Something tremendous may be happening on stage, but all of them are staring into devices that are gobbling up their lives. When I was growing up, the biggest sci-fi thing out there to marvel at was the ‘tricorder’, which existed in the fantasy world of Star Trek. According to Wikipedia, a tricorder is a multifunction handheld device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data. A tricorder from Star Trek was about as capable as the ...

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Saving Face at the Oscars

In the midst of all the negativity that seems to be coming out of our country, every now and then a bright spark emerges. Sometimes it’s a win against the best Test team in the world of cricket. Sometimes it’s something a little more enduring – like Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. This remarkable woman’s documentary “Saving Face” has been nominated for an Oscar. Yes – you read it right – a Pakistani is going to the Oscars on the basis of a project which highlights “acid violence”. Instead of showcasing the negative, the documentary shows the resilience of its Pakistani victims. ...

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Let’s bring back concert culture

So what do people my age talk about when they meet? When I say my age I mean the mid-30s where almost all of us have settled down to something or someone. We don’t talk about politics like everybody younger than us (thanks to Immy K) and older than us (thanks to the rest) does. We don’t talk about cricket because frankly, we are too busy to remember all the names in this ever changing team which is divided for us into the Afridis and the Misbahs. So what do we talk  about? Music. Yes, definitely music. The one force that binds us ...

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