Category Archives: misc/personal

Nothing we do is unplaced

Whatever is true for space and time, this much is true for place: we are immersed in it and could not do without it. To be at all—to exist in any way— is to be somewhere, and to be somewhere is to be in some kind of place. Place is as requisite as the air we breathe, the ground on which we stand, the bodies we have. We are surrounded by places. We walk over and through them. We live in places, relate to others in them, die in them. Nothing we do is unplaced.

[Edward Casey in The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History] Watercolor by Sarfraz Musawir

Human development professor dies following brief illness

two year ago, in november 2018, i was invited to screen ‘a thin wall’ at a conference on ‘weaponizing people: militarization and armed conflict in asia’ at SUNY Binghamton. lubna chaudhry was one of the organizers and my primary contact there. she invited me to a literary evening the night before the screening, where i met the brilliant Shane Carreon. we all went out to dinner at a wonderful thai place afterwards. she was kind and generous but a strong presence in that space. i could feel it. she was loved by her students. that too was obvious. originally from pakistan. only 54. may she rest in power.

“I admired Lubna as a scholar, but her activism inspired me,” Denise Yull said. “Lubna was a founding member of FARAB, a faculty collective composed of people of color from across the University who assembled to protest a climate of racism and indifference experienced by both students and faculty of color at Binghamton University. Lubna stood at the frontline against racial injustice at [BU], standing shoulder to shoulder with students and faculty of color. To honor Lubna, we have to continue standing up against systemic racism.” More here.

happy independence pakistan

i don’t believe in borders or nation states. don’t judge a person’s value or humanity based on what side of a border (any border) they were born or raised.

flags make me uncomfortable because they stand in for nationalism/patriotism and inevitably symbolize death and destruction for many ‘others’.

but i have deep feelings for pakistan – for its hardworking people (whether they clean homes, chauffeur cars, or work the land in rural areas), for the urdu language and the way it makes my heart stand still (so much beauty and emotional eloquence), for its undulous or jagged landscapes, for its mythical cities, for its old trees and ancient dust, even for its stifling hot summers and bright winters, for my parents who are there at the moment, and for the friends and family i have grown up with and love.

i have one of those hyphenated identities but i’m glad that pakistan is where it all began. my dream is to be able to return often, support the changes pakistanis are fighting for, and envision, along with them, a kinder, more equitable, richly diverse home for the 220 million who depend on it for joy and sustenance. ameen.

With high school friends in Islamabad, in 2013

happy eid / happy birthday

eid mubarik everyone! and happy birthday to our daughter who turns 20 today! the baby of our family. officially speaking, for the first time in many years, we won’t have a teenager in our house anymore – the beginning of a new era. love u mims <3