Unlikely reimbursement

“When I’m old and grey, and I’ve mentioned my arthritis for the fifteenth time, don’t snap at me, because that is the twentieth time today I’ve sat here with a bright smile waiting for you to finish doing peekaboo from behind the crib.”


Lahore: the most underappreciated city in the world

A beautiful evocative piece by Asad Raza.


“Lahore is the conservatory of a lost world whose traces have been largely erased from more touristic destinations, like Delhi and Agra – I will come to the reasons for this below.  The world in general has few cities that interweave so seamlessly a great vitality today (the city is about the twenty-fifth largest on the globe) with an unbroken and luxurious history (spanning the last two millennia). … 

“In Lahore, by contrast, you can see what tourists can only imagine at the Red Fort or the Taj Mahal: the dense, complex, and still vital operations of an inner city bursting with markets, shrines, mosques, food, dancing girls, riotous children.  That’s what makes Lahore different: its history is sometimes worn on its sleeve and sometimes hidden within, but never is it advertised or reified.  It’s lived.”

Photos of the International Islamic University, Islamabad

Regular readers know that I was invited to participate in a lecture program at the International Islamic University this summer.

Here are a few photos of the architecture. There are several blocks of buildings, in similar style, with very pretty courtyards at the center. Apologies for my amateur photography and the lack of panoramic view. Anyone sufficiently frustrated with my photography who wants to send me a Digital SLR camera, let me know, and I’ll put it on my Amazon wishlist.


A view of the hills surrounding Islamabad:


A doorway:


Doorways at the center of each building open to courtyards, a refreshing surprise to the eyes:


A truncated view of the courtyard (whenever you can get that SLR in the mail …) with a flavour of lush summer foliage.


A bit of detail glinting in the afternoon sun:


For those of you wondering what the big deal is about the building, remember this university was where I first started teaching, so the nostalgic value for me is huge. Also, the building I taught in was this nondescript, somewhat run-down residential house (rented by the university for the women’s classes) opposite Jinnah Supermarket in F-7: