Benjamin Zand travelled to Pakistan – a place often associated with the Taliban – to meet some of the many young, forward-thinking people working to make their country a better place.
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Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea in southern Pakistan, Karachi earned a reputation as Pakistan’s most dangerous city due to high rates of gang violence. But increased police presence has made Karachi safer over the past few years. To get to know the city, Zand claimed a spot on a colourful Karachi tour bus.
After the bus tour, Zand headed to Karachi’s Lyari neighbourhood, located in the heart of the city. Known as the worst part of Karachi, Lyari is particularly affected by gang activity. But students at Lyari’s Kiran School feel their neighbourhood’s reputation is undeserved.
The Kiran School isn’t the only youth facility inspiring Lyari’s children. Later that afternoon, Zand geared up to participate in one of the nation’s favourite pastimes.
Pakistan is closely associated with cricket, but Karachi residents are actually big fans of football. Sporting his Liverpool jersey, Zand paid a visit to the Lyari Center, which provides free football coaching to neighborhood youth. There, he met Mishal, who coaches Karachi’s new women’s team.
Music has become a powerful tool for social change. To learn more about Pakistan’s developing music scene, Zand met with rap star, Ali Gul Pir, who became famous for his comical-yet-poignant songs about social class issues and freedom of speech.