The Awakening

The Awakening

One night I woke up

Soaked in my sweat

Perhaps I had a bad dream

A dream of getting older without seeing the world as wild as it is

A dream of becoming weak without pushing to the physical limits

A dream of letting go of things that matter the most

A dream of dreaming about all the bad dreams

The next morning I woke up

and set out on a journey

But now that I’m back

Something still doesn’t feel right

Perhaps I am still dreaming

Perhaps I need an awakening

7 Years of WordPress-ing

7 Years of WordPress-ing

I just stumbled upon a beautiful message from WordPress. It has been a whole 7 years since first I joined this amazing platform. Time flies so fast. Feels like yesterday.

The first time I heard about WordPress was through a few blogs that I have been reading back in my school days and early college days. For the first few months, I didn’t even know what a blogging platform was but when I felt the need of something more than a social network to publish my designs, I had to search. Yes, that was still the Orkut era for me and I was obsessed with gothic art (I’d call it art just to make it sound a little better). Basically, I didn’t want my friends and family to see those piece of whatever (okay I have changed my mind, it’s not art) but I still wanted them to exist somewhere on the internet. Back then, the whole family shared the PC and you know what I mean.

I did not end up publishing them but it did open a whole new world of possibilities. One of them is how I make my living today.

So, thank you WordPress for this awesome ride so far. I hope we stick together for long.

Happy WordPress-ing😉

The Plan and The Action

The Plan and The Action

It is one thing to plan and whole another to act upon it. The action completes the plan itself and there is no way a plan is complete without the action.

When 2015 started, I planned to make regular posts and even made a little schedule but as Michelle writes in Making Writing Prompts Personal

… sit there, staring blankly at the screen. You’re blocked!

I was blocked.

However, out of nowhere, I am writing this post early this morning on an Eid holiday to remind myself of what that hasn’t been done. What that has been? A little.

So, here is to accomplish the plan. Here is to blog.

Happy New Year 2015 and More…

Happy New Year 2015 and More…

Hello and before more, a very Happy New Year to every single one of you reading this post. I know 2014 was bit messed up with all fun and rough times, I hope you all have a better year ahead.

Happy New Year 2015

In case you were not aware, I was maintaining my blog and website separately. The blog wasn’t really an up-to-date thing with hardly a post each month. The website, which was much of a professional profile to me, used a domain that I got from an expired-domains auction back in 2012.

Both my blog and website used the WordPress platform, which remains intact till date. The only few things that have changed are that I have imported all my posts and pages from my website to the blog address and mirrored my domain to the blog itself. This way, either you access through the blog address or the domain, you will see a single site which is really cool.

Now, many features on WordPress hosted option do not come free i.e. the ability to use themes and plugins apart from those featured on WordPress; and editing theme code etc. I might upgrade these features whenever required. You might see some ads which aren’t from my side. These ads can be disabled by paying an yearly amount which I am not doing at the moment. I’m not rich enough — yet. I was using a self-hosted WordPress installation for my website and by importing the site content to the free WordPress option, I have lost a lot of features. Nevertheless, kuch paney k liyae kuch khona hi parhta hai.

Many pages that will be replaced by the new content will go as archive. Some pages were written back in 2007 and I don’t feel comfortable with my back-then written English😀 Anyways, the thing is, I will stick around this place for both personal and professional matters and I am looking forward to have you onboard as well. Afterall, I am not a speak to the mirror kinda guy😉 PS: I am not freelancing anymore. If you you have some work for me, do give Centangle the honor to serve you.


Photo Album: The Untold Story of Pakistan

Photo Album: The Untold Story of Pakistan

If you’re in your 20’s or early 30’s, you haven’t seen what Pakistan was like a few decades back. Tab scene on huwa karta tha yaha😉

Abdol Rauf

This post contains rare photo-album about the untold story of Pakistan that will blow your mind! But if somehow, you are not able to open this post with ease; you can go to The Hidden Photo Album of Pakistan

The Untold Story of Pakistan The Untold Story of Pakistan

I have collected this rare photo-album about the untold story of Pakistan that will blow your mind! Pakistan used to be very liberal and free of racism, religious, cultural, regional conflicts. There used to be freedom of speech, act and other humanely stuf. Afterwords, the lovely homelad was captured by some extremists who gained power because of (sorry to say) illiterate and ignorant people and did according to the script given by enemies of humanity, our world – Pakistan. All this captured badly affected peace, politics, tourism, film industry and everything.

The Herald featuring Ziaism The Herald featuring Ziaism

The February 1978 cover of The Herald. The…

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No Mountain Too High – Another Achievement for Samina Baig and Mirza Ali

No Mountain Too High – Another Achievement for Samina Baig and Mirza Ali
#AdventureDiplomacy: Great news coming in from Russia. Samina Baig and Mirza Ali have successfully climbed Elbrus – highest mountain in Russia.
Samina Baig becomes first women in the world to have climbed the highest peaks of all 7 continents.
Samina Baig and Mirza Ali
Samina Baig and Mirza Ali on Elbrus Summit
Mirza Ali will attempt to summit Mount Everest to create another record of the only siblings in the world to summit the highest peak in the world as well as the highest peaks in each of the 7 continents. He had abandoned his attempt previously just a few hundred meters from the summit to honor women equality.
Pakistan is proud of you Samina and Mirza!


Hacking for Disaster Resilience in Peshawar, Pakistan

Hacking for Disaster Resilience in Peshawar, Pakistan

In Pakistan, natural disasters like earthquakes and monsoon floods claim thousands of lives each year. Millions more are affected, and billions of Pakistani rupees worth of infrastructure is damaged as a result of such calamities. Take, for example, the floods of July-August 2010 that affected 20 million people and claimed several thousand lives. Or the earthquake of October 2005 that killed almost 78,000 people and disrupted the lives of 2.5 million more..

Advanced technologies that can help predict calamities like earthquakes and floods, and enable people at risk to take precautionary measures in time. For a developing country like Pakistan, this is not a job the government can tackle alone. Every citizen has to step forward to build disaster resilient communities. With the right information made available at the right time, we can reduce the impact of these disasters on our society.

To strengthen communities’ resilience to natural disasters, Code for Resilience—an open innovation challenge supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)—partnered with the Khyber Pakhtunkwa Information Technology Board, the University of Engineering and Techology-Peshawar, the World Bank, Code for Pakistan, Peshawar 2.0, and the Water and Sanitation Program to engage civic hackers in developing solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing Peshawar city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan.

Peshawar Civic Hackathon

The three-day Peshawar Civic Hackathon was attended by 89 participants who were organized into 23 teams. Several government agencies, including the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) joined the Hackathon, providing their problem statements—some of which are available at Civic hackers then put together their ideas on how technology-based tools might address these problems. A total of five teams dedicated their time toward creating disaster resilience related solutions.

Over the course of the three-day event hackers received a variety of support. Already available software tools that could be easily redeployed were highlighted through the “app” repository on the Code for Resilience website. Representatives from the PDMA and FDMA were also available at specific times to answer questions from the teams. And mentors were provided to help the teams with technical aspects of building their solutions.

Teams developing disaster resilience tools were also given individual brainstorming sessions on the Code for Resilience Online Innovation Challenge, which is designed to provide additional time and support to civic hackers to take their solutions to a new level with the support of expert mentors. Grand prizewinners of the challenge will be awarded an all expenses paid trip to pitch their tools to an audience of disaster risk management experts gathering for the Understanding Risk conference in London this July. Each team was given a demo on how to create an account on the Code for Resilience website using GitHub, and how to submit the application for Online Innovation Challenge on the first day.

Among the 20 total teams who made it through to the final day of the event, four teams were working on a disaster resilience related problem statement. After the marathon development session, each team was given four minutes to demonstrate their application. Five judges with rich backgrounds in relevant fields evaluated the “apps” keeping in mind criteria such as: problem-solution fit, potential impact, prototype and ease of deployment. The official criteria by which apps were rated were published on the official hackathon webpage a few days prior to the event.

The Minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB), the host of the event, attended the award ceremony along with the Managing Director of KPITB and Vice Chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Peshawar.

Peshawar Civic Hackathon 2014 Winners

The eight winning applications are:

First Place: Smart Life Saver

Second Place: Messiah, an Android application that sends emergency alerts to a bounded network of family and friends at the push of a button.

Third Place: Rehnuma, an SMS-based government information portal that connects citizens to key government services, including emergency services.

Audience Favorite: Instant Appointments

The Aitzaz Hasan Prize for Education: Schools Ka Ehtisaab

Best Disaster Resilience App*: Disaster Survey Management (DSM), a smart phone-based tool that provides a way to conduct quick and efficient digital surveys about housing needs of populations that had previously been displaced by conflict.

Best Open Source Redeployment: Rotti Kapra Makan

Best App for Government Problem Statements: No Kunda * – Indicates a tool created in response to a disaster resilience problem statement.

From the winning teams, three will be offered six-month fellowship opportunities at KPITB.

The PDMA and FDMA showed their interest in continuing their support for the teams to launch their pitched solution.

The Peshawar Civic Hackathon demonstrates how, through innovative solutions and collaboration between local developers and responsible government agencies, the hard task of creating more disaster resilient communities can be made possible.

The article was written for Code for Resilience.

Mein Bhi Pakistani Hoon

Mein bhi Pakistan hoon

Happy Independence Day of Pakistan🙂

No matter what religion, sect, race, tribe or region you belong to; don’t forget that you are part of a beautiful and diverse nation that God has blessed Pakistan with.

Mein Punjabi hoon
Mein Sindhi hoon
Mein Balochi hoon
Mein Pakhtoon hoon
Mein Gilgiti hoon
Mein Baltistani hoon
Mein Kashmiri hoon
Mein Muslim hoon
Mein Hindu hoon
Mein Christian hoon

Lekin in sab sey barh kar yeh k mein ek PAKISTANI hoon aur mujhy apney PAKISTANI honey par naaz hai!

Diversity is strenght, celebrate it!

Green flag on the top of the world

It has been over a month now that I am following the first ever Pakistan Gender Equality Expedition initiated by Pakistan Youth Outreach in association with a few foreign sponsors. Among others, the expedition includes two siblings from Shimshal Hunza in Gilgit Baltistan.

Today, I found the news on Facebook that both the siblings Samina Baig and Mirza Ali were able to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest. This is such a huge news but unfortunately not yet covered by any mainstream media. This makes Samina Baig the youngest and only female mountaineer from Pakistan to conquer the highest mountain in the world. Also, Mirza Ali, who is a professional mountaineer, becomes youngest male mountaineer from Pakistan to reach Mount Everest Summit.

Samina Baig (21) and Mirza Ali (29) set out for the expedition last month. Mirza Ali used to send messages through his satellite phone while the receiver updated his personal blog. The last time I checked his blog the team had reached camp IV and were expecting to reach summit by 19th or 20th May. Finally at 7:40 AM Local Time they did it!

Congratulations and many prayers for a safe return.

I made this poster for Spectacular Pakistan.

Samina Baig and Mirza Ali mountaineers from Pakistan

“As a part of a Gender Equality Expedition by Pakistan Youth Outreach, two siblings from The Hunza Valley Samina Baig (21) and Mirza Ali (29) have reached the summit of Mount Everest (8,848m) on Sunday May 19, 2013) 7:40 AM Local Time.” – Spectacular Pakistan