Archive for the ‘Blog Posts’ Category

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is now the newest addition to Pakistan’s rapidly growing café culture. The grand opening of its first store in Pakistan took place on 1st of December, 2017 at Mount View Plaza, F-6, Islamabad. An official ribbon cutting ceremony by Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz marked the occasion. There were also appearances by many renowned personalities from Islamabad’s elite at the event.

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“It’s been a long time since such a big lifestyle brand such as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has launched in Pakistan,” stated the Mayor of Islamabad. “I’m glad they have chosen Islamabad as their launching pad. It’s a truly fantastic store offering a premium marquis experience – a little piece of Los Angeles under the Margallas! I’m hoping to see more Coffee Bean stores open in our city.”

Born and brewed in Southern California since 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is heralded as the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the world, with over 1200 stores across 31 countries today. It has immediate plans of launching next in Olympus Mall, Islamabad, as well as in Packages Mall and Main Boulevard Gulberg, Lahore. The company has plans of opening 30 stores all across the country in the next 5 years, all owned and operated by the master franchisee to maintain quality and standard.

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is committed to sourcing and roasting the top 1% of Arabica beans, and serving over 20 handpicked whole leaf teas, all from small farms and private estates in East Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific. Its philosophy is to “respect every Bean” and create a social hub where customers can relax and enjoy in a casual, friendly Southern California environment. It is especially known for concocting the signature ‘Ice blended’ drink, variations of which are now offered at other coffeehouses as well around the globe. The brand is especially a favorite in Hollywood, catering to the likes of Johnny Carson, David Beckham, Madonna and Eddie Murphy.

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The Coffee Bean is truly international. The coffee and teas are picked from across the world, roasted in LA and ground in best-in-class Swiss equipment, pulled in an Italian “Ferrari of coffee machines” with water that comes from a world-class filtration system and served in mugs from Korea. Their chocolate and cocoa comes from Belgium and Switzerland, the butter from France, and the flour from Dubai. As for the people, the trainers are from Malaysia and the Baristas are 100% pure Pakistani.

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Doors are open to the public from 2nd of December, offering handcrafted premium coffee and tea beverages with an assortment of sweet and savory menu items to its customers.

To be a part of this experience, visit:

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“Give so that all may receive”

Art Langar is the first of its kind two-day art & music festival happening on 2nd & 3rd December, 2017 at The Rock Musicarium Islamabad.

Artist Lineup!

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The Art Langar has three key components:

1. Art Installations & Manifestations
2. Musical Performances & Collaborations
3. Langar – The Gift of Food

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT:

1. Baramda, F-11
2. Gloria Jeans, F-11
3. Chikachino, F-7
4. Tuscany Courtyard, Kohsar Market F-6
5. Doca Mocca, G-8
6. Khokha Khola, Beverly Center, Blue Area
7. Coffee Planet, I-8
8. Broaster’s, Sixth Road, Rawalpindi
9. Cheese Factor, F-11
10. 10 Eleven Lounge, F-8
11. Burn out, F-7
12. Spiral, F-11
13. Sony Center, Blue Area
14. Chai Chowk
15. Cutting Edge Saloon

For tickets, please inbox The Art Langar page.

Me, I started writing when I was in grade 6. I had so many troubles at home, that I always needed a way out, always looking for a way to escape the horrible tapestries on my bedroom wall and all the things around it. I wanted to change, yet I wanted to stay inside my comfort zone. My parents got divorced when I was a kid, I hated living in a house where you would listen to screams at 3 a.m. in the morning all the way to 7 a.m. in the beginning, it was just me writing concise sentences at the back of my school notebooks and it gradually turned into getting a spare notebook and keeping it with me at all times.

I later found out that there are things called diaries with beautiful covers that you can use to write in, all your thoughts, complaints about the things you don’t have and whining about the things you do have. I asked my mom, who happens to write in Urdu, to buy me one and she did next month. I started writing anything and everything about my life, my thoughts and my life at school and with the relatives at home in that little diary. I’ve been keeping a journal ever since. I have 15 diaries at the moment, and I just turned 26. I intend to get another one soon.

I’ve been fighting depression for as long as I can remember. I started getting migraines when I was 18 and till now, I feel like half of my productivity and creativity died because of the constant pain and agony. My writing habit is what helped me cope with it. I used to worry about the most trivial of things and now, I feel more in control of my life. I compiled all that I have written in a poetic manner and published my first book by the name ‘Psychaotic’. The reason why I’m telling you this is because it was something that I could call my own, something that made me feel like all my diaries are in the book and I can read and learn through my own experiences. I helped countless people fighting depression and bipolar disorder through that. Maybe you can too. Writing isn’t easy. Sometimes the words flow through you, sometimes, they break your back with pain. But when they do come, you can see what you wrote and you can feel it. You can find it in your heart that you need to forgive yourself and know that whatever happened isn’t your fault. The World works in strange ways. You just need to be able to understand and see where it takes you.

Today, when I write, after all that time, I feel a tingle in my hands that tells me that I need to take out my journal and my black pen. I write, for myself and for the people who will read it ages later and I pray and I hope that it makes them feel better. Somehow, someday. If you are fighting depression, I assure you that keeping a journal will make you feel better. You will be able to look at what you’ve been through and make yourself stronger and better. You’ll be able to fight distress and anxiety. I bet those panic and anxiety attacks keep you up at night. That’s okay. I have them too. More often than you think. But my writing habit helps, it really does. You should get a diary too, write the littlest of things that bother you and cram them up in your writing. You’ll feel the difference in your mood, your anxiety and your depression after that.

There is no keeping it inside. You have to channelize it. Best thing is to pour it out on paper. It will change your life, as it changed mine.

Mother’s Day.

The one day we have specified for our moms. The reason why it all began was when some amazing social activist called Anna Jarvis decided to run a campaign to honor her mother by making Mother’s day a celebrated holiday in the US. And as history unfolded, we found out that rest of the countries started celebrating it too and so did everyone here in Pakistan.

What that woman started, we are carrying forward to honor our moms, because you know it is true when I tell you that we rarely have time to sit and talk to our moms. We always have work, meetings, events and friends every time our mom wants to sit and give a lecture on how bad the world is and how we are ‘just kids’ who don’t know what the world is capable of. No matter how strong and independent we are, deep down we know that our mom is the one person on earth who will stand with us if all the social image, finances and emotions fall from our hands.

The theory of us being ‘strong and independent’ became very relative when we realized that more and more women every day join the workforce of our country to add numbers to an existing percentage of 28% of the total women population. So how does this drastic change in the concept of our society impact mothers?

Not much, to be very honest. Our moms still scold us when we get home late, they still worry about our health and they still ask us if we want to get married soon. Perks?

We get late night oil massages in our hair with a handful of sarcastic comments

We get parathas and Churi for breakfast on normal days.

We get the most amazing ‘Churi’ in Ramzan and them Pakoras… Damn.

My mom, I always consider her to be the most strict mom in the history of moms and I still think that. I do, however, accept the fact that everything I am today, if my mom wasn’t there to teach me, the debates, the speeches, the love of books and poetry, I wouldn’t be who I am. She made me strong enough to stand in a crowd of thousands and not feel afraid and insecure. I am always confident, I am always proud and even in my darkest of days, I know that I will resurface as a survivor because my mom raised me like that. She is a librarian. A simple government librarian. Nothing fancy. But the way she brings books home and makes us read and find meanings of difficult words in the dictionary is why me and my sister (who happens to be studying law while being great at writing and drawing) Maham, are confident and like to read and write. I love my mom even though she drives me crazy mad sometimes( You know your mom does the same, don’t judge me). I do, because I know I am exactly like her. Lol.

About 5-6 years ago, I met this amazing young woman in a gorgeous house with a huge books cupboard in F-7. I saw her and I realized that I wanted to become like her when I grow professionally. Her name is Hira Ali and she has an event management company called Revelations. You might’ve seen my updates about the decor and event themes on my Instagram from her events. I decided to ask her some questions on her life as a working woman and her relationship with her mother for this Mother’s day.

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My first question from her was: How did your mom contribute in making you the woman you are today?

To which she smiled and replied:

“I owe it to my mom. Everything I am today, It is because of her. When she got married to my Agha (dad), she got an entire book library as a wedding gift from my grandfather. That is when I was raised between books and creativity which I portray in my work. She has always been there for me when I am running around crazy at the event, she makes sure I don’t lose it, (chuckle) she takes care of me and keeps me motivated. She is my role model and I think, she is perfect in every way and I’m glad I am her daughter”

Question 2: Do you think mothers in Pakistan are raising good daughters who will bring change in Pakistan and its culture?

“Well, our society made us realize that just the sons can do business and work successfully and for the last 5 years, I have seen a major change in that thinking. Now mothers encourage their daughters to get educated and learn the ways of the business so they never fail in their life. We now see more women getting into the business and our collective workforce. I think this is a great way of mothers showing the world that they are raising strong daughters because every woman can reshape the world”

Okay, final question. This is where I wanted to know how being married impacts her business.

Question 3: How does being married Influence your business?

“Ali(her husband) is so supportive. I thought when I’ll get married I’ll have to stop my passion for events and decor but that didn’t happen. Ali now supports me in every event I organize. He is part of the team now. He manages things in the business I used to neglect before. I think when two people love each other, they support each other too, in business, in life, and in a career. He is supportive in a way I never thought was possible and more husbands should be like him”

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While I agree with her, I still think if I’ll ever take that chance. Very unlikely, but sure. Maybe one day. Till then, I will rely on my sister and my mom for all the support I need to carry forward my love for literature and the trend of reading books.

Wherever you mom is, go give her a hug, buy her flowers. I’m planning to buy her Rus Malai and Gajray. She is old school. She will like it.

Happy Mother’s day to every amazing mother and mothers-to-be on the planet.

We’re having a book launch this Thursday, in Sattar Baksh F-7, Islamabad. You’re all welcome to join us celebrate literature. There will be poetry, prose, and music. I promise.

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Sadequain Art Society has launched the first phase of its project “Sitaron K Darmiyan”. This is an educational project which is based on street children’s education and those children which belong to underprivileged families that cannot afford the educational expenses of their children and let them work and earn for the survival of their families. The main focus of this project is to teach drawing techniques and make a skillful environment for our future generations.

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In the first phase of project team of Sadequain Art Society along with many youth organizations and university students visited Master Ayyub School yesterday. Master Ayyub School is an open air school which is situated in F-6 Sector of Islamabad where Master Ayyub is teaching those street children for decades. Sadequain Art Society has provided the stationary to the students and team of Senior Artists like Younis Roomi(General Secretory Sadequain Art Society) and Asrar Farooqi(Freelance Artist) have delivered a workshop on basics of Drawing Techniques. This training included skills of writing and drawing in which children have shown great interest.

Many healthy activities like poems telling and singing National Songs like Dil Dil Pakistan was also part of this project. Team of Sadequain Art Society has engaged children in many extra-curricular activities as well asked them many questions about their homeland Pakistan. And at the end, all the children were provided with chocolates and juices to make them motivated towards education.’

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Founder of Sadequain Art Society Syed Hassaan Ali Shah concluded the session with his remarks and told that this “Sitaron K Darmiyan” is an ongoing project which will be continued and our mission is very clear outcomes of which will be seen in society very soon. Our objective of bringing change through education will be fulfilled very soon. Today we have just started this project and in future, we might be targeting any other place within the country. After the end of the workshop on drawing techniques, we will evaluate the work of children and then will focus on those children which are showing good interest in the field of drawing and designing. He added that our team belongs to young and dynamic youth like Usman Khalid, Kashif Ullah, Syed Maryah, Shoaib Malick and Haris Mustafa, and Nida Yousaf which have great potential and working hard for the promotion of Art, Culture, and Education.

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Master Ayyub was thankful to team Sadequain Art Society and has said in his remarks that this type of initiatives make me more motivated towards the betterment of Pakistan and bring change through education.

Many organizations like Dil Say Pakistan, Hamaray Log, Chal Chalen, Beyond Sanity Publishing and Acts of Kindness came in to support “Sitaron K Darmiyan”. Many University Students belonging International Islamic University, Islamabad, National University of Science and Technology and Bahria University also contributed to the project.

Mushaihid Shah our grooming star and Gold Medalist in rock climbing also supported and joined the first phase of project “Sitaron K Darmiyan”

You can find the event details here.

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  • Tell us about yourself?

I think it’s the most difficult question as still, I need to know a lot about myself. I belong to a middle-class family brought up by decent parents and I am grateful to them. I completed my primary from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. At a young age left for Pakistan and completed my Medical training as a doctor.  My first write-up was rather an opinion for how to keep city clean which came out in Dawn’s Young World. After that was busy in studies. I started writing again though with fits and starts from 2013

  • Why did you choose to write poetry?

I think it’s like poetry chose me, this genre of writing was new for me too and u will be surprised to know that I have lots of books which adorn my shelf and borrowed from friends too but none is the book of poetry. Though if I was reading poetry as part of my grade course I would be mesmerized with words.

  • When did you start working on your book?

I was writing mainly for relaxation just to vent out my feelings but credit for it goes to some of my colleagues who after reading my poems so much liked it that they encouraged me to go for a compilation of my writings and that’s how it came in my mind. I submitted poems in two competitions for one I was selected among commendable writers. I then compiled and sent a rough draft around April 2016 and there was no looking back.

  • Who are you currently reading?

I am currently reading the book version of  “Miss Peregrine’s Home for The Peculiar Children” penned by Ransom Riggs. It’s a light fantasy read.

  • How do you manage to write with your profession keeping you busy?

I think it’s a lot about prioritising. As my profession takes up a lot of my time. I feel for some poetry is practiced and learned but for me, its borne out of situations I see, feel or experience so I cannot particularly slot time that this time is for writing poetry. It depends on my mood.

  • Tell us about your upcoming book?

My upcoming book is “Reneging Quiescence”, the concoction of different experiences and common message in one way or other and that is a refusal to be silenced by wrong things. Sometimes we are aggressive in certain situations to criticise but where we can really help we just turn a blind eye.

  • What are your plans for this book?

I hope this book is able to reach out to maximum readers out there and also help those who are not voracious readers but can read it to get an inspiration. It will be released on Amazon and Kindle first, and then as a paperback.

  • Why do you think the culture of book reading declining in Pakistan?

There are obvious reasons like education being too much expensive so increase in illiteracy, from childhood not encouraged to read books, different aspects of social media like the net ,- television to keep families occupied so no one interested. Book fairs are being arranged in Karachi where a lot of old books exchanged but usually fewer crowds are willing to stand beneath the sun to buy books.

  • Do you prefer E-book or Paperback?

For me, the magic of Paper book cannot be compared with an Ebook ever. At Least for now and maybe in the future. Sitting on the computer for a long time is also damaging for eyes, your posture also.

  • As a writer and a poet, what is your message to the world?

My message to the world is happy it’s your right as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Don’t stop dreaming. Be good where every where there seems to be so much rush its like time has bought us.

N remember as I said before AS WE LABEL THE SKY SO WE SET ITS LIMITS.

I want to thank Irum CEO of the publishing house and an  author in her right for asking me for her blog interview.

You can buy her book by placing an order here: beyondsanitybooks@gmail.com

Know more about her Here.

Know about Beyond Sanity Publishing