The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) in collaboration with Radio1 FM91 has launched a radio program under I AM KARACHI: Karachi ki Kahaniyan. Karachi ki Kahaniyan (Stories of Karachi) directed by Zain Ahmed and produced by Radio1 FM91, is a series of radio programs. Episodes for children will be aired, every Wednesday 4:00 – 4:30 pm, followed by an episode for all ages, from 4:30 – 5:00 pm. I AM KARACHI is a civil society-led campaign that inculcates hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi to collectively strive for a peaceful city.
Karachi ki Kahaniyan will draw from various themes such as literary and artistic greats of Karachi, sports in Pakistan, non-Muslim festivals in Pakistan, partition, migration and monuments of Karachi. CAP seeks to use radio as a tool to build a counter-narrative to negative notions about Karachi, inspire a sense of ownership in its citizens and inculcate in them a desire to take a proactive approach towards their city.
Speaking about this initiative, Swaleha Alam Shahzada, Executive Director and Governing Board Member of CAP said: “Pride is a sentiment much needed in our youth – when we lack pride in our history we lack the willingness and ability to strive for and to protect our future. With this project we aim to inspire, motivate and instill values that will set the course for a more peaceful future.”
Zain Ahmed, the director of Karachi ki Kahaniyan, has been part of theatre for over fifteen years and has directed several critically acclaimed plays. He is currently the Artistic Director and faculty member at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) Repertory Theatre.
The first episode for children, ‘Veera ki Kahani’ (Veera’s Story) featured characters such as talking trees and animals encouraging the younger audience to think about how they can improve their lives and build a brighter Karachi. A talking tree helped a young girl called Veera to achieve her dream of being a musician while also helping the people in her community to rediscover their bonds with one another.
The episode series for all ages looks to Karachi’s past for inspiration and encourages listeners to appreciate their city, its history, heritage and resilience. These stories aim to aspire stronger bonds amongst the citizens of Karachi for better and more peaceful solutions for their city. The first episode explored the idea of a culture street, Koocha-e-Saqafat, and the efforts of young friends who revive street art in their community.
Karachi ki Kahaniyan is a part of a project launched by CAP under the I AM KARACHI campaign, which collects, preserves and shares stories of Karachi’s dynamic past. CAP aims to encourage city’s youth to explore more peaceful and sustainable possibilities for their city. The project also includes Oral History School Tours, Mobile Museums and a festival.