Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

The doll makers


The idea behind the Dolls of the World took birth in Pakistan when Thatta Kedona - a self help project - started in small Punjab village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka in Pakistan and NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (AeFeA) was registered in 1999. The rest is history as they say.

AeFeA has grown multidimensional over time. Now AeFeA cooperates with six local NGOs all over Pakistan from Karachi to Hunza and in many countries around the globe. In Pakistan, the project also enjoys cooperation of prestigious educational institutions – Bahaud Din Zakriya University Multan, Indus Valley School for Art and Architecture, Karachi, School of Visual Art, Lahore, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi – interested in heritage, culture and or agriculture.
Women from other countries heard about the success of the project in Pakistan through DGFK newsletters and other media channels as well as through word of mouth (mostly from diplomatic corps housewives) and invited Dr. Senta Siller - Mother of Dolls - to start similar projects in their countries. In Cameroon, three independent NGOs -- Akwatinnighah (1998), Akaanhong (2002) and Center of Appropriate Technology in (2001) are working where over 90 persons are involved in handicrafts and appropriate technology with support from Bamenda University of Science Technology, Bamenda.

Tanto Mejor Por La Paz, Saboya is working in Colombia in cooperation with four independent local NGOs or similar organizations since 1999. Over 60 persons are busy in handicraft with collaboration from Dept of Environment Technology National University in Bogate and AeFeA.
Besides, AeFeA has networked with International Dolls Museum Flateyri and University of Reykjavik in Iceland and Benaki Museum Greece. In UAE-Dubai, AeFeA is participating in Global Village Expo every year since 2001. In Germany, besides most German senior experts coming to Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka, Dolls of the World project has support from Institute for Planning and Consulting, Potsdam.

This international community of like minded people has come a long way. Sky is their limit.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 1:10 PM, , links to this post

Ramla's Journey of Hope

Ramla Akhtar



I'm in Punjab. Making micro-documentaries. As part of the Hope Express project... which the team decided to convert into a short films/ mini documentaries project - rather than a train journey project. So I grabbed my brother's Sony Handy cam, and decided to film whatever inspires me on an unplanned journey.

I went to PakPattan from Aug 3-6, returned to Lahore and stayed a night at the beautiful and gifted fashion entrepreneur Maria B's. Met S A J Shirazi, a traveler n prolific blogger/ writer.

He pointed me to Thatta Ghulam da Dheroka, where the Thatta Khedona brand hand dolls originate from. I let go of an obsession to 'go up North' and hopped on a car, bus, rickshaw, van and finally a taxi to get here yesterday.

Back to Lahore today and wondering what next? Don't want to stay in one place for too long! Hope to settle in a new place in Lahore or go elsewhere - I have a mental plan to return to Karachi by August 18. Let's see where Allah takes me next between today & then!

My wonderfully caring hosts at PakPattan (Dastgir of Sabri Langar Khana) & Lahore (Afia & family) have made an uncertain journey very comfortable!

Alhamdolillah!

I miss going North, but right now, carrying the message of a benevolent transformation across to people, while watching the Face of God wherever I turn, seem to take precedence as an intent!

Allah does best!

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 1:00 AM, , links to this post

Appropriate Technology in the past

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:52 AM, , links to this post

Sustainability Vertically Impossible - Horizontally a Chance?

Abstract from paper by Professor Norbert Pintsch (Institute for Planning and Consulting, Germany-USA). Paper was presented in Second International COMSAT Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Development that was held in Abbotabad from Aug 26-27, 2007.
This article discusses the basic concept of sustainability and its dependencies in cultural contexts. This corelation has hardly been considered from the technology oriented side and lesser and lesser in general scientific circles. This is by no means a sign of superiority but more a sign of philosophical poverty and one sidedness, which is contra-productive, without the concerned and interested parties being even aware of it. The following contribution compares the concept of Vertical Sustainability to the Horizontal Sustainability, while making it clear that the latter is not suitable for income generating measures in urban areas.
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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:30 AM, , links to this post


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