Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lahore celebrates Eid Milad un Nabi (PBUH)

February 16, 2011 marked 12 Rabi ul Awwal - the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); an occasion that is celebrated all across the Islamic World. The celebrations of the day include holding of mehfil-e-milaad at various locations across major cities and towns in Pakistan. Important landmarks and public buildings are decorated with buntings and lights while people distribute sweets to their neighbors, friends and family.

A beautifully decorated masjid on the Mall in Lahore
In Lahore, masjids and other important buildings were illuminated beautifully to celebrate the occasion and rallies were held to celebrate the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s arrival in this world. Security was on high alert in order to avoid any untoward incident and the day passed happily and peacefully.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Massive fire around Walled City in Lahore

There has been a massive fire around Mochi Gate area of the Walled City in Lahore. Reportedly, it all started in a small perfumery shop and quickly spread to gut adjoining houses and a masjid in the compact locality. It is almost impossible for fire-engines to reach the affected area.

Mochi Gate fire viewed from a distance
Black clouds of smoke are engulfing the area

Locals are trying to put fire out using basic tools while a lone civil defense/Rescue 1122 helicopter is throwing water from above. The fire has been burning for quite a couple of hours and if not controlled, can spread to a vast residential area.

Birds fleeing Lahore

I came across this article in Dawn by Nuzhat Saadia Siddiqi on how once popular species of birds are becoming alien to Lahore. She writes,

"Not a very long time ago, the city of Lahore woke up to birdsong and chirping. These sounds, however, are being silenced by unchecked and unsustainable development and human settlement. So much so that now, as compared to the 240 bird species that were recorded in Lahore in a study conducted in 1965, only 101 bird species were recorded during a study conducted in 1992. Ornithologists estimate there are currently only 85 bird species left in Lahore, including resident and migrant species." Read full article here.

Blue Rock Pigeon and Common House Sparrow - Image Source: here

Sadly, she is right as there were many species of colorful birds and migrant creatures from Siberia that used to enrich bird watching in and around Lahore. All of these are becoming a rare sight due to unrestricted human development and unplanned urban expansion of the city's boundaries. As for every other aspect, environment is going through extensive degradation in Pakistan and urban built ups like Lahore and Karachi are the most affected areas. I hope someone in the right state of mind notices and guides the urban planners as well as officials that run this city in order to prevent further loss of nature around us.

There's a very comprehensive article on 'Birds of Lahore' by The Birdwatchers Club of Pakistan. You can learn more about the 'Birds of Lahore' here.

Lahore Metblogs