Muzakir Ijaz

Business Director, Ogilvy & Mather

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Community Reading Centers / Art and Cultural Hubs in Pakistan

Objective of making small Community Reading Centers is to bring educated and intellectual brains from the grass-root level under one platform to utilize their potential and influence in their respective areas to mellow down the effect of extremism in Pakistani society. An extension to this idea is to gradually convert these Community Reading Centers into small points for cultural activities like performing arts, exhibitions and seminars etc. We are aiming at making these centers throughout Punjab initially (starting from Gujranwala) and then eventually nationwide.

To materialize the idea, my family and a close circle of friends started a campaign on personal level and named it as "Donate a Book". Everyone loved the idea; approx 100 individuals have joined the cause and have donated over 500 books in couple of week’s time. We are aiming at launching our first Community Reading Center on the 1st of Jan 2012 with approx 3000 books in Gujranwala.

You are welcome to support this idea by joining us on:
http://www.causes.com/causes/635228-donate-a-book

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    Oct 27 2011: What a wonderful idea! I recommend that you connect with Bookcrossing.com. They are a wonderful organization, sharing books globally. Perhaps you can strike up a working relationship, and have books sent your way. A dear friend started it a few years ago, and it's been a great success. Their idea is definitely worth sharing. So is yours :)
    Ask for Heather Pedersen. :)

    There are different languages in Pakistan and many dialects, right? What language should they be in?
    Do you have a preference as to the type of books you receive?
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      Oct 27 2011: Hi Linda thanks for appreciating the idea.
      I'll surely contact Heather, can I have her email id if you have it, couldn't get it from the website?

      Yes there are different languages in Pakistan but when it comes to reading, majorly its Urdu and English. Types of books are open, however considering the end objective of this cause, we are avoiding literature spreading extremism or any sort of hatred.
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        Oct 27 2011: Sure, but you can just send it to the website email and say it's for Heather. She will either read it herself, or receive it promptly I think. Just email me on TED if it doesn't work. I'll send her a message as well to give her a heads up. So English books are ok? What kind of books do you want most?

        What percentage of the population speaks English there?

        (I just now saw you work for JWT. I used to work for Saatchi, and Burson Marsteller ;)

        Update: I sent her a message and a link to this post. :)
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          Oct 28 2011: Thank you so much, I am so grateful. I am going to send her a msg on the website, hope it gets her.

          Yea English books are okay; almost 11% of the total 180Million can communicate in English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population). Further novels, fiction, poetry, international affairs relating Pakistan, fundamentalism and religious extremism and books on Islamic art are at the priority list.

          Oh good to know that we belong to the same industry, and yea I work for JWT and currently looking after the brand Pepsi.

          Thank you so much for sending her a personal note :)

          PS. I just saw your photography link; I must say it’s brilliant.
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    Oct 27 2011: it is a great idea, but please don't restrict people who might have extreme ideas. to change them you have to talk to them. great idea. you have full support from me.
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    Oct 27 2011: Great !!