Beyond Bias and Barriers: Women of Pakistan in Science and Technolog
Hashoo Group and Management of the Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel Karachi organised an exhibition of photographs by 17-year-old Farrukh Mughal, on Friday.
On the occasion, 30 photographs of the child were on display, based on the stories of common people and natural beauty. His photographs mostly revolve around the natural beauty along with everyday life of common people, particularly the hardworking section of our society.
In one of the photographs, Mughal has captured a sweeper, who is busy cleaning the roads.
He has taken pictures of several objects lying around in our surroundings, that we normally neglect. Like an abandoned ship, that none would find beautiful while rushing past the beach.
Another picture is of a seagull soaring a little above the ocean with its majestic wings, and yet another of a bird, sitting on the grass.
Furrukh is a special child by birth. The doting parents have given Farrukh a very normal life, and he is very much like the many kids his age. However, he is special in so many ways and the apple of his family’s eye.
He has courage, strength and the intelligence most people could only dream of, and the one thing he is very passionate about is photography. He is an artist in his own right. He values the art of photography. It’s not only his passion but it is food for his soul.
Talking to Daily Times, Farrukh’s sister, Tabasum Mughal said that her brother is a self-taught photographer. “Despite being a physically impaired or special child, he has multiple God gifted talents. Whenever we go for outings, he captures different scenes through his cameras eye,” his sister related fondly. We can see in his pictures that he focuses on the real life and every day things that we often neglect, she said.
Jimmy Engineer, a famous artist, commented that Farrukh is a talented young boy, who enjoys several themes and subjects, including natural beauty.
“How will people know, if we don’t provide youngsters with opportunities and a platform?” he asked, adding that it was a wonderful exhibition.
“I hope one day he would become a great Pakistani photographer,” he concluded.
Farrukh’s father, Zubair Mughal said, “Today, I am feeling so proud of my child Farrukh. Despite being a special child, he does numerous unexpected works in his life.”
He said that he had no knowledge of his photographic skills until last year. He stated that his son seems to be naturally talented.
“Initially, I gave a normal camera to my son, but later, after seeing his keen interest I have given him a digital camera, so that he can enjoy his favourite hobby,” said the proud father of the young photographer.
Earlier, the Consul General of the Republic of Korea Chang – hee LEE, and acting Consul General of Germany Hans Juergen Paschke, along with GM of hotel Azeem Qureshi inaugurated the exhibition.
It is not everyday one sees successful women engineers. The Habib University Foundation brought together three women engineers to speak about their experiences in the job market at a session titled ‘Beyond Bias and Barriers: Women of Pakistan in Science and Technology’ hosted at a local hotel on Friday.
Three speakers invited were: Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) President Jehan Ara, Sheba Najmi, a software engineer based in the Silicon Valley and currently working as a software programmer for the Honlulu Answers, a website that answers all questions about the city, and Nida Farid, an aerospace engineer from MIT.
Farid, talked excitingly about how as a little girl she was fascinated by airplanes. Her family encouraged her to get a university degree in her area of interest. But in her classroom she usually found herself to be the only girl; sometimes accompanied by one or two more girls.
When she began designing planes professionally, her father was “concerned about her safety” as often she was surrounded by men. But, with time, her father grew proud of her and now introduces her to his friends “as the daughter who did what I never wanted her to do, but with a smile on his face”.
Ara said that she came from a family where parents allowed their children to opt for whatever career path they chose. “Boys and girls both were taught sewing and cooking, and it made us independent.”
W hen she came back to Pakistan, after spending her childhood abroad, she found the men in her field courteous. “They would help me out, stop a rude conversation and become perfect gentlemen when I passed by. And, I took advantage of all these benefits,” she admitted laughingly.
But she still sees, during her visits to conferences abroad and in the country, that female participation is sparse, and of the few who attend they often remain quiet during discussions.
Najmi spoke about a phenomenon called ‘brogramming’ (common in her profession). “Brogrammers are not geeks but men with a large social circle. They share opportunities of growth in the field with other brogrammers. And women often feel intimidated in their presence.” She explained the ratio of women programmers in the field fell from 24 percent in 2000 to 21 percent in 2010.