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Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education: A New Initiative for a Rational Pakistan

26 February 2014

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— Forwarded message —
From: Pervez Hoodbhoy
Date: Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 6:10 PM
Subject: Announcing A New Initiative for a Rational Pakistan

Your help is requested to support this initiative, launched by the Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education. Please spread the word around (after removing this email address). Success or failure will depend upon that. Thank you.


GOAL: EACPE seeks to foster the use of science and reason to understand nature and society and so better enable citizens of Pakistan to participate fully in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of their society; to exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities; to value human rights, democracy and the rule of law; to promote cultural and religious diversity; to raise awareness of global issues and the natural environment; and to advance the goals of international peace and justice.

The immediate aim is to produce and promote, equally in Urdu and English, 6-10 minute videos on important social, political, and scientific issues. One new video will be uploaded every week (see website).

Interviews of prominent Pakistani scholars and commentators will be undertaken at the next step.

We welcome others to be part of this effort and will host other suitable videos.

The current video list:

1. WHY IDEOLOGY? (Nazariyyeh Ki Zaroorat?)
Many people never ask, never question. They simply believe. Could this
be because of human biology?

2. A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS? (Tahzeebon Ka Tassadum?)
Many think that Islam and the West are at war with each other. True?
Let’s have a second look.

(Ameer Aur Ghareeb Mulk -Akhir Kyon?)
Culture is critical in deciding between poverty and progress. But
which aspects of culture?

4. THE DOWNSIDE OF NATIONALISM (Qaum Parasti Kay Muzir Asrat)
The world is integrated economically and yet torn apart by nationalist
fervour. Why? After all, you and I had no choice in choosing our parents
or country.

5. NATIONALIST MOVEMENTS ? GOOD OR BAD? (Kya Qaum Parast Tehreekon Ki
Himayat Ki Jaey?)
Thousands have been killed in the separatist struggles against the
central authority of various nation states in South Asia. Whose side
should one be on?

6. THE BIG BANG - JUST A MYTH? (Big Bang - Mehz Aik Nazariya?)
Every culture and religion has its own version of creation. But here is
the evidence that science offers.

7. WHERE IS THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE? (Kainat Ka Markaz Kahan Hai?)
A student recently asked me if Mecca was where the Big Bang started
from. Yes, I said, but Karachi is also the centre....

8. HOW WILL OUR UNIVERSE END? (Kainat Ka Anjam Kya Hoga?)
Until a decade ago we didn’t know how everything would end. Now, we do -
and it’s nothing to look forward to!

9. BLACK HOLES IN EUROPE? (Zameen Par Black Hole Banana Mumkin Hai?)
Citizens of France and Switzerland are very worried they will be eaten
up by a black hole made at CERN. Should they be?

10. LIFE IN OUTER SPACE? (Ghair Shamsi Sayyaron Par Zindagi?)
Over 1000 extrasolar planets have been discovered and there are billions
more. What is the chance of finding life?

11. SWINDLES IN SCIENCE (Science Kay Double Shah)
A car that would run only on water enthralled Pakistan. How can we save
ourselves from such embarrassments in future?

Main Anay Walay Toofan Aur Zalzalay Amrika Kay Tuhfay Hain? )
People allege that America has developed the means to change weather and
Pakistan is among its victims. True?

Thank you,
Pervez Hoodbhoy