Karachi: The first day of the three-day International Heritage Workshop at Zero Carbon Cultural Centre (ZC3) — Zero Carbon Footprint/Community Workshop – organized by Heritage Foundation, Karachi in collaboration with Department of Antiquities and Culture, Government of Sindh and PCATP (Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners) successfully concluded here in Makli Goth, Thatta earlier today.

The full-day session comprised meaningful lectures, documentaries and speeches by key-note international speakers, tour of Karima village adopted by Heritage Foundation, lunch, and tour of Makli Necropolis.

With STARLINKS PR and Events handing the PR of the event as part of their CSR initiatives, the international workshop was heavily attended by members of media as well as environmentalists, students and architects who began their day early by gathering at Karachi Press Club and arriving at Makli Goth in coasters.

The morning session began with tilawat and the national anthem, after which the host of the day, Shanaz Ramzi, trustee Heritage Foundation, Pakistan, and CEO Starlinks PR and Events, which had taken on this project as a CSR initiative, introduced herself. The welcome address was given by Mr Abdul Fateh Sheikh- Director Antiquities, GoS. A documentary on The Makli Necropolis was shown by the Department of Archaeology, GoS, after which Ar. Yasmeen Lari – CEO, Heritage Foundation of Pakistan spoke on Heritage Conservation with Community. Shanaz Ramzi -then presented a short version of the documentary she has made on the erstwhile beggar community at Makli — ‘A Salute to Karima – a beggar woman turned barefoot entrepreneur’.

Ar. Asad I.A. Khan — Chairman, Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners then spoke on Architects’ Role in Heritage and Humanitarian Activities. Ms Safeeyah Moosa – CEO, Spiritual Chords (South Africa) spoke on Participatory Approaches. Next to speak was Mr Jawad Aziz, Cultural Officer UNESCO, Islamabad.

Prof. Salma Samar Damluji spoke on behalf of Prince Claus Fund and gave Deborah Stolk’s message as she was not given a visa to come to Pakistan. She also made a presentation of her own work.

Saad Khan, CEO, PakoSwiss Technologies was the last speaker of the day after which attendees of the session viewed the display of products made by the community of Makli and were seen buying them with great enthusiasm. A tour of Karima Village, dubbed such in honour of Karima, the beggar woman-turned-barefoot entrepreneur, of the Community Forests and Green Livelihood Activities was also given to the attendees who were amazed by the transformation in the lives of the erstwhile beggar community. Most participants left after lunch, after taking a tour of the necropolis, while the students and faculty remained for the hands-on activities prepared for them for the next two days.

The day before, i.e on 24th October, a closed meeting of HF/SC and CER-NET was held in which presentations were shown and meaningful discussions held for designing the way forward.

The purpose of the international workshop was to review the strategies that have been devised and discuss their implication for wider application and dissemination. It also provided a great opportunity to university students to become involved with heritage, green skills and humanitarian work among communities. All in all, it was a unique and fruitful experience for both the guests and the local community. (Please send your news, article, pictorial on our email address < & or WhatsApp +923132434567)