With a 24 hour news cycle and an endless stream of violent attacks across the city, the residents of Karachi have forgotten to applaud individuals who risk their lives to protect their fellow citizens.
“I Heart Karachi” is a short documentary series that aims to honor and celebrate the achievements of individuals who work against the onslaught of violent and extremist elements in Karachi. The project intends to humanize and give social context to a conflict that is primarily communicated by jarring statistics and sensationalized headlines.
Speaking about the series, Film and TV Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said:
I Heart Karachi' has been a very special project for me. Karachi is my hometown and I have witnessed firsthand the increase in violence over the years. But this is a city that defies all odds and the collective resilience of its people is further highlighted through the extraordinary efforts of these five individuals who put their lives on the line everyday as they step out of the comfort of their homes into a world of chaos.
The unique five-part series follows the lives of five ordinary individuals doing extraordinary work in Karachi. Their stories not only provide an empathetic and exclusive account of the violence, but also give Karachiites a glimmer of hope – that we as a community continue to fight back and persevere regardless of the odds being against us.
Naseem Akthar, mother of three, was a lady health worker who conducted polio drives in some of the most high-risk areas of Karachi. Despite receiving numerous death threats, she was determined to make Pakistan a polio-free country.
Naseem was tragically killed in a domestic violence incident a few months after the filming of this documentary. She was a very inspirational woman who will be remembered for her passion and bravery. This is her story.
Shahid Anjum, a crime reporter at Abb Takk News, is committed to reporting some of the most dangerous stories in Karachi. In his 23 years of experience, he has survived three bomb blasts while bringing important news to our television screens. This is his story.
Zafar Ahmed, a firefighter at the Central Fire Brigade, fought his first fire in 2007 after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Despite being severely injured on duty, he continues to serve and protect others. This is his story.
Dr. Seemin Jamali, head of emergency at JPMC, has been in service for the last 22 years. This is her story.
Abid Farooq, bomb disposal squad in-charge of the West zone, has been in service since 1998. The West zone, which includes Orangi, Baldia, Maripur, Kemari and Gadap Town, has the highest number of response calls for bomb and post blast inspections. This is his story.