Foundation for Promotion of Acedemic Collaboration

Special Housing Education

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The Mud Housing Project [MHP] was initiated through SPARC (local NGO) in 2010, but it has a history, which began in 1990 in a village development project (Thatta Kedona) in the district of Okara (Gogera) in southern Punjab.

The mud construction has a long tradition (Harappa) in this region and it is still used extensively in the rural areas. However it has not developed further due to the influences of the city culture. Double storeyed mud constructions are however found very seldom. This although mud housing has many positive-construction biological properties and it is much more energy efficient than constructions of baked bricks and steel concrete. Purpose of the MHP is to emphasize the usefulness and importance of mud construction in city development.

An attempt is being made in cooperation with architecture students of PU, COMSATS, BNU, NCA and a constructor (Thekedar) from Harappa-Museum to develop solutions on the basis of a traditional mud hut, which would ultimately lead to a change in urban development strategies.

As a start, construction was started at the premises of the Peersada Cultural Complex; the mud construction serves as accomodation for the handicraft workers.

In cooperation with SPARC and the DGFK (german NGO's), support through the SES (Senior Expert Service) in Bonn and the German embassy in Islamabad was obtained. The MHP has gained additional importance due to the consequences of the recent floodings in Pakistan.

Financial means are to be used effectively, local solutions are to be found, the daily requirements (e.g. hot water, cooking, etc.) are to be considered. Possibilities of using Appropriate Technology are to be explored. The MHP should be understood as the initial flame and its aim to urgently establish a facility for experimental construction, which requires availability of suitable piece of land.

In connection with MHP, this term the special-project "SHE" via SPARC was organized. For this we had a meeting with Prof Malik from COMSATS in Islamabad and with Prof Khan from IVSAA in Karachi. We had discussed excursions with students from Islamabad and Karachi, together with students from Lahore Universities, like before.

The five institutions from Lahore have experience with Mud Housing, because their exposure to the experimental houses on the BNU Campus and the buildings in the village Thatta Ghulamkha Dhiroka.
Excursions are one side, but more important is, to bring a workshop as a curriculum in the curricula of the schools, which is very time-consuming.

A graphic below shows the present situation as an opportunity and chance, both.

The cooperation with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Art and Culture) in Lahore and FPAC (Foundation for Promotion of Academic Collaboration) works good for the project. In case of FPAC, they have to work on organization level.

Unfortunately GreenMag, like a mouthpiece for architecture, solar and appropriate technology for students-projects for architecture in Pakistan and abroad was not published last year, the issues are ready in digital form though.

Perhaps, we have a chance in the future.

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posted @ 9:39 PM, ,

Annual Quality of Life Competition in TGD

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Friends of Thatta Kedona know about our annual Mud House Owners Annual Quality of Life Competition – cherished AFA tradition when owners compete for the best mud house, details and designs. Everyone take part and prepare before the competition. It goes without saying that this is the spirit of that NGO AFA has infused in the villagers and they look forward to the compaction. In the process the village can be seen in an immaculate condition round the year. Here are some of the images of the competition this year:
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posted @ 10:31 PM, ,

Academia Collaboration

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We always believe in reaching out and collaboration with academia and organization working in the fields of arts, science and technologies. And that how new ideas are generated and tested. Following two posters display some of our activities to achieve our objectives:
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posted @ 8:27 PM, ,

Senior Research Fellow Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch Honoured

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We are pleased to announce to our members, that our Senior Research Fellow Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch in Cameroon has received multiple awards for his innovative work. The initiative of GreenMag as well as the involvement of construction schools in Lahore and their cooperation with projects in rural Punjab through the development project of Dr. Senta Siller is his contribution to local efforts.

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posted @ 5:07 AM, ,

The Rise of Electronic Media and the Post-9/11 Terrorism

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Prof. Dr. Ahsan Akhtar Naz, Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab
Pakistan's is a curious case of the historical media-government differences due to internal instability, terrorism, and wars. A succession of governments has exercised strict controls over a media that it fought rigorously through violations and severe punishments during the martial law regimes. The democratic governments began negotiating ethics with the media, giving it freedom and protection under the 1973 constitution. However, their differences were never settled despite the introduction of free media policy by Musharraf's (semi)martial law government at the advent of the new millennium. The history of media regulations presents a never-ending story of ethical violations by media groups and professionals who have compromised truth and objectivity for vested interests. The magnitude of this lapse has increased tremendously due to heavy induction of immature journalists. Consequently, the media groups lack abilities for managing information with responsibility in the present post-9/11 War on Terror scenario, that parallels a rise of free electronic media in Pakistan. This situation reflects a demand by some sections of the Press and public to implement media ethics to avoid mass-mediated view of reality pertaining to terrorism and sectarianism. The media should change its attitude and frame and implement ethics to avoid any future regulations by the government. This paper examines the Pakistani media scene and the historical media-government differences in view of Pakistan's internal instability and terrorism that global media project, putting challenges to the local censors and the credibility of the government and media in Pakistan.

The Pakistani media scene At the time of Independence in 1947, the Pakistani media was limited to eight daily newspapers (“Pakistan,” Background, para. 2, n.d.) and only two radio stations. By the turn of the millennium, it expanded to 815 papers and periodicals, 24 radio stations, three private FM stations, and five terrestrial TV stations that were supplemented by PTV World, Shalimar Television Network (Orient & Carat, 2010; Ziauddin, 2000), and a mushroom growth of illegal cable television networks that had begun with the arrival of the satellite in Pakistan in the late 1980s. These networks gave access to foreign channels and pirated films into homes throughout Pakistan, lacking state sensitization for responding to the issues quickly. They also showed an opportunity to private media groups to beam into every home and increase clientele through the electronic publication of news (A. Islam, personal communication, 1991). However, these groups did not succeed due to government's control over electronic media till the beginning of the new millennium. The government, finally sensitized to the spread of cable, responded by establishing Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to control the illegal access of foreign channels after about a decade.
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posted @ 11:08 PM, ,

Impact of Media Violance on Aggressive Behavior

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Maha Jamil, Kinnaird College for Women Lahore
While violence is not new to the human race, it is an increasing problem in modern society. With greater access to firearms and explosives, the scope and efficiency of violent behavior has had serious consequences. We need only look at the recent school shootings and the escalating rate of youth homicides among urban adolescents to appreciate the extent of this ominous trend. While the causes of youth violence are multi factorial and include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children's exposure to media violence plays an important role in the etiology of violent behavior. While it is difficult to determine which children who have experienced televised violence are at greatest risk, there appears to be a strong correlation between media violence and aggressive behavior within vulnerable "at risk" segments of youth. In this article, I will briefly review the impact of media violence on children and adolescents, and indicate the vital role physicians can play in helping to diminish this powerful cause of violent behavior.
Media violence poses a threat to public health in as much as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression. Fictional television and film violence contribute to a short-term and along-term increase in aggression or anger in young audience. Television news violence also contributes to increased violence, principally in the form of copied suicides and acts of aggression.
The relationship between media violence and real-world violence and aggression is moderated by the nature of the media content and characteristics of and social influences on the individual, Viewer characteristics also play an important role. These characteristics are age and gender of the viewer, Media violence affects both males and females. Parents have the potential to be important moderators of the effects of media violence on children. Children and teenagers form attitudes and beliefs and take action as a result of their exposure to media content but they also may discuss what they see with others. Children's Access to Media in the home also play an important role in increasing acts of aggression. Violence, aggression or aggressive behavior is not new to the human race and it is a highly increasing problem in modern society.
If we look upon in our society then we came to know that more families have televisions than telephones and there is no parental supervision and the absence of parental supervision leads the children to bombard affects on children personality and unfortunately, violence is one of the most popular forms of entertainment now a day's Screen-based media violence (television, movies, the Internet, and video games) is the most common studied source for children as well as for adolescents. It is believed that repeated exposure to real-life and to entertainment violence may alter cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes.
And one more aspect is the “Culture Impact of Media: as we all know that man is a social animal so the need of communication with each other is most important part of a man's life. The urge of communication has become a necessity for survival and for the purpose of communication, man explore the several means, developed from time to time such as sending messages, letters, telephone these are the source of communication at far distant places and it is collectively called “Mass Media”.
However, communication among a large number of people or society is not as simple as with individuals, but it's far too complex. Information or news that is important to a mass of people may not be passed to them from individual to individual. This must reach many people at the same time and also effectively. Such as the forecast of a storm to warn one whole city to take immediate measures cannot be passed on individual to individual since time factor is important.
This may be done through newspapers or television or both news and television are the most common sources of complex communication. These are the technological resources of communication. Media violence and its impact on youth is the main topic of discussion in regard of the media effects on youth. Our youth is the future of our country so we should discuss the impacts of media on youth resulting in the form of aggression while discussing the different theories we also need of eliminating.


posted @ 10:49 PM, ,

Women in Pakistan Media

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Hyba Nawaz, Kinnaird College for Women Lahore
The importance of media is vital in the 21st century as media is playing the role of gatekeeper and watchdog. It is an age of globalization and media which influences thoughts, lives, emotions and actions. Males and females are waving together not only in media institutions in modern age but they are also participating in every walk of life including the police, army, business, law, medical, engineering, aeronautics, teaching, nursing etc. Women are a part of every field in developed societies, while their participation is limited in different spheres in the conservative societies, where they have to face problems and criticism. Pakistan is also among the underdeveloped nations having multifaceted cultural, religious and traditional taboos that restrict women in participating in some of the sectors purely meant for their male counterparts and journalism is also such a field in which women have to confront numerous hurdles and difficulties.
A number of girls in Pakistan are students of journalism, but they hesitate to join the media field upon the completion of education. The fact that women are missing from top positions in Pakistani media has a very negative impact and it keeps women out of media houses at any level. The world of media is male-dominated in Pakistan, discouraging women from joining and staying in media houses. Sexual harassment and unfair pay is another matter of grave concern for women in Pakistani media.
There is a certain mindset in our society regarding women who work in media organizations. Several families have the perception that women are not respected in media and, as a result, they do not allow their female family members to join the profession. A vicious cycle has been created where a change to the portrayal of women in media is required to change opinions about women in Pakistan. To achieve this, women need better training and skills to compete with men in mainstream media. The current study would examine the status of women in Pakistani media, their skills and expertise in the field of media and suggest ways and means for resolving their problems besides pointing out future prospects for this vital segment of the society. In this regard, suggestions would be put for consideration of the organizations and institutions working with or on women rights and development.
Although with the emergence of electronic media, the new millennium has opened the door for greater freedom of expression for media, providing increased opportunities for women in the industry. Threats and other obstacles remain but, despite the struggling path, Pakistani women journalists are moving forward with determination.


posted @ 10:42 PM, ,

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