Ramble. Focus. Ramble.

Books are locked-up, like prisoners, where I study

Malala, Your Prayer is Falling on Deaf Ears (At Home and In the West)

The West

I might not even be smart enough to understand why Amazon does not allow shipping, of orders, in Pakistan. We need books, you know, and if there is anything that you can do to contribute, you probably should. I like that the West is giving Malala a platform so she can raise her voice and let everyone know her cause. But there is more that you can do, there is more that Pakistani women deserve. 

We need more Universities in Pakistan.

We need more women Universities in Pakistan.

We need books available to us. We need globalization to shun all barriers between us and the books.

The Queen should probably put a little effort in taking practical measures for the emancipation of women. Emancipation of women comes from the education of women, no one will disagree with that.

Education is not an abstraction and let’s not make it one. It is not just an idea that can be discussed/talked about in drawing rooms. There is much that can be done; much that we can do and much more that the West can do for us.

I should be able to order a book and get it shipped to my place like most of the world can.

At Home

The University of Punjab is one of the largest Universities of Pakistan. A higher education degree from this University means a lot to the world. I am a student of Masters of Philosophy in Philosophy a this University. There is a library in our Department that is home to 19,000 philosophy books; you can even find Greek pre-Socratic text here. But all these 19,000 books are locked.

They are prisoners of our mentality.

The managers keep them locked because students smuggle them out of the library, stealthily, so they never have to return them. I am not sure if I can call this love for knowledge.

There are about 6 people who work at that library but ‘work’ cannot be the right word to describe what they do there.

The library is more of a common room; people walk in, the managers shout at each other playfully and then giggle about their affairs like they are at home. There is a lot of jingle-jangle at the lunch hour when the library becomes a cafeteria. Instead of asking the students to take their matters and their food elsewhere, the managers are, themselves, engaged in the hassle of collecting money and bringing in meal trays from the cafeteria.

I just wanted to look into the contents of a book, the other day, and the process was really painful. When I finally got my hands on it there was a power-shutdown and those few windows at the library didn’t help at all.

So when Jorge Luis Borges says, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” I hope it’s not like this one.

😀

 

 

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2 comments on “Books are locked-up, like prisoners, where I study

  1. Faizan
    March 20, 2014

    Btw, if it helps, bookfinder.com let me to sites like biblio, abebooks and thriftbooks. I’m now able to buy good quality, slightly-used books in the $10-20 range, and they do ship to Pakistan.. eventually (like,2-5 weeks). A little costly, but considering they’re not digital and not even photocopies it’s a good deal I think. One by one the fortress builds.

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