We marked one year since our dear friend Sabeen Mahmud was murdered on April 24, 2016. Among all the events and commemorations that took place around the world, my father suggested that we try to work to have a street named after her. Could it possibly be the street where she was murdered? No, that would be too painful. But what about the street where T2F is located? Well, that sounded like a better idea.
I formulated a plan with other friends to get an online petition going, and then we would approach DHA to request the changing of the street name to Sabeen’s name. Or perhaps adding her name to its official name, 5th Sunset Lane.
While the petition gained signatures, I had the good fortune to speak with the Karachi commissioner Asif Shah and the MPA Nafisa Shah. I asked if they would help with our efforts, and they both promised to do so. I forwarded a written letter to both officials, and then I waited. Asif Shah told me, when I followed up with him a few weeks later, that he’d be meeting KMC officials and would put forward the request to them. “We’ll get it done,” he told me.
Two weeks ago I learned that Asif Shah had been transferred from his post. I thought that would be the end of the petition and of our hopes to have a street named after Sabeen.
But then last night I unexpectedly got the news that the KMC had done it. They hadn’t selected 5th Sunset Street, but a different street way out in Korangi. A bit far from the city, but still a street named after our friend, as well as another named after Parween Rehman. And for those who remember T2F 1.0, it was located on Khayabane Ittehad not far from Korangi Road, so it still carries associations for me…
Thank you to Asif Shah and Nafisa Shah. Thank you to all of you who signed the petition and circulated it on Twitter and Facebook and to your friends. If it were up to me I’d name a whole city after Sabeen, but this is no small achievement.