GILGIT: A women-led educational and cultural initiative has been realized in the form of “Chapter One”, a bookshop focused on promoting reading and exchange of ideas. Ms Samina Khan and Ms Shahana Shah are the co-founders of “Chapter One”, situated on Naveed Shaheed Road in Zulfiqarabad, Gilgit.
Ms Khan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Literature at Karakoram International University and Ms Shah is the General Manager of CEENA Health & Welfare Services, an organization working for the empowerment of vulnerable children. Both are avid readers who wanted to present an affordable and well-selected collection of books in a variety of genres, both in English and in Urdu, to readers in Gilgit, particularly to youth and children.
“Chapter One” was jointly inaugurated by Mr Aziz Ali Dad, who is a well-known researcher, social critic and scholar, and Mr Sher Baz Khan, Chairman of CEENA Health & Welfare Services.
The opening ceremony was also attended by other notable academicians and community leaders including Director NAVTCC Mr Sher Baz Ramal, Dr Taj Nadir, Dr Nadir Shah, Dr Tassawur Baig, Dr Saranjam Baig, Dr Samina Mumtaz, Dr Sabina Nasim, Dr Aftab Ahmed Khan, Ms Seema Wafee and Ms Irum Batool.
The bookshop has a designated children’s section and will also soon launch activities in collaboration with schools to guide children about age-appropriate reading materials. Regular academic talks by well-known public speakers will also be held for youth. It aims to provide a much-needed incentive to reading and its consequent intellectual and civilizational benefits in todays’ fast-paced world of social media and shortened attention spans.
The co-founders said that they had paid particular attention to the ambience of Chapter One to create a reader-friendly environment. Customers can purchase their favorite books and also buy snacks with tea or coffee.
“Chapter One” is situated opposite Rupani Foundation’s Agah Walidain Center, on Naveed Shaheed Road in Zulfiqarabad, Gilgit.