FRIDAY, 8th November ’13: Mobeen Ansari on Friday launched his first book: Dharkan-The Heartbeat of a Nation.
A talented young Pakistani photographer who has been in the business for nine years now, he has photographed everyone and everything from the Himalayan peaks to local philanthropists, actors, sportsmen and politicians. In his travels, through his photography, Mobeen realized one thing; there is a different and beautiful side of Pakistan that never makes it to the local or international news.
Dharkan portrays the journey captured through the lens of Mobeen’s camera. He has seen and met the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich, the dazzling beauties, the intense artists and the people who give of themselves to others.
There are a total of 98 people featured in Dharkan including: Ardeshir Cowasjee, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Bano Qudsia, Bushra Ansari, Zia Mohyeddin, Abida Parveen, Attaullah Essakhelvi, Samar Minallah Khan, Imran Khan, Qazi Wajid, Parveen Saeed (Khana Ghar), Nargis Latif (Gul Bahao), Shahid Afridi, Javed Miandad and Faran Tahir.
Through the assistance of Bapsi Sidhwa, who is also in Dharkan, Mobeen has done a light but extremely successful launch of his book in 3 different areas in the US including Portland and Dallas.
At each of his launches Mobeen’s book sold out and he managed to sell almost 40 books with some attendees purchasing 4-5 books in a go. He has also appeared on a radio show called Coffee AM News on a US radio channel Radio Azad. The recording of the show can be heard here: www.mixcloud.com/Radioazad/radio-azad-coffee-am-news-mobeen-ansari/
Speaking about his decision to launch in the US first and regarding the reception Dharkan received, he said: “I initially wanted to launch my book in Pakistan but due to delays in printing and us having to visit US for a family reunion it could not happen. It just so happened that right before we left several copies arrived. So I used this as an opportunity to launch abroad. The initial aim of the book was to promote a positive image of Pakistan and what better way of doing this? The reception was amazing. One launch (in Portland) was arranged on short notice and so many people showed up; not only Americans but people from all walks of life including a 95 year old Holocaust survivor. Through the launches I was able to change perceptions about Pakistan and also invoke even more patriotism in overseas Pakistanis; at least I would like to think so. I was overwhelmed by the response.”
During the launch of Dharkan, Mobeen also met many well-known personalities, such as the popular Hollywood fitness instructor Tony Horton, Gates McFadden (the actor who plays Dr. Beverly Crusher), and Gillian Anderson from X-Files.
Mobeen Ansari’s Dharkan-The Heartbeat of a Nation has also been reviewed in the October edition of the London Link which can be seen here: http://issuu.com/londonlink/docs/llinkv3i6?e=2575571/5378204. Pakistanis will be happy to hear that he is in the process of planning his book launch in Karachi and Islamabad – stay tuned to www.facebook.com/mobeenart for more details on when it will be taking place.