KARACHI: Growing up, every Pakistani learns about Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah – the founder of Pakistan, a brilliant lawyer, a farsighted and an effective politician. But what is not commonly known is who he was in his personal life – as a brother, a husband and a father. There were people around the Quaid-i-Azam, particularly three women, who were an integral part of his journey as he continued the struggle for Pakistan and that is what The Dawood Foundation (TDF) aims to highlight via its exhibition, ‘The Jinnahs’, being held at TDF Ghar.
“Most people only know him as a lawyer and politician, people hardly know him as a person,” said Hiba Zubairi, TDF’s communications team head. “We wanted to highlight the people who were closest to the Quaid, who helped Pakistan come into being from the shadows.”
This is also the first exhibition TDF Ghar has launched since it opened its doors in October, 2017.
The TDF Ghar team worked with interns who conducted independent research and curated the content now on display at the period house. But finding the material was not easy.
“It was a bit disappointing as we couldn’t find many books or other pieces of literature that chronicled Fatima Jinnah’s life, or Rattanbai and Dina’s interactions with the Quaid,” lamented Zubairi, who also headed the project.
“There were a ton of books that talked about Jinnah’s politics but a very limited insight was available about his personal interactions,” she said. “During our research, we learned that books that might have had any such personal accounts or oral histories went out of publishing some 25 years ago.”
Pictures on display at TDF Ghar speak of the Quaid’s relationship dynamics with the three women in his life. In one picture, he sits with his sister Fatima, enjoying a wholesome conversation. The excerpt below the picture tells a story of how the two regularly had interactions over the dinner table to discuss topics of interest, social issues and political events. Then, there are pictures and letters the family exchanged with each other during trying times. Sound bites allowed visitors to have an immersive experience – what was it like to be married to an elusive man, to be a strong-willed daughter of an equally headstrong father and to grow up as a dreamer with an elder brother who also loved to dream.
Learning about heritage and history does not have to be dry or boring and the exhibition at TDF Ghar is a testament to this. “With this exhibition, we want to connect visitors and society at large with our history and heritage,” Zubairi added.
The exhibit is open for visitors from 10am to 10pm everyday till January 31.
Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasoolallah (TLYR), led by Lahore cleric Asif Jalali, sitting on Jinnah Avenue
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