First WordPress Meetup in Karachi Draws 125 Attendees

karachi-wordpress-meetup

The WordPress community in Karachi, Pakistan held its first meetup last weekend led by Waseem Abbas. The gathering drew 125 attendees and organizers have been receiving positive reviews and feedback.

The meetup featured two sessions, one on “WordPress Security” by Ahsan Parwez and the second on “WordPress Possibilities” by Usman Khalid. I spoke with Abbas who said that organizers were surprised by the depth of WordPress knowledge among the attendees.

“We were expecting a beginner level audience,” Abbas said. “But when they started asking questions of the speakers, we were amazed. It is clear now that we should have more advanced discussions in future meetups. For the smaller beginner audience, we will be focusing on short live sessions.”

Karachi, with a population of 25 million people, is one of the largest cities in the world. Pakistan’s WordPress community is growing rapidly, as evidenced by the local meetup in Lahore that recently passed 500 attendees. Karachi is five times the size of Lahore and has the potential to be home to a much larger WordPress community.

“Pakistan is ranked 3rd on freelancer.com and most of the projects are based on WordPress,” Abbas said. “It shows how people are using WordPress to change their lives in Pakistan. Many of the big WordPress companies have employees working from Pakistan.”

Feedback from both Lahore and Karachi organizers indicates that the WordPress community in Pakistan is extensive, but 2015 and 2016 are the first years that leaders have emerged to get everyone connected.

“People are working on different WordPress projects and websites professionally but are not connected with each other,” Abbas said. “WordPress is used by hundreds of bloggers and developers, but they don’t have a platform to connect.

“After this meetup we have seen many business collaborations and idea sharing in the community,” he said. “It is a positive gesture and real motivation for us to scale the meetups in future.” The next Karachi meetup is scheduled for February 27th.

19 Comments


  1. I am waiting for such meets in India.
    For WordPress mates from Pakistan I would like to showcase one website that I designed in URDU using WordPress. The site: http://atqjamiatulfalah.org/hayat-e-nau/ is in unicode nastaliq font and one need not install the fonts.
    For the record I ‘converted’ from Joomla to WordPress recently.

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    1. Glad to know. Where you are located?

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    1. Thanks, Adnan. Plan the Sialkot meetup soon. I’m curious to explore Sialkot. :)

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  2. @Jeffrey Is it really the place to discuss such topics like prejudice, racism, and hatred? I think we are all gathered to celebrate WP, celebrate technology, where does Pakistan’s history and so-called myths came in?

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  3. @Malik Arshad, don’t know where you located in India, but there is WordCamp Mumbai, WordCamp Pune that you can attend. Checkout meetup.com to find the nearest WordPress meetups in your region. If there is none, then may be you can start one. India has one of the largest WordPress community, I am sure there would be many others like you who would like to attend a meetup in their own city.

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  4. Good to see a few women attending as well. Guessing that will increase as Pakistan evolves.

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    1. Lets agree to disagree here, encouraging women to learn things like WordPress is simply against societal norms and against Islam which guarantees and allots defines rights. The Pakistani community can not just emulate the western counterparts and culture.

      Hafiz
      Lahore

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      1. Islam and the interpretations of the texts can change and evolve like everything else even in Pakistan. I like ibn Arabis writings on the subject where men and women can do the same work etc. “Eve was created from Adam, and so she has two determinations, that of male by virtue of origin and that of female by virtue of contingency.” And that is the last I write on this.
        Anyway hopefully things will improve for the better for men and women.

        PS
        Al-Azhaab:33 which is often interpreted to mean women cant work outside home can be interpreted numerous ways. Such is the nature of language. Peace.

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      2. Seriously? Please don’t tell you you actually mean what you wrote there?

        I really hope you are posting this as sarcastic and ironic.

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      3. As a religious person I am Following Islam to its core. I believe men have their place and so do Women but the women need to be contained. They should wear their Burqa and serve their Husbands, Fathers, Brothers and not run amok learning WordPress and PHP. There are countries were women can’t drive like Saudi Arabia, now will you also address them with your Western Ideas, Here Tradition and values come before things like WordPress.

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      4. @Hafiz – I try my best to respect other people’s religious beliefs. However I too often see people justify oppression in the name of religion and when I see that I find it very hard to be respectful.

        I am not saying that you are not honest in your beliefs that you stated. Instead I am saying you are being sold an oppressive version of your religion by men who benefit from the oppression, and not something that Allah wants you to do. One need only look back into your religion’s history, to that of the life of Khadijah to know that today’s oppression of woman is not required by Islam.

        From The Khilafah (emphasis mine):

        The discussion of Muslim women and their roles is an important one for every Muslim, firstly because it’s an area in which there are many misconceptions by non-Muslims which need to be corrected and secondly some Muslims treat women unjustly in the name of Islam when in actual fact their actions are often a result of cultural or tribal customs and not Islam.

        And from Saudi Arabia, this cleric says it is the men, not the women who are the problem.

        However, I am sure nothing I write will change your mind. Just be aware that the world is evolving towards greater human rights, and as they do even Pakistan will evolve in that direction. People with regressive views like you presented will die out and younger people who are more worldly and not oppressive will gain political control.

        Said another way, your perspective will be on the wrong side of history in the not too distant future. Learn to embrace it or be miserable as it happens.

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      5. Dear Hafiz,

        Please switch to Drupal or Joomla.

        Cheers!

        Carl Hancock

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      6. I was hoping you would be more mature than that Carl.

        Side tracking equality and prejudice with some puerile cms jibe is not the standard you should hold yourself to.

        You are trolling.

        It’s nasty, and belittles more important things.

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      7. TC:

        Hmm. There are different ways to read Carl’s comment. I took it as a sophisticate way to use humor to draw attention to the issue of equality as opposed to being more direct (like my comment) and possibly putting Hafiz on the defensive. After I saw Carl’s comment I wished I had written something more like his.

        FWIW.

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      8. If your wordpress community emulates the narrow minded, sexist views that have plagued your region for generations, then I think there is little hope for you. The future doesn’t involve treating women as second class citizen or worse, akin to the family dog or breeding cow. It’s 2016, not 1016.

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      9. Dear @alex Please do not impose your western idealogies on my Pakistani Brothers. If they want to cover their women who arrive for their meetups then it is because of their culture. They have the right to segregate men and woman in their WordCamps because of islam which is the origin of human rights and women’s rights.

        Mohammad Binladen
        Riyadh

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  5. I just made a batch of sugar cookies and they came out terrible. But I’m still gonna eat all 24 of them tonight. P.S. The WP community should tolerate any and all people no matter their views. But the WordPress™ “brand” should detach itself from gatherings a la contrary.

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