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Karachi—restless and resilient city

The Pakistani port city is a microcosm of the nation

By Saba Ahmed   March 2021
A man walks across an open sewage drain covered with garbage (Credit Image: PPI via ZUMA Wire)

A man walks across an open sewage drain covered with garbage (Credit Image: PPI via ZUMA Wire)

Every month, 45,000 migrant workers arrive in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. This is just one remarkable fact in Samira Shackle’s compelling portrait of the “mega-city,” in which she turns her attention away from the affluent neighbourhoods of Defence and Clifton towards the municipalities of Orangi and Lyari, which are mired in gang violence, corruption and ethnic conflict.

Shackle travels further, sketching the geography of Sindh province: its mangrove forests, sandy beaches and dry riverbeds, as well as the arid scrubland where the ancestral homes of villagers are being illegally torn down to build gated suburbs for…

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