Of foundry.

As early as 8am – the hostel used to buzz! Of occupied shower stalls and borrowed shampoos; Of coffee and goat cheese; of conversations in 5 different languages in one room; of cables sprawled across the floor; of waiting for the battery lights to turn from orange to green; of iPad and Macs by the dozen; of cab-pools and stepping out in groups; Of photos and photos and photos; but more than anything else… of Efes! Yes, even early in the morning ‘for the road’ just before stepping out! :)

Efestanbul! Photographed by Insiya Syed.

Hush was never really quiet… with a soul or two lazying out in the lounge on the comfy couch; the sun pouring in the only air-conditioned room that became the meeting point ‘see ya downstairs in five’; the software of choice Mr. Lightroom fast at work – there would always be those who are passionate to capture taking notes and discussing ideas. The hustle and the bustle fed the adrenaline!

The hour after the final submission of our projects. Just before we headed out for the closing night party! Photographed by by Michael Thessel. (Um, yes that's me - the refugee!)

By 3pm after a quick shower and a skype/fb update for family and close friends walk down the Hush road to take a left. Predictably awesome routine as you highfive fellow foundries inhaling icecream at ‘Mado’. Another 3-min walk to the corner where the doner kebab addicts assembled at least 5 times a day. And spending the rest of the day with this new found family of friends! :)

Döner Kebab joint at the corner of Park House Hotel. Photographed by Insiya Syed.

From the moment I found out – I had 3 days left to register myself to a workshop that would change a lot. Foundry Photojournalism Workshop 2010, June 20-26 in Turkey, Istanbul turned out to be a one-way ticket to a reality check. Also a turning point that made me semi-switch my career (Again! From being a journalist to working for TV; to going to radio; and then back at TV to being a wedding photographer!) to being a photojournalist.

Rocking Roomies. Photographed on Brenda Luzmila Bravo's Mac.

And this was a trip that I could not have even imagined – even after getting the ticket and the visa stamped. I had the money saved up for another potential trip that didn’t work out and I was heartbroken when that was postponed! 2 days later a friend mentioned Foundry and a month later, I couldn’t believe myself even when I was on the KHI > DXB > IST flight!

Istanbul, June 20-26, 2010. Photographed by Insiya Syed.

I think at some point, I will have a continuation of this post. A foundry part two that talks about being in Constantinople as one of the three Pakistanis – the other being Nariman Ansari & Qamar Ji – the feeling of being given a chance to ‘represent’ the green and the white! With around a 100 new ‘foreign’ contacts on my facebook, to always be on the lookout to show off the (little) positive stuff that I find online to link and many times, to ‘introduce’ my new friends to a Pakistan they haven’t seen before. And definitely not the Pakistan they see in the evening news.

Qamar Ji. Photographed by Loryne Atoui.

A part two of this post – to somehow explain the trip and the ‘freedom’ I felt in a country I had never been to before. Despite not being able to speak their language, having better communicated with people who embraced me for being a Pakistani! :) And being a 25-year old (at the time I was there, turned 26 a month later!) single girl who flew to Istanbul alone.

Making our way to the hostel at 4am in heavy rain. Photographed by Brenda Luzmila Bravo.

For now – a very belated but the most genuine thankyou to Istanbul – you felt like ‘home’. <3

Some of the work produced at the workshop could be viewed here.

Of foundry.

Dear Admin.

Its fucking awesome that you just tagged my chair with a code. Just the way I call IT for help when my laptop’s acting up and they ask for my system-name. I can now call you when a wheel goes missing and provide the chair-name!

Genius! #HighFiveGeo!

Next: get our employee code numbers tattooed on us! ;)



Dear Admin.

Dear Words of Wisdom.

I would flaunt and show you off. That “real stories dont have an ending”, says me.

Alas! I dont have the heart to google this and be hurt if someone’s said this before.

Its good to have you by my side though! :)

(this quote after the edit by ‘a-imam’ – made me replace real with good – is part mine, part his.)

Dear Words of Wisdom.

Dear National Bank Of Pakistan.

I didn’t really have any feelings for you till this morning when one of your ugly employee – pissed me off. Please don’t give her an appraisal this year! And I’d go back to feeling nothing about you like before!


a ticked off insi.

Dear National Bank Of Pakistan.