Slideshow: Thesis Title, Abstract and Contents Page.
On 22nd September 2020, I submitted my thesis for examination to the School of Communication at HKBU. Now, fingers crossed. Six years of reading, writing and travelling has reached a conclusion. Or has it really? I’m humbled by how little I really know and excited for what now lies ahead.
A milestone achieved
The year 2020 has been full of bitter-sweet-symphonies. More than my usual share of PhD life shenanigans, epiphanies and emergencies. The COVID 19 out break meant that what little public entertainment and recreation there is in Karachi was closed by the government to contain the virus. Add to that the passing away of several loved ones in my extended family (unrelated to COVID) and one faces a tough mental challenge.
Nevertheless, it appears that I prevailed thanks in no small part to my loving parents and wife. But a lot also has to do with the rigorous mental exercises and requirements of a typical doctoral program. There was a point where I seriously contemplated quitting the program. On these occasions I remembered lessons from ‘sticky’ situations in Hong Kong. What are those memorable lessons? Well the time isn’t right to disclose those tales. But the underlying theme will resonate with others in difficult situations; they train us to bend rather than break.
As entertainment venues begin to re-open in Karachi, I hunt for jobs, prepare for the oral defence and the next chapter of my life. I’m hopeful. Hopeful not because some Pakistani leaders say so but because my work these last six years may improve our understanding of activism, justice and the media systems in Pakistan.