Lyari has historically been known as an area rife with gang violence and crime and in the past decade or so, the rate of violence erupting from Lyari town has effected Karachi greatly.
Lyari is home to a great deal of political and criminal violence. The prevalence of drug dealing, kidnapping, guns and land scams supported by certain political units has made it infamous in the bustling, metropolitan city of Karachi. What many people often overlook though, is the rich culture and history associated with this small, overpopulated locality.
Some of Pakistan’s best international boxers and football players hail from Lyari, additionally, Lyari is surprisingly the only area in Pakistan where boxing and football overshadow cricket.
Moreover, between the 1970’s-1990’s Lyrai also produced it’s own music known as ‘Lyari disco’. For the people of Lyari, music has always been a big part of their lives both in terms of faith and entertainment. In fact, Lyari was one of the first areas in Karachi to embrace the influx of American and European disco music of the late 1970’s. A massive ‘Lyari disco’ hit was also used by the PPP during their electoral campaign in the 1988 general elections. The song in question was ‘Bija Teer Bija’ by Shazia Khuskh and it was an ode to PPP chairperson at the time, Benazir Bhutto.
Lyari is also famous for having an open-minded, large-hearted, passionate and hard working population of ‘Makranis’. Makranis are a unique cultural phenomenon of working class, proud African decent people the majority of which belong to the Sunni ‘Barelvi’ school of faith. Barelvi Islam is a decentralised ‘folk Islam’ that takes its roots from Sufi Islam. As a result, the region is popular for singing, dancing, charity and festivity.
Although Lyari may have a muddied history, it also has it’s redeeming qualities. Team ProperGaanda went to visit the infamous locality and had an eye-opening time as they experienced the culture, food and people of Lyari. Check it out below:
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