“Raza Rumi represents the intellect that defies identity and its lethal politics in the company of a few great classical minds that Pakistan is straining to forget. The mystic best represents his kind of political analyst: honest and non-partisan and therefore the target of the obscurantist. Being Pakistani enables us to understand cultural anxieties in a non-challenging, persuasive manner.”

Khaled Ahmed, Consulting editor, Newsweek Pakistan; Columnist


Being Pakistani

Society, Culture and the Arts

How different is Pakistan’s culture from that of India? Exploring various aspects of the arts, literature and heritage of Pakistan, Raza Rumi argues that culture in Pakistan is not particularly unique to the nation, but rather a part of the cultural identities shared by South Asians. From the songs of Kabir and the ballads of Bulleh Shah to the cult of the feminine in the Sindh region, Rumi takes a kaleidoscopic view of the deep-set cultural mores that tie India and Pakistan together. Going further, he examines aspects of the visual arts, poetry, music and literature of Pakistan that impact global cultural narratives. Finally, he introduces readers to contemporary Pakistani writers and artists and the milieu in which they express their creativity, giving us a fascinating glimpse into cultural productions in Pakistan today. Being Pakistani is a riveting account of artistic traditions and their significance in present-day Pakistan, presenting an alternative view of the country, beyond the usual headlines that focus on political instability and terrorism.


Raza Ahmad Rumi is a writer, public policy specialist, editor and instructor. He is the Director at Park Center for Independent Media, Ithaca College and lecturer, Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. He is also the editor of The Friday Times and NayaDaur Media.

Featured Articles

Pakistan’s 2022: A Polarised Polity On The Brink Of Economic Default

Pakistan’s permacrisis has only deepened through 2022. Raza Rumi on what 2023 holds for the nuclear armed crisis state. As the year 2022 ends,…

Maryam Nawaz’s Acquittal: Has The 2018 Political Engineering Project Run Its Course?

Will there be accountability of all those who planned and aided political engineering via courts? Maryam Nawaz’s acquittal by the Islamabad High Court is…

The Most Dangerous Ideology in America

Republicans and rightwing media are directly responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo. The horrific massacre on May 14 in Buffalo, New York, is…
All Featured Articles

"Hamare liye Shah Rukh sir ki movie release Eid ya Diwali aane jaisi hi. Toh kyun na hum sab ke liye waisa hi mahaul banaye? (For us, every Shah Rukh Khan movie is like festivals-Eid or Diwali. …)" ⁦@BombayBombil⁩ on ⁦@iamsrk⁩ fans & #Pathaan https://www.boomlive.in/decode/pathaan-shah-rukh-khan-box-office-records-fan-clubs-boycott-trends-20921

An Illinois school worker was charged in a massive embezzlement scheme in which she stole 11,000 cases of chicken wings


British Columbia, Canada’s most liberal province just started a 3-year experiment legalizing fentanyl, heroin and several other drugs.

Nixon’s started this “war on drugs” to target blacks, hippies.

https://trib.al/37Gdj8e https://twitter.com/davenewworld_2/status/1619690747934158850

Fifty Shades of Whey @davenewworld_2

The "War on Drugs" is a war against Black people, minorities, and the working class

My latest for @GulfStatesInst

Women in #Afghanistan are Inspired, Emboldened by Protests in #Iran

The women-led uprising in Iran is now motivating the Afghan women to pluck up the courage and push back against the Taliban



NEWS: Deafening Silence From Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff After Police Kill 'Cop City' Protester, Charge Others with Domestic Terrorism

Warnock is giving "cover to police," Stop Cop City activist @kamaufranklin tells Status Coup


Over half a million people are on strike across the UK today, the biggest strike in a decade. This is London today. Schools & railroads are closed, and government offices are empty. The unions are striking for better pay.

Load More


Rethinking Pakistan

A 21st Century Perspective Rethinking Pakistan brings together some of the best minds of the country and invites them to reflect upon the most…

The Fractious Path: Pakistan’s Democratic Transition

Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan has oscillated between weak democratic governments and brutal military dictatorships, the latter ruling for about half its existence.…

Being Pakistani: Society, Culture and the Arts

How different is Pakistan’s culture from that of India? Exploring various aspects of the arts, literature and heritage of Pakistan, Raza Rumi argues that…

Identity, Faith and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and Beyond 

As a journalist and media commentator, Raza Rumi publishes with frequency, responding to continuing troubling events in South Asia. As a policy analyst, he…

Delhi By Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller

Why, asks Raza Rumi, does the capital of another country feel like home? How is it that a man from Pakistan can cross the…


All Publications

Digital Media Projects

The Edge

The Edge


The Edge is a digital magazine that was launched in 2021 to create a space for commentaries and reporting that challenge the mainstream media narratives and engage journalists, students and communities in conversations important for the United States and the world.

Ideas + Futures

Ideas and Futures


Ideas and Futures is an interdisciplinary platform with a focus on re-imagining our societies beyond the pandemic. Its website showcases scholarly reflections, art, literary essays and expressions, cultural, social and political commentaries and analyses for international and U.S. based audiences.

The Friday Times

The Friday Times


The Friday Times is Pakistan’s first independent weekly, founded in 1989. In 2021, the publication went into collaboration with digital news platform Naya Daur Media to publish under a daily cycle.

NayaDaur Media

NayaDaur Media


Naya Daur Media (NDM) is a bi-lingual, progressive and public-funded digital media platform aiming to inform and educate Pakistanis at home and abroad. It attempts to amplify citizen voices and provide a platform to bloggers, v-loggers and reporters so that citizen journalism turns into a responsible and constructive branch of the country’s media environment.

Pak Tea House Blog

Pak Tea House

Lahore Nama

Lahore Nama l


Raza Rumi's Video Channel