July 2007: L: Sabeen Mahmud at T2F; R: I offer my first reading at T2F
My mobile phone ringer goes off while I’m at a lunch meeting. I glance at the phone and see that Beena is on the other side. Rather than have a clipped conversation, I tell myself I’ll call her after my meeting ends. Only later, after I drive away from Royal Restaurant, do I pick up my phone to notice more missed calls from Beena and my mother, as well as many text messages, all of which convey the news: our friend Sabeen Mahmud was assassinated in Karachi.
I spend the next twelve hours—in between more meetings—on the phone and on email with friends and family and together we grieve our loss and express rage. Since the moment Sabeen was murdered, there has been an outpouring of support for her mother, for T2F and for the extended community that Sabeen left behind. Her friends have created a Tumblr blog where anyone can leave comments for Sabeen. Some online and print stories include pieces by columnist Ghazi Salahuddin, my sister Beena Sarwar, writer Uzma Aslam Khan, artist Yaminay Chaudhri and many more.
So much to left to say, but tonight I weep.