Reporter's Notebook from Pakistan

Creating Safe Spaces for Open Dialogue

In Karachi, News 88.7 Education Reporter Laura Isensee reflects on the difficulties people face in Pakistan when they try to push back against cultural norms.

A mural of Sabeen Mahmud at the Karachi cultural center, T2F.
A mural of Sabeen Mahmud at the Karachi cultural center, T2F.

Sabeen Mahmud founded T2F, which stands for The Second Floor, to create a community space for open dialogue. She was killed in 2015 for speaking out on controversial topics, but the project continues. T2F includes an art gallery, cafe and second hand book shop. But its main purpose is to serve as a safe space to share ideas.

We invite you to listen to the latest entry of Laura’s notebook by clicking the audio play button above. You can also follow her journey on Twitter and Facebook.

Check out Laura’s earlier travel posts on this special page on our website.


Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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