Aftermath: Students to take to streets today – to clean up

Published: September 23, 2012
Islamabad resident’s online suggestion goes viral, turns into actual event. DESIGN: SUNARA NIZAMI

Islamabad resident’s online suggestion goes viral, turns into actual event. DESIGN: SUNARA NIZAMI


On Sunday morning, students and citizens in several major cities across Pakistan are expected to take to the streets. Not to protest, but to clean up.

The idea for ‘Project Clean Up for Peace’ came about when 23-year-old Faran Rafi, a resident of Islamabad, posted this message on Twitter on Friday: “I say when/if these #protests end, we take up the streets and clean up the mess. Show the world that real #Pakistanis say NO to violence.”

When the tweet and a similar update on his Facebook wall received positive response from his followers and friends, Rafi created a public event on Facebook and started inviting his friends.

“The idea is simple, just get out on the streets and roads, use whatever resources you can to clean up the mess created by the riots,” he wrote in the description of the event.

In just four hours, 740 people from across Pakistan signed up for the event. As of Saturday evening, that number has gone up to 4,374.

“The tweet turned into a movement,” Rafi, who recently graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences, told The Express Tribune.

Rafi and his friends have appointed representatives for Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to coordinate the clean up efforts. They have also used social media to promote the event, both on their Facebook page and through Twitter using the hashtag #ProjectCleanUpForPeace.

In Islamabad and Lahore, these enterprising organisers have also received endorsements from the police.

“Just got off the phone with DIG Police, Lahore. He has agreed to provide security to us throughout the event,” Ali Ayyaz, organiser for Lahore, posted on the event’s Facebook page.

Rafi and his friends have already identified some areas in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, and are asking people to suggest more places in different cities.

“We are targeting the areas most affected by the protests,” Rafi said.

In Islamabad, police will escort the participants from the Convention Centre to the clean up site near Serena Hotel.

The participants have been requested to reach the designated areas at 10 am on Sunday, armed with brooms, garbage bags, water, paint cans and paint brushes to clean and fix any damaged property.

The participants will also observe a moment of silence at noon for the people who lost their lives during the protests.

Rafi said he and the participants were also against the “blasphemous film,” but wanted to register a peaceful, non-violent protest, while observing Prophet Muhammad’s teachings about peace, cleanliness and forgiveness.

“The basic purpose is to tell the world that Pakistanis can be peaceful and productive as well,” Rafi said. “We are going to show our support for our Prophet (PBUH) by following his Sunnah and teachings.”

He said people interested in joining the cleaning project should visit the event’s Facebook page so they know when and where to show up exactly on Sunday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Raj Kafir
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Some Buddhism is still alive where it originated.


  • Hassaan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:55AM

    I want THIS YOUTH to represent Pakistan in the parliament. And that can only possible when IK comes to power Insh’Allah. And please folks I don’t need your advices.


  • Supressed, Opressed, Depressed
    Sep 23, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Now this is great! wish I was in pakistan right now so I could chip in.


  • Khurram Shaikh
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:01AM

    Love Rafi’s spirit. God bless u my friend and may the people of Pakistan have the same spirit as yours…



  • Aamir, Toronto
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:05AM

    Good job…….May ALLAH (SWT) every1 who participate in this noble event.


  • A Peshawary
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Pakistan youth Zindabad: Splendid Keep it -up.
    You the real and only ray of hope in this darkness. Please do vote to bring change but don’t follow the typical political emotional path.
    Lot of things need to be done like the one you have initiated but no politics please, rather bring change and kick out the corrupt one with patience and tolerance.
    A Peshawary


  • Dr.Hassan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Very well done.The basic thing is we can protest in a better way by following Prophet’s(P.B.U.H) Sunnah…….And his Sunnah and teachings are NOT to burn or damage properties and NOT to damage people and kill them.All the protestors who came out to streets even do not know the meaning of word Islam what to say about following teachings of Islam…….Shame on all who burnt things and because of whom police and innocent people got wounded or killed.


  • I read it too...
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:07PM

    Great initiative! :)


  • asad
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:09PM

    I see hope….some hope…


  • Adeel Ahmed
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:47PM

    Bravo! There is hope afterall, however faint. These young men and women are the real heroes. Let’s show the world that this is the real Pakistan, not what they saw on the 21st.


  • Fareeha
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:47PM

    Future ofpakistan is our youth not mullah


  • Hepik
    Sep 23, 2012 - 12:54PM

    Thumbs up. Done let the jahils define Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:02PM

    Ye hain ASLI Ashiqan e Rasool..!!!!Recommend

  • Nurul Siddiqui
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:45PM

    It is a very good idea. If I was in Pakistan I would take part in this event. MQM and TEI should hook up with this program to support these initiative.
    Good Luck.


  • SAJ!
    Sep 23, 2012 - 1:46PM

    great guys! I hope everyone join in.


  • sajida
    Sep 23, 2012 - 2:55PM

    the future lies with them.


  • Hassan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Good initiative! such initiative should have been taken after 27 Dec, 12 May Recommend

  • Samar Ahsan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 4:05PM

    Best Of Luck, I wish I could come too. A piece of advice try getting news coverage please its of pivotal importance.


  • Samar Ahsan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 4:11PM

    Great, A piece of advice try getting lots of media coverage as its pivotal importance.


  • Tz
    Sep 23, 2012 - 4:15PM

    Good job!!! Hope & pray all goes well, InshaAllah


  • Rehamt khan
    Sep 23, 2012 - 4:38PM

    You guys are true muslims !!!


  • JQ
    Sep 23, 2012 - 5:23PM

    The True Patriot Pakistanis… Well Done…


  • Shahab
    Sep 23, 2012 - 5:42PM

    People of the world this is majority of Pakistan. Why no live coverage by media for this great effort. Salute to all those who were/are part of this.


  • Saleem
    Sep 23, 2012 - 6:53PM

    This is awesome…. This is a slap on faces of rioters… I agree, Rasul-e-Khuda would have forgiven and prayed for the culprit to come back to the right path.


  • Aviator
    Sep 23, 2012 - 8:43PM

    This is really deep, your actions are in the true spirit of Islam. You guys are patriotic, and give me hope for the future!


  • Zohaab
    Sep 23, 2012 - 11:50PM

    Allhamdulillah, and MashALlah, great effort, JazakAllah Khair, Brothers and Sisters


  • aimenz
    Sep 24, 2012 - 1:30AM

    Excellent…….Well done…Recommend

  • Mr. LOL
    Sep 24, 2012 - 2:27AM

    Love from Congo..Recommend

  • paki
    Sep 24, 2012 - 2:28AM

    at least some sanity and capability seen in Pakistanis . keep it up.


  • Umer Rasheed
    Sep 24, 2012 - 4:10AM

    Making a cool video of a jharoo show won’t bring back the people who died in the protests, it won’t compensate for the loss of public property and church that got mobbed today. It is a cheap face saving stunt and nothing else.


  • Sep 24, 2012 - 5:45AM

    Great, I hope you guys find similar creative ways to sweep the dirts out of the minds of those dirtheads that defame Pakistan :)


  • Sep 24, 2012 - 5:59AM

    PTI will now take credit and say that these are PTI youth.


  • Saleem
    Sep 24, 2012 - 7:59AM

    @Umer Rasheed: Instead of appreciating a positive initiative taken by the future generation of this country, you are saying all this as if these people were responsible for the mess. They are sending a loud and clear message to the fun loving mob that we dont care about your show of love for our beloved Rasul-e-Khuda by killing and damaging property of of our own people. What are you doing to improve the situation on the ground? Think bro.


  • Saleem
    Sep 24, 2012 - 8:01AM

    @Zaidu Chaliyya: If its the moderate rational thinking coming from the PTI leadership, why not? What has PPP and PML-N in center and punjab done to protect public lives and property?


  • Atheist
    Sep 24, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Good to see that some muslims still havent lost their senses


  • kernul
    Sep 24, 2012 - 9:17AM

    They need police protection to clean up the roads??


  • Susan
    Sep 24, 2012 - 9:22AM

    Masha’allah, May Allah swt reward them for their efforts. Well done!


  • Saleem
    Sep 24, 2012 - 9:53AM

    @Atheist: I dont care what you think and believe or rather not believe, but wished your all knew a bit more.


  • Mgkhattak
    Sep 24, 2012 - 10:14AM

    Brilliant idea excellent execution.


  • Khalid
    Sep 24, 2012 - 10:14AM

    This is great…really great.


  • arcane
    Sep 24, 2012 - 1:17PM



  • KM
    Sep 24, 2012 - 3:38PM

    Bravo!! Every little bit helps.


  • Ibrar Ahmad Mir
    Sep 24, 2012 - 4:13PM

    Proud of you Guys. Thumbs up for u people


  • Lixi
    Sep 24, 2012 - 8:41PM

    How does waiting for the protests to end and avoiding protesting the protestors demonstrate to the world that pakistanis are peaceful? Seems rather cowardly to me, to let protestors destroy things and then to sneak up behind them and clean up. Fail. Recommend

  • Kanwal
    Sep 24, 2012 - 9:03PM

    I never knew this day would come!!!! :’) TEARS OF JOY…..there are good people out there!
    May Allah give you lots of sawab and may these rioters learn from you guys! :)


  • Ilyas Hussain
    Sep 24, 2012 - 9:49PM

    Thanks for all the kind comments. I was a proud and fortunate member of the group who participated in this. I hope all of you would participate if anything like this has to be done again.Recommend

  • Bill Maher (LAX)
    Sep 24, 2012 - 10:44PM

    Just love it. Pls keep it up.

    I am missing the encouragement from people who post dissing comments on all the other negative news.

    A mild advice and request:
    People and commentators, pls do not make it a religious or political thing.
    Just let it be…. the nice thing that it is.


  • Sep 25, 2012 - 3:43AM

    This is the time to clean up in all Pakistan


  • Hatam Ahmad
    Sep 25, 2012 - 9:56AM

    This is Awesome. This is the true spirit of islam. Its our turn to standup and show the world what true islam and pakistani’s are and hopefully may this be the first drop in better pakistan.
    keep up the good work.Recommend

  • Malik Faizan Ahmad
    Sep 25, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Great work is done by the youth to take Pakistan high and for make good Image in the world.
    Everybody should take his/her responsibility for the progress of Pakistan and to make positive image in the World.



  • Ahmed Nauman
    Sep 25, 2012 - 3:37PM

    I support the peaceful protest and cleaning of Pakistan.


  • Rani
    Sep 26, 2012 - 5:20PM

    @Raj Kafir:
    dafuq is Budhism? They’re observing Prophet Muhammad’s teachings about peace, cleanliness and forgiveness.


  • Oct 5, 2012 - 10:57AM

    high 5 from my office desk!


  • ishwa
    Nov 10, 2012 - 9:27PM

    Excellent nd go0d luck 4 ur next step.May ALLAH grant u a big sucess;-]


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