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I am writing a novel with the working title Karachi Dreams.

Is it possible to have a home and be free at the same time? Sadiq, the hero of the novel, thinks so. He is a young Swiss man in Zurich, where he feels free but homeless. He moves to Karachi, the city of his birth, buys the legendary Apollo cinema and starts showing arthouse films.


Leila, a Pakistani physicist working for Pakistan's patriotic nuclear weapons programme, falls in love with Sadiq. She wants him to return to Zurich and take her with him, where she hopes to live a life of freedom. But for Sadiq, Leila is the embodiment of the home he has longed for. He wants to stay in Karachi.


Sadiq's choice of film arouses the anger of a mullah, who issues a fatwa calling for Sadiq's assassination and the destruction of the cinema. A liberal cleric releases a counter-fatwa in favour of artistic freedom. Riots erupt in the streets of Karachi.


"Karachi Dreams" tells a story of competing concepts of life and society, of contradictory views of man and the world, of small spaces and megalomania. Jazz meets folk music, Christian occidental philosophy meets oriental philosophy, pain meets reverie.


Swiss involvement in the colonisation of India and the partition of the subcontinent into Pakistan and India form the historical background to the novel, which is set between 1995 and 1997.

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