Karachi is the capital of the province of Sindh, and the largest city in Pakistan. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, north-west of the Indus River Delta, the mega city is the largest city, original capital and cultural, economical, philanthropic, educational, and political hub, as well as the largest port, of the country.
The metropolitan area along with its suburbs comprises the world's second most populated city, spread over 3,530 square kilometers. The city credits its growth to the mixed populations of economic and political migrants and refugees from different national, provincial, linguistic and religious origins who have largely come to settle here permanently.
It is locally termed as the City of Lights for its liveliness and the City of The Quaid, for not only being both the birth and death place of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan but also his home after 1947. Residents and those born in the city are called "Karachiites".
Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana, offers a two-year diploma course in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theatre. The All Pakistan Music Conference, linked to the 45-year-old similar institution in Lahore, has been holding its Annual Music Festival since its inception in 2004. The Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.
The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) has musical performances and mushaira (Poetry recitations). The Kara Film Festival annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries. Karachi is home to many theatre, music and dance performance groups, such as Thespianz Theater, a professional youth-based, non-profit performing arts group, which works non-stop on theater and arts activities in Pakistan. A well-developed Fashion website serving Pakistani fashion industry is FORMA.pk.
Karachi has many museums that present exhibitions on a regular basis, including the Mohatta Palace and the National Museum of Pakistan. Karachi Expo Centre hosts many regional and international exhibitions.
The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other Pakistani cities and towns. The culture of Karachi is characterized by the blending of South Asian, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Western influences, as well as its status as a major international business centre. Karachi hosts the largest middle-class stratum of the country and is the most liberal city in Pakistan.
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