2013 – my year in the garden

In keeping with its organic nature, the task of building the garden has been much greater than simply digging, planting or constructing….it has been about creating community within the school and outside its boundaries, about seeing and making connections between books and the garden, about quiet understated financial help from the outside world, yet active vibrant and willing help from within. Mostly it has been about understanding the workings, the mindset, the strengths and the weaknesses of the school community.  My one year in Shigar implementing the garden plans as they were designed in 2011, ended in early Nov 2013, yet the design process continues to amorphously expand or shrink and take its own organic from.18 Continue reading


eight days in shigar

On a gamble and a whim, and a deep-seated desire, I visited Shigar for a little over a week this July on my way back from Nagar Valley, where I had trekked to Rakaposhi base camp. To my utter amazement and delight, I found the teaching garden at Abruzzi Higher Secondary School blossoming to life. Sunflowers nodded in the sun, turnips were growing, kale had been grown from seed and was ready to be plucked and dressed into salad, peppers were growing, planters of marjoram and rosemary were in the courtyard. Continue reading

2013 volunteer education facilitators

This year, the Abruzzi Higher Secondary School garden project welcomes contributions by energetic and enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to interact with young students about learning from the great outdoors. This includes assisting teachers with integrating curriculum to the garden.

If you have experience in a particular field, be it Science, Mathematics, English, Urdu, or Balti language, or trees, local food growing,  Art, cooking, or wildlife, this is for you. Continue reading

Imran Khans visit to the Abruzzi school

 DSC_0189_resizeThe village of Siankhor in the Shigar valley, sits on the road to Askoli, the starting point to treks in Pakistan's Karakorum mountain range. It is home to the Abruzzi Higher Secondary School, which was visited by Imran Khan, chairman PTI, along with Jahangir Tareen, on September 3, 2012. Delighted to have Mr. Imran Khan amidst them, the students of the school and the people of Shigar valley gave them a rousing welcome. Continue reading

The Shabbir Science Lab at the Abruzzi School

I met Amjad Shabbir in the summer of 2011 via a young man in Islamabad who was trying to connect me to ‘real ‘ people – who would truly help fund the Abruzzi school garden project.

I made the cold call and introduced myself, then emailed Amjad the Abruzzi school story and all else i do…he arranged to meet me almost immediately after. A few days later my first encounter with him and his assistant Aniqa Yaqoob impressed me as ‘real’ people – sincere, committed, and driven. Somehow to me his bald head was a tell tale sign of left overs from cancer…his demeanor calm and sure…with an underlying sense of humor peppered with a strong faith.

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Seven-thousand Feet above Sea Level, a Teaching School Garden is Slowly Taking Form


By Tahereh Sheerazie | Posted September 19, 2012

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At 7,000 feet above sea level, in a valley between the Karakorum mountain range and the Chinese border, a teaching school garden is slowly taking form in Pakistan. I have trekked around the area several times (Nanga Parbat, Deosai Plateau, etc.), and with each visit, my attention has been captured by the remote majestic beauty of the mountains and valleys of Baltistan and the gentle people who live there. My draw to this place and its population is the driving force behind my school garden effort. Continue reading