Karachi, a teeming metropolis perched on the Arabian Sea, has long been known as the City of Lights by locals, due to its vitality and thriving street life. Among its 15 millions inhabitants, Pakistan's most populous city contains countless contradictions within its boundaries; it supports a growing middle class, but also religious extremism. A thriving commercial center, it has also been the site of shocking acts of terrorism, including an attack in May of this year that left 12 dead.
In her seminal 1961 book on modern urban life, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs wrote, "Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." As Steve Inskeep explains in "Portrait of a Megalopolis," the city truly contains multitudes. As he writes, "Karachi may be a city in crisis, on the shore of a country in crisis, but people find ways to make money. If religious conservatism is spreading, that's no problem; new ads outside the airport promote 'Pakistan's First Shariah Compliant Credit Card.'"
Above, brides participate in a mass wedding ceremony held in Karachi on Feb. 12, 2008. The 160 couples' wedding was arranged with the help of the Pakistani Sindh province government to help the couples' parents with the high costs of traditional wedding customs