An article by Zofeen T. Ebrahim about the late Parween Rehman.
Perween Rehman is most at ease sitting with a group of people, especially if they are from a katchi abadi (low-income settlement) and can exchange ideas with her. A qualified architect, she heads the well known Orangi Pilot Project- Research and Training Institute (OPP-RTI) in Karachi. There are piles of papers waiting for her and scores of meetings with Government Officials and their partners. But poor people are more important. And herein lies the success of the project, for people are “their own best resource”. Rehman radiates warmth. She smiles easily and frequently bursts into a chortle. You marvel as you listen to her with rapt attention, trying to figure out why she is the way she is. “I am an optimist. The maximum I can remain depressed for is ten minutes,” she tells you later when you interview her in a spacious, well-ventilated meeting room in OPP’s office, in Orangi.