HUNZA (ET): Mohammed Rehbar is a teacher and a librarian in Hunza valley with an insatiable thirst for words. His love for learning made him collect old newspaper clips when he couldn’t afford the luxury of books.
Apart from serving as a school teacher for 34 years, Rehbar is also responsible for setting up the first library in the area, and is considered as an institution by the residents of the area.
“Mein hoon Muhammad Rehbar, mein hoon Pakistan (I am Mohammed Rehbar, I am Pakistan),” says the Hunza resident.
“I even have a newspaper that mentioned Quad-e-Azam’s death at that time,” he says. Rehbar also has a collection of newspapers containing important news, such as the creation of Bangladesh or the changing governments in Pakistan.
He says that people from the Hunza valley started taking interest when he first opened his library in the area, including illiterate elders that would come to the library and listen to Rehbar reading out the newspapers.
“It’s more of a resource room than a library. Rehbar’s resource room hosts the entire history of Pakistan,” says head teacher at FG Girls High School in Gulmit Muhammad Hussain.
Locally known as Ustad Rehbar, the librarian provides the locals with a vast collection of newspaper articles, photos and archives on various subjects.