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blue_100.jpg (4951 bytes) Living in Karachi


Karachi, is representative of a large portion of the developing world because it is a hybrid of two great civilizations, that of India and that of Islam. Karachi is a developing city with much to offer and the attendant challenges of a developing economy.


Living in Karachi is exciting as well an enriching and diverse cultural experience. Karachi is a city of  more than 18 million people on the shore of the Arabian Sea, but its population belies its size - it is an easy city to get around and visit. Karachi is Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city and has much to offer, yet is more reserved and less developed than other major cities in the Middle East or Asia. Five-star hotels and office towers in the city center soar above small flat-roofed houses the color of the desert. Bazaars and markets bustle with people and sell nearly anything one can imagine. People move in from other provinces of the country to find work and the streets are alive with color and energy.


There are a variety of activities available in Karachi for recreation and enjoyment. Theater performances, concerts, musical performances and various galas have become more common. There are no night clubs but cinemas and restaurants abound.


Pakistani cuisine is a highlight of living in Karachi. Pakistani cooking is a unique blend of traditional and modern spices of the sub-continent. In addition to many five-star hotels, one can dine on international fare in well-established restaurants around the city. Featured cuisines are Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, French and a range of seafood and barbecue specialists.


Water sports are popular because of Karachi’s proximity to the Arabian Sea. Beaches are nearby and there are many opportunities for fishing, sailing and golf. There are also a number of opportunities for environmental and conservation activity: giant seas turtles lay their eggs on miles of beaches just outside the city and there is ongoing work in restoring the mangrove swamps.


Most expatriates find life to be very pleasant in Karachi. KAS teachers live very comfortably with competent household help available. KAS has tennis and squash courts, swimming pool, gym, work out rooms and athletic fields to meet basic recreational needs. Satellite Cable Connections are available so all homes have access to live CNN and BBC broadcast. Several local English language newspapers, and the International Herald Tribune, Time and Newsweek have home delivery.


People of Pakistan


Pakistani’s are sociable people; if you ask for the way, you will sooner he invited to tea than shown the direction. The word ‘friend’ is something of greatest significance in Pakistan. Pakistani’s value the word and try to follow the ideal of friendship that will last a lifetime.


People in town and villages moreover feel it is an honor to be a friend to a foreign guest; all they ask in return is recognition of their culture and customs. A Pakistani will strive to great lengths to prove worthy of your friendship.


People depend on each other for their socio-economic needs much more than in the west. Building relationships is key to one’s future. One of the foremost cultural traits of the Pakistani who is conscious of his cultural tradition is hospitality. It is common to be invited regularly into the homes of Pakistani friends. Expatriates are mostly very impressed by the status a guest enjoys and the treatment and attention s/he receives.



Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, and is the main language of radio and TV broadcasts. But only about one in twelve people speak Urdu because people living in the different provinces speak their own provincial languages, and thus some 10-12 different languages or dialects prevail in the city.


English is widely spoken in Karachi. It is the language of the educated classes, the military and the corporate world, and is considered vital for anyone wishing to get ahead. All signs are in English and Urdu.




Pakistan has several deserts and is a fairly dry country. The summers are very hot and the winters bitterly cold, especially in the north. The province of Sindh, in which Karachi is located, is largely a desert with the fertile Indus valley running its length. Rain is very rare in Sindh, and Karachi sees only two or three storms a year. Karachi, due to its proximity to the sea, enjoys pleasant weather; though quite warm, and experiences two seasons in the year, a long summer and a shorter spring, with cool evenings from November through February.




Pakistan is a Muslim state and there is a definite pervasive Muslim flavor in all aspects of life. The majority of Pakistanis are Muslim, and Islam believes in the dignity of the individual and his freedom. The people of Pakistan are remarkably free from totalitarian tendencies - the democratic social system of Islam has bred in Pakistan a people fully conscious of their freedom and tolerant of individual opinion and action.


There are Hindus, Buddhists and a fair number of Christians and Parses in Karachi. Freedom to practice one’s faith is guaranteed in the constitution and is appreciated by all.


Dress Code


Although there is no single dress code that suits the needs of every person in every situation, it is clearly understood by all that modesty prevails in keeping body, legs and forearms covered.  Nearly everyone in Pakistan wears leather sandals and the shalwar kameez, the national dress ideally suited for the climate. The shalwar is a pair of thin cotton trousers, baggy but tapered at the ankles. The kameez is a long, cotton shirt that extends to the knees. Women wear the shalwar kameez in a wide variety of  colors and designs.  Western dress is also widely accepted and very common. School dress code is consistent with most schools and is a mix of western and Pakistani attire.




In recent years a number of law and order and politically sponsored events have created greater concern for personal safety than has been the case in the past. It is important to speak with the Superintendent about the most up to date security information in Karachi.


What’s Available in Karachi


Pakistan is an agricultural nation and its produce is beautiful. Fruits and vegetables are available in abundance in Karachi. There are seasonal and year round fruits, among them the coveted mangoes of the summer, and the tangerines, oranges, plump grapefruits and pomegranates that are sought after in winter Bananas, apples and coconut are common year round. All kinds of seafood, poultry and meat products are easily available in supermarkets and the commissary.


Imported food products are easily available and most expatriates enjoy shopping at one of the several malls/supermarkets that have come up.


Karachi is well known for its leather goods. Excellent bags, wallets, luggage, briefcases and clothing are easily found and very reasonable.


Tons of fabric and a variety of cloth is marketed in Karachi, as Pakistan is world famous for the quality of cotton products it makes. There are big shopping areas that cater entirely to the trading of domestic and imported fabric. It is fun and easy to choose and buy material of your choice and have it tailored. Ready-made garments are also a roaring business throughout Karachi.


One of the most luxurious items to acquire is hand-knotted carpets and kilims. These works of art, suitable for the floor or hanging upon the wall, range in color and treatment and are of truly exquisite design. Karachi is an entry port where the finest carpet producers in the world market their products. Iranian, Turkish, Afghani, Russian, Central Asian, Pakistani, and Chinese carpets are sold in several areas.


Karachi is also well known for its wicker and wood furniture. The craftsmanship in Pakistan is very good, and all furniture and clothing items can easily he reproduced from photographs or designed from sketches. Hundreds of jewelry shops dot the cityscape. Many designers work out of their homes and are available by appointment. Top line electronic and computer products are readily available at prices comparable to the US.




Employment Related Links

Current Openings

Salary & Benefits of KAS

Employment Application 

Teaching in Pakistan

Introduction to Pakistan

School Philosophy and Learning Theory

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