Filmed over nearly three years, These Birds Walk is the story of Omar, a high-spirited young boy of 9 or 10 who is living in a house for runaways; he has fled his difficult rural home life for the dangerous streets of Karachi, and is trying to find a safe haven somewhere amidst the chaos of his country and his family. Attempting to help him is Asad, a young ambulance driver who works for the dispatch centre adjacent to the runaways’ home. A former street kid, Asad sees something of himself in these children, and reluctantly but regularly risks his life to reunite them with their families. Hanging over both of them, though only briefly glimpsed in the film, is the presence of the founder of both the orphanage and the ambulance dispatch centre: Abdul Sattar Edhi, the most deeply revered philanthropist in Pakistan. Edhi has established a system of nursing homes, women’s shelters, orphanages and hospitals - a large army of humanitarians gathered in his name to fight the country’s rampant gang violence, ethnic conflict and poverty.
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