Fatima Raza

Fatima Raza

The author is a Biosciences graduate and a student of MPhil International Relations. She aspires to be an accomplished writer someday.

Do Pakistan’s leaders care more about extravagant weddings than the well-being of their own citizens?

Imagine this: The lights danced on the ceiling and in her eyes. There was silk, chiffon, satin, velvet… all of it – their touch as light as water. Scores of boxes arrived from the jewellers filled with bright diamonds, gold as shiny as the sun, ocean-blue sapphires, scarlet rubies and emeralds as green as lush green leaves of an oak tree. There were glittering shoes, wafting smells of sumptuous food samples beckoning, piles of gift bags sharply wrapped up and more. Saleha hid behind her mother, staring at everything in pure awe. Her mother Jannat was an old cleaning lady who was a trusted servant of this ...

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Is this martyrdom? No, it’s massacre

Oh our land of pure, How much shall you endure? How many shall you allure? To your depths so demure, When will your thirst be quenched? Of blood and sweat and gore. Jamaatul Ahrar, a faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for a deadly bomb attack that shook the cultural capital of the country yesterday. The senseless killing of 15 people, including decorated police officials DIG Capt (retd) Ahmad Mubeen and SSP Zahid Ikram Godal, has left the nation in mourning. How many more such attacks shall we mourn as a nation? The reverberating sound of explosions, shrapnel-ridden limbs scattered on roads and the air thick ...

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The infant girl no one in Pakistan fought for

Her ragged breathing must have echoed eerily all over the ward or it could have been muffled by the loud beeping of all the equipment. It is almost a mercy that she was an infant and had no way to comprehend how she had been discarded by everyone in this world. This baby, according to this Facebook post, had been inside an incubator ever since her birth and could not breathe on her own. She was in the hospital overnight with the medical staff and the doctor on the nightshift while her parents could not be reached. The doctor in ...

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When even a seven-year-old is not “too young for jihad”

She was probably born on a bad day. Her birth must have been as abysmal as her death was going to be. She had heard from her grandmother about the bad aura of some days. “All people born on such days are as nehes (unlucky)”, her grandmother had said one day. She gulped nervously. She looked at her sister lying next to her who had fallen asleep only an hour ago after sobbing uncontrollably all night. Fajar is near. “I can pray to Allah. Maybe He will undo this. But I should hurry. If father gets up and prays before me, then Allah won’t listen to my ...

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Dear Twitterati, Pakistan thanks you for making 2016 bearable

Decades later… in classrooms… with high speed internet (if PTCL ever catches up), children will be studying the history of our beloved homeland, Pakistan. With pride, they will be taught how our country boasts strengths like having the most formidable army in the world (take that India! Hope you’re not thinking of another hopeless ‘surgical’ operation), having nukes (yes India, at least ours work), the quietest president in the history of the world and, of course, having the sassiest sense of humour on the face of this earth. Ours is a nation with a strappy sense of resilience that stands smiling in the face of relentless ...

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Beauty and the Beast: Nostalgia, magic, and eternal happiness

The mystic air The maiden fair Of how she meets And fairly greets The towering man With the face of a beast But she does not wince Or whimper or cower For he may be huge And tall may he tower She is brave and bold With a heart made of gold She will win his heart And calm his soul His fangs will soften His face will be smooth With a touch of love She will tame and soothe For there is no bigger spell Than the spell of love All curses are undone And demons turn to doves The new trailer of Disney’s famed Beauty and the Beast, has sent many into childhood reveries and it seemed to have woken ...

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Child marriage is a misinterpreted and cruel practice that reeks of ignorance

“And Prince Charming and Cinderella got married and they lived happily ever after”… She shut the book and jumped around with blissful glee. Cinderella was her favourite character and she had gotten married too. Mother had given her the news only yesterday. On her next birthday, she would be a bride, just like Cinderella. Cinderella’s wedding dress was white and puffy with beautiful flowers sown on it. So would be hers. Cinderella’s dainty shoes sparkled brightly. So will hers. Hundreds of people in fancy dresses attended Cinderella’s wedding. Her own wedding was to be attended by almost the entire village ...

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Karbala and the importance of women in Islam

It was dusk when the dust finally settled. Desert sand glistened with blood and sweat. In the distance, a small group of women and children huddled together next to the smouldering wreckage of burnt tents. Breathless, she counted the women and children. Her heart sank as she noticed the absence of Sakina (AS). Her brother had entrusted his four-year-old daughter in her care and she was nowhere to be found. The events of the day spiralled in front of her eyes and the impact made her stumble. Pulling herself together, she realised her responsibility. Glancing back at the dejected group ...

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Omran, we can all play together

He looks well. Well-dressed, well-fed and well-rested, his face is not covered in the debris of a house demolished by shrapnel. He sits in peace and quiet, not against a backdrop of blood-curdling screams of humans in pain or the earth-shattering sound of rockets hitting targets. His eyes sparkle, not with tears but with hope and promise. His aura reflects confidence that comes from living in a safe home not by living under the real threat of death every day. This is Alex from Scarsdale, New York, the subject of yet another emotionally moving video in which a child ...

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Mann Mayal: An absolute waste of TV space

Of all the useless things to have been unleashed over Pakistanis as a nation, the drama serial Mann Mayal is by far the worst. A classic sob-fest with glaring story problems, Mann Mayal decidedly became the most mocked show in broadcast history. Though the cast was star-studded with seasoned actors like Saba Hameed, Naeem Tahir, Mehmood Aslam etc. the obvious shortcomings of the plot held them back. Mannu and Salahuddin, did manage to become household names but for mocking purposes rather than being inspirational characters. As the country remained glued to their television sets on September 5th, the air was thick with anticipation. The last episode was about to ...

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