ema.anis

Ema Anis

The social media editor for the web desk at The Express Tribune. She tweets as @EmaAnis (twitter.com/EmaAnis)

I didn’t know who Sarmad Tariq was… until he passed away

Can someone you’ve never known, someone whose name you’ve never heard of, inspire you enough to rethink your entire life? Apparently it can. It was only a couple of Facebook posts and the news of his death that moved me, leaving me feeling a little broken inside. When I logged on to Twitter this morning, I found my timeline flooded with people mourning the death of Sarmad Tariq and talking about what a great person he was. Initially, I didn’t care much. I mean, people die all the time. Famous people die too. And everyone sings their praises after they are gone. There was nothing ...

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Celebrating Eidul Fitr: Same sentiments, different places

“Haw, it must be so boring spending Eid away from home!” This is something I have heard on more than one occasion throughout my life: elders of the family pitying those who have left home, particularly for ‘non-Muslim’ countries. As a child, it made me imagine a horrible picture of life abroad where Ramazan would be spent in dark lonely corners, having no halwa on Eid Miladun Nabi, and no one to check out your new crisp dress on Eidul Fitr. The reality, however, is far from that, and I realised this as I grew up. Working for a news organisation literally opened ...

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Burka Avenger: Why criticise the effort just because of the burka?

Imagine a young Pakistani girl. She lives a normal life; maybe she is just a reporter like Superman. She dresses pretty much like every other Pakistani girl. There’s nothing unique about her. Except.. wait! She is a superhero! She takes on evil villains by using her superpowers, while wearing a disguise. Because, duh, every superhero has to wear a disguise. They must protect their identity. Here’s a picture of the super-girl chilling at Karachi beach: Photo: Ema Anis Err. Sorry. Wrong disguise. Maybe, this? Photo: Ema Anis Um. I’m not so sure… Something just doesn’t gel here. What’s the ...

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She told me not to buy the motorbike…

Ammi was screaming and creating a fuss around the house. Abbu sat in his corner, silent. “He is just 21-years-old! No boy this young in my family has ever had a bike,” Ammi cried. Abbu nodded, not taking his eyes off the newspaper. “Are you listening to me? I said this boy is not going to get a bike. And that’s final,” Ammi was infuriated. Abbu just smiled. I knew the court had ruled in my favour. Abbu’s smile was the verdict: I was finally getting a bike. It was the best feeling of my life; owning a bike, taking it to university instead of boarding ...

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Jahaiz, destroying families one wedding at a time

The absurdity of the dowry norm, commonly known as jahaiz, prevalent in our society has long been debated. I did not realise the gravity of the issue until recently when my father’s cousin had to sell off his shop — the sole source of income for his family — to arrange the jahaiz for his daughter. The girl is now happily married to a financially stable guy but her family back home is finding it hard to survive. Her mother, who started sewing clothes to earn a living, has developed an eye illness that cannot be treated due to the treatment’s high ...

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Lights, joy, mithai: Eid Miladun Nabi in Pakistan

We call them ‘choti choti khushiyan.’ Forget all the troubles, hassle, inflation and terrorism which are rampant in our country, and take one day, one event, to celebrate. Today, it is Eid Miladun Nabi. The entire country is lit up and decorated. Even the ‘city of lights’ gets to see a lot of lights, despite the loadshedding. Taking advantage of the holiday, people meet old relatives, share food and sweets. Many even take their families to zoos and parks just to celebrate this beautiful day. As my friend would like to put it, the entire country goes ‘meetha meetha’. Being a shutterbug, I tried finding this ...

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Education’s own ‘class conflict’

Pakistanis constantly face the dilemma of choosing the right education system for our children. Most of us, no matter which education system we belong to, would somehow always prefer the Cambridge system over the local Matric system when it comes to choosing for our children. I, myself, would make that choice. The reason is very clear: the British education system ‘imported’ for our progress is undoubtedly better than the home grown one. Children who get the opportunity of appearing for Cambridge International Examinations tend to have an edge over the Matric students. But the edge comes at a high price – inequality. ...

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Top shots for the month of October, 2012

An elderly Indian man stands at the roadside in Budhi Bawal village in the Alwar district of Rajasthan state on October 15, 2012. Whilst the traditional norms and values of Indian society laid stress on showing respect and providing care for the elderly, the advent of modernization has eroded the traditional values that vested authority with elderly. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN

The sun rises as seen from Newton, Massachusetts, on October 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="461" caption="This picture shows the sunset seen from Rome over St Peter's basilica at the ...

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Watch out! Video games could breed our own Breiviks

Norway’s mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, in an effort to ‘desensitise’ himself before going on his shooting spree, spent a total of 130 hours playing the video game “Call of Duty”, as revealed by the judge who sentenced him. This reminds me of my own 15-year-old brother and several other people I know of, who are not just fans of this game, but play it religiously. Is there a possibility of any of them turning out to be something like Breivik? It would be a sweeping generalisation if I say yes. But the idea of these games helping in the desensitisation of someone cannot ...

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Why I love public buses

Let me admit that no matter how much I hate Karachi’s public buses, deep down inside, I like them too. Of course, I can’t stand the stench, the over-crowdedness and the awkward stares I have to face. But I must say that I am in love with the sheer experience it has to offer. First things first, the fare is incomparable. Try any other mode of transportation, no matter where your destination is, buses are the cheapest means to get around the city. Once you figure out the timings of buses and their particular stands, catching a bus is not ...

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