Maria Kari

Maria Kari

A freelance writer and journalist currently based in Vancouver, BC. She writes on South Asian and Middle Eastern politics, portrayals of Islam in the West and the occasional preoccupation with pop culture faddism and tweets at @mariakari1414.

Nigella Lawson: One of the many faces of domestic violence

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report released this week, physical and sexual violence now affects a third of women worldwide. The consequences of this includes a myriad of health problems including broken bones, bruises, pregnancy complications and depression coupled with the harsh reality that many of these women may possibly spend their lifetime in such a relationship.  In the last year, a host of high-profile rape cases in India have helped shed the spotlight on the pandemic of sexual violence against women. Though we have a long way to go and much responsibility to bear, as a society, the immediate result ...

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Pakistan needs more men like Mirza Ali

In 1856 when Mount Everest was definitively identified as the world’s highest mountain what began was a series of early Everest expeditions, mostly led by the British, which, in 1933, included efforts to deploy the British Union Flag on top of the mountain by flying a formation of aircraft over the peak (an expedition funding by a British millionaires, Lady Houston) Since 1921 Everest has had over 4,500 climber visitors from over eighty nations. And while the first female ascent of the mountain was in 1975 by Japanese mountain-climber, Junko Tabei and the first Pakistani to scale the Everest was a ...

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Inglot releases halal nail polish

Cosmetic company Inglot claims it’s manufactured the world’s first ‘wudu-friendly’ nail polish. Being a relatively modern creation, nail polish remains obviously unaddressed by early Islamic sources. But the general consensus in the Islamic community is that praying with nail polish is impermissible because of the waterproof barrier it creates on nails, which prevents the wudu ritual from being completed five times a day. Enter Inglot’s happy accident – their 02M Breathable nail polish line, akin to breathable contact lenses, is made with a breathable polymer that allows oxygen and water vapour to seep through to the nails. Inglot’s tapping into the market of ‘halal’ cosmetics ...

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TV shows: It’s not just sex that sells, religion does too

A main feature of Ramazan in Pakistan is the surge of sehr and iftar talk shows and television programmes. Audiences, hungry for food, and thirsty for Da’wah (preaching of Islam), willingly welcome the gimmicky stratagems of the media-walays (media-people) looking to hook and reel us in. To name just a few, this year’s list of programmes features some of Pakistan’s most jaanay-maanay celebrities (well-known celebrities); a sportsman, an TV host slash regional park morality police, and an actress, model and an item girl, all in one personality (yes I know you know exactly who I speak of). By bringing in Pakistan’s most notorious and/or well-known celebrities, networks have tapped into a ...

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Aamir Liaquat: The second coming

Remember when Superman lost his life in a war against the seemingly unstoppable alien, Doomsday, in order to defend Metropolis? Except it turned out that he hadn’t really died and instead was actually just recharging in a Kryptonian regeneration mix for a few months so that he could return – fully alive and functional (notwithstanding that terribly embarrassing mullet). Now, Pakistan’s Ramadan hero, Dr Aamir Liaquat, will be joining the ranks of famed second comebacks so favored by comic books and holy scriptures. Yes, the rumor mill got it right this time around. Liaquat, who has often fallen from grace in the ...

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The curse of being a South Asian student

When an eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after suffering silently from months of cyber-bullying, journalist Josh Goodman at the The Huffington Post demanded that not only his bullies but the whole of society be put on trial for its role in the suicide. As virtually every media outlet, numerous celebrities, and even President Obama, spoke out about the tragedy, the question remained: Why would a young man just starting college, seemingly on the first page of a new chapter, change course and set sail in the direction of death instead? It is true that ...

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Obama’s unfulfilled promises

For Americans and a huge chunk of non-Americans who (sometimes unwillingly) are affected by American policy and rhetoric, the annual State of the Union (SOTU) address makes for important TV. Oh, except that one time in 2010 when that episode of Lost was nearly delayed thanks to competing airtime forcing many to directly question the President’s Office if their president was even aware of this pending catastrophe. Very kindly, the White House assured America’s citizenry that President Obama would “not pre-empt the premier of the show’s final season”. Returning to tonight’s SOTU. On January 24, 9 pm President Obama’s third address to ...

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November 2, 2011
TOPICS

Occupy Minar-e-Pakistan

Pakistan, according to former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, is an international migraine. Flirting with economic disaster, institutional breakdown, and general social disorder, citizens of Pakistan, often deprived of bare necessities, have become all too familiar with the pangs of disillusionment and despair. The question frequently posed on the global stage is what then should the world do about Pakistan, if anything? In her 64 years since independence, Pakistan’s tested and tried pretty much all flavours of government — all of which have left a horrible aftertaste on the country’s palate. The nation’s pre-existing frustrations coupled with the global pitch for reform ...

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August 16, 2011
TOPICS

Dr Aamir Liaquat: Defamation of faith’s Dr Jekyll

Indeed, during the days of Ramazan nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and the frighteningly charming and inveigling presence of Aamir Liaquat on our TV screens. What do we know about Aamir Liaquat? We know Liaquat brews a stew of savagery and sophistication. In one fell swoop, he can sauté his guest. We saw this in 2008, when Asian Human Rights Commission filed a petition deeming Liaquat’s cajoling and coaxing as having led to the killing of two Ahmadis, Pakistan’s most persecuted minority. We know that his admirers come in all shapes, sizes, income brackets. We know that Liaquat ...

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Doctor se Rishta: A modest proposal

Recently a friend posted a Facebook link that read: “Gift-find for the single South Asian women on Facebook.” Falling into all the above categories – South Asian, female, and single – I felt obliged to follow his instructions, which led me to an online matrimonial service. Great, I thought. Just what the free world needs: another run-of-the-mill, Shaadi.com spin-off promising compatibility in the form of a mutual love for puppies, aloo ke parathay and Bollywood. But, after giving the website a proper look-see, I realised I had miscalculated. This was not your typical vanilla, hackneyed online dating site. No, this website came with ...

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