Stories about death

University of Toronto – “It’s the dream man!”

They walked quietly together, letting the traffic build conversation for them. The streetlights flooded the roads but they still found it difficult to see. The cars zoomed past them without a care in the world. The tall apartments in the surroundings made them feel miniature, like two toys in a room filled with giant furniture. Beneath these towering buildings were shops lined up together, from wall to wall. People went in and came out from these shops like ants. Life unfolded around these two, as they walked silently on the side of the road. Their uniforms faded and their ties loose; ...

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A Pakistani boy conversing with Grief

“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran “Hi! It’s good to finally meet you.” Grief smiled, a very beautiful smile, actually; not at all broken, as the boy had wanted and imagined. But wait, what was that? Or who was that? There was something. Someone. Inside there. Inside that smile. Or maybe he was just imagining. “You look so different from how everyone describes you,” the boy remarked. “How am I described?” Grief asked, pleased by the boy’s honesty. Grief’s voice was so clear, not at all ...

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Help your child deal with the trauma of #PeshawarSchoolAttack

What started as a usual day for many school-going children – with the routine hustle bustle of school life, class work, worries about upcoming exams, excitement about the winter holidays and carefree play and discussion with friends – sadly turned into a series of incomprehensible and barbaric acts of terrorism with chaos, injury and death all around. When we, as adults, are still grappling with how and why someone would take young and innocent lives, the shock, insecurity and trauma the children will be experiencing may be manifold. The acts of terrorism are random, beyond comprehension, a deliberate attempt to harm and leave both ...

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Reinstate the moratorium on the death penalty!

As a legal and human rights defenders’ community, we should condemn the Peshawar attack and express solidarity with the victims. However, lifting the moratorium and executing prisoners on death row will not eliminate the threat of terrorism and militancy or make us safer. It will be another step towards eradicating the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens.  Shafqat Hussain’s case has nothing to do with terrorism and seems more like a public relations gesture to appease public outrage at the heinous and barbaric attack of December 16th. As Reprieve points out, Hussain is of poor background, and was 14-years-old at the time of the offence. ...

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I stand with Junaid Jamshed

The year was 1990. Junaid Jamshed was at the height of his career when a petition was filed in the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan that the punishment for blasphemy under Section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code is not appropriate under the light of Quran and Sunnah. Until then, the punishment could include life imprisonment, fine or death. The petition suggested that only the death penalty could be the right punishment for a blasphemer. It was a tumultuous time in the Pakistani political landscape.  The year saw a change of three Prime Ministers- the ousted PM Benazir Bhutto, the caretaker ...

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Will Islam be judged if Aasia Bibi is executed?

Aasia Bibi, mother of five, sits in prison hoping one last appeal will save her from death row. If she is executed, as with the lynching of Shahzad and Shama Masih and the assassination of Salman Taseer, Islam will be judged. In such cases involving religion, to believe that ‘all of’ or ‘none of’ Islam supports blasphemy laws or the ideology of the Taliban, Daesh, Boko Haram, etcetera, suggests intellectual laziness at best and bigotry at worst. But it’s reasonable to examine some of Islam. The questions become those of quantification – how many Muslims subscribe to blasphemy laws, honour killings, suicide bombings, and ...

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I – It’s the taking part that counts

A muttering, foetal Katniss Everdeen confronts us from within the dark underbelly of District 13 in the opening shots of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I catapulting us into an unequivocal new era for The Hunger Games saga. From these first scenes, the tone is set for a grittier exploration into the dirty tactics of war and the casualties suffered by those unwillingly swept up in its path. Set predominantly in the subterranean world of District 13 – once thought to have been annihilated by the Capitol – now the nucleus of Panem rebel activity, Mockingjay Part I is quite literally a world apart from the pageantry and spectacle ...

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Death with Dignity is not suicide

“When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” These words from Tecumseh sound entirely true for the 29-year-old newly-wed, Brittany Maynard, who has decided to end her life because of her incurable brain tumour. She moved to Oregon, one of the five states where physician assisted suicide is legal. But the process of moving to ...

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Recycle yourself, don’t let your kindness die with you

A man sitting in a park reading suddenly bursts into laughter. This catches the attention of a boy sitting near him with dark shades on and a stick in his hand who, out of curiosity, asks the reason for the man’s laughter. The man, pleased to be able to be nice to the boy, starts reading the passage to him and they both share a laugh. After a while when the man gets back to his reading and there’s silence once again, the boy breaks the ice by asking if the man would be kind enough to let him have “that” after ...

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I was hopeful today…

It was 6am when my alarm went off. I woke up to it, got off my bed, performed wuzu and then offered my prayers. At 6:30am, as usual, I decided to go out for a refreshing morning walk. It seemed like an ordinary morning – just like any other day. Whilst on my walk, my phone beeped informing me that I had received a text message from a friend of mine. The message greeted me “good morning” and read: “If you fail to achieve your dreams, change your ways but not your principles, as trees change their leaves, not their roots.” Instantly, a smile ...

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