Stories about Gaza

Series 3 The Little Princess Part 3 Nothing short of a tyrant

What came next was an eternity in hell. Her mother’s screams still pierce the air around her house. After what seemed like an eternity, the noises died out. The house seemed empty. Ammarah knew her mother was dead. Without hearing any gun shots or seeing her die, she knew her mother was no more. She didn’t cry though. With bone dry eyes and a scratchy throat, Ammarah attempted to climb down to her mother. She slipped several times. She steadied herself. The sight that met her eyes was beyond every explanation. There is an emotion beyond horror. It is beyond ...

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War is beautiful: Does photography glamourise war?

Forty years ago, Susan Sontag, in an essay for the New York Review of Books, wrote, “To photograph people is to violate them… Just as a camera is a sublimation of a gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder.” This and other essays backed her argument that photography was “essentially an act of non-intervention” that shared “complicity” in “another person’s pain or misfortune”. Photo: www.worldpressphoto.org Significantly, Sontag noted that Nick Ut’s (Huỳnh Công Út) photo of Kim Phuc, a naked South Vietnamese girl with arms spread, wracked in pain from napalm, “Did more to increase the public revulsion against the ...

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What if the Holocaust and Palestinian genocide had not happened?

Some 11 million lives, six million Jews and five million non-Jews would have lived, World War II would never have taken place, Israeli settlements in Palestine, the consequent Palestinian genocide would have been averted and perhaps 9/11 would not have happened, had one man been vocal on time. The only man besides Hitler in a position to alter the course of history was Pope Pius XII of the Vatican, who chose not to utter a single word of condemnation for Hitler’s war, although he reportedly publically lamented the cruelty of war and loss of millions of lives. When Hitler and ...

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So who should talk to the 20-somethings about contraception?

They can curse in each other’s presence, break traffic signals in unison and smoke together, and they may at times act macho and show off their romantic escapades. But young men, like their elders, do not readily open up about reproductive issues. Parents or teachers do not discuss subjects of a sensitive nature with them. While it is the same with adolescent and young women, they are comparatively more open to confiding in each other and getting guidance. But it seems the world may be in for a change in attitude. Young men, all over the world, are stepping up to take ...

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Why should America accept Muslim refugees while Pakistan is sending back its Afghan refugees?

Donald Trump declares that it will be harmful for the Christian American majority if large influxes of Muslim minorities from all over the world enter the US. On the other hand, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad has claimed that the influx of poor Christians from across the country could lead to ‘demographic problems’ and ‘may affect the Muslim majority of the capital.’ Having said that, there is an outcry on social media over only one of these xenophobic and bigoted statements, Facebook activists in Pakistan seem to be very selective about their humanitarianism. America is perceived as the devil for bombing other ...

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#IStandWithAhmadis, and so should you

Here in Pakistan, we often feel affronted by the mistreatment of the minorities overseas, we identify with racially, religiously, or culturally. Any occurrence of a mosque defiled, or a Muslim man or woman being abused in the West, is quickly shared across social media captioned with angry messages. This, of course, is fair enough. As someone who considers himself to be a member of this planet rather than defined by race or religion, I feel humanity should know no boundaries. That being said, it is difficult to fathom how the volume of our outrage is directly proportional to the distance of the ...

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Was #MakkahLive a PR stunt to appease Arabs and Muslims?

Social media is powerful. There’s no denying that. Time and time again, social media has proven its efficacy in relaying the truth regarding social narratives when traditional media has failed to do so. Snapchat is one such powerful medium. It allows users to share images in 10-second video clips with each other. Recently, Snapchat introduced a live story option which allows its users to post clips or images from a given location or event. These ‘snaps’ from the same location or event are then collated into a 24-hour live public story available to all users. Here’s the catch – Snapchat decides what ...

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Dear American Media, the Israel-Palestine conflict is your doing

Dear American Media, I’m just asking you to tell America what’s going on in Gaza. Reveal without decreasing Palestinians to dehumanised numbers and rough generalisations, as have oppressors all through history. I am not requesting that you quit loving Israel but rather give Palestinian suffering the same weight as Israeli enduring, and report all the facts. I understand.  This is hard for you. You’ve been recounted to one tale about the Israeli-Palestinian clash your whole lives.  However, you’ve most likely started to notice that the latest advancements do not generally line up with that story. You realise that accusing Israeli government approaches can be harmful to American politics, and you are ...

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Does Hillary Clinton have aggressive war policies?

Hillary Clinton recently announced that she would be running for the US presidential office for the next term. If she manages to win, she will be the first female president of the United States, which in itself is quite a feat considering the fact that the US has an extremely small percentage of female representatives in congress as compared to men. Clinton promises to be a ‘champion’ for Americans, but her popularity ratings have witnessed a sharp decline from a high of 67% to a mere 49% since her departure from the State Department. The question remains – how will she ...

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Gay man thrown off a building: ISIS and TTP, our Frankensteins

I must warn you – there is nothing new to read here. There is nothing here that spells ‘recipe for changing the world’. There are no prescriptions or solutions to the horrors we are witnessing today or have witnessed yesterday. From our birth to our death, we are in a constant struggle to defeat our own monsters and demons on a daily basis, with silent victories and failures in self-improvement, relationships with family and friends, spiritual and economic prosperity, and learning and taking care of health. The awareness of how well prepared we are in terms of dealing with the monsters ...

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