Stories about Iran

Should the Gulf states be wary of the revolution tsunami coming their way?

Socio-political change is happening across the globe at a pace not previously experienced in history. This is particularly true within the Gulf States. Each day, growing unrest is visible through dissident activity, protests, strikes, and violence. Frustration and anger once repressed is now acted upon. Unprecedented access to communication technologies and the proliferation of social media tools offer platforms for disadvantaged and repressed people to gather, collaborate and make themselves heard – even if only to others in their situation. Media outlets, YouTube videos, Twitter, and Facebook posts spread messages that embolden marginalised people and activist networks into individual and collective action. Rulers of some Gulf ...

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Dear Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Reham Bhabi and Ayyan Ali – Hi!

Open letters are the new ‘in’ thing. Everyone, while not busy taking selfies or engaging in internet wars, is writing them. Unlike personal letters that are addressed to and only read by the person intended, these have a universal appeal. Hence, I decided to write a few of my own, a series of them in fact. Here is the first one: To Hamza Ali Abbasi from an Online Jihadi. Hazrat Hamza Ali Abbasi Sahib, My heart sank when I saw the trailer of your upcoming movie, Jawani Phir Nahin Ani. And it sank even further to the bottom of the very pool you were seen ...

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68th Independence Day: Liberation from the prejudices of the past

This weekend, India and Pakistan celebrate their 68th Independence Day as two independent nations. Such a solemn occasion is also a time for one to reflect upon and evaluate the journey taken so far. One wonders whether the fury, rage and bloody madness that gripped the countries prior to the independence were justified? Were the killings in the name of religion perpetrated by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs justified? You cannot avoid these piercing questions. History would not allow us to forget the guilt and living in guilt is an unbearable pain. It is time to reflect upon how much damage the collective guilt and refusal ...

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Six reasons why Moor raised the bar for Pakistani cinema

Pakistani cinema is emerging at a very unique point in our cultural history. Hollywood is knocking at our neighbour’s door to the east as Bollywood sets its eye on the 500 crore club. On our Western front, Iran has become a globally recognised force in neo realist filmmaking, yet people get jailed there for dancing to a particular song. Afghanistan remains to be the centre of attention with a complicated set of woes and a new administration in place, and China is slowly becoming one of the biggest film markets in the world. In the middle of this hue and cry ...

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India’s nuclear program was aimed at China, not Pakistan

August 6, 1945 started as a normal Monday morning in the bustling city of Hiroshima, with people going about their daily activities as per usual. Just as the clock struck quarter past eight, all activity was brought to an abrupt end at the behest of the Enola Gay. A giant mushroom cloud dwarfed the city of Hiroshima, and swept it clean of life with an immense shock of energy. Almost 68 years after this tragic yet inevitable scene of death, destruction and devastation, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf demonstrated his chronic condition of dementia by once again bullying India. “We have not made the atomic ...

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If Iran and the US can make peace, why can’t India and Pakistan?

The nuclear deal between Iran and the West has opened up new avenues of engagements for those nations which have been in conflict for decades. It has proved that time-tested diplomacy is the only way to achieve peace in the world. Therefore, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s gesture of sending mangoes to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, holds more than just symbolic value. It is, at one hand, a reflection of the desire to normalise relationships between the two countries while at the other hand, it suggests the calming down of frayed tempers on both sides of the border which have been boiling over the ...

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Pakistan should put its own house in order before jumping into an arms race

I’m a peacenik and I’m happy in my skin. As an active journalist, I have covered enough wars, had my fair share of good and bad fortune, experienced torture and witnessed people maimed, lamed and face the ultimate fate of death. I got emotionally drained and ultimately decided that it was time to say goodbye to the action and adventure. In my quest to understand life better, I used spirituality as my crutch. I realised that all we need is to counter hatred with love, aggression with passion and hostility with peace. I learnt that the beast of vice is ...

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Donald Trump, you’re racist and you’re fired!

Joaquin Guzman also known as El Chapo (meaning shorty) is being hailed as the real Shawshank after a mind-boggling escape from the Altiplano prison through a one-mile long tunnel, an engineering marvel on its own.  The gravity of negligence on part of the Mexican security officials and seriousness of the flak coped by Mexican Premier Enrique Pena in the wake of an embarrassing escape of the world’s most feared drug lord jibed to the lighter side when American rapper Pitbull took on Donald trump,  after the latter’s racist remarks on Hispanic immigrants. It all began to simmer when Trump of The Apprentice fame kick started his presidential campaign. He resorted to clichés such as, “Sadly, ...

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What Pakistan can learn from the Iran nuclear deal

After 13 years of struggling and negotiating, a deal has finally been concluded between Iran and the West that rightfully is called ‘historical’. The main bone of contention has been the Western fear that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons, which could destroy Israel and change the balance of power in the Middle East. Though the newly concluded long-term agreement is supposed to prevent this, Israel and Saudi Arabia, a newly found friend of Israel, have been first to condemn this agreement before the ink on agreement was dry. Despite the fact that Iran always insisted that it was developing nuclear facilities for peaceful energy production only and ...

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In Iran, you can marry your 13-year-old adopted child

Define irony: When you pass a bill to ‘protect’ children and in that bill you allow a man to marry his adopted daughter even if she is as young as 13-years-old. Woody Allen, are you listening? I think it’s time to move to Iran. Or at least base your next movie there. Or maybe George RR Martin would be interested in this as his next plot twist? Parliamentarians in Iran have recently passed such a bill, I kid you not. It allows the caretaker to marry his or her adopted child if the court rules in the interests of the child. There are so many fundamental issues with ...

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