Stories about USA

Baltimore riots: Racial prejudice in the US strikes again

We live in harrowing times. While many are under the illusion that the 21st century has rid us of our inherent prejudices and injustices, that is clearly not the case. And while the West supposedly dubs itself as the emblem of the modern world, I feel there are many examples which render this claim untruthful. Be it the sexist and ageist slurs being hurled at Hillary Clinton for running for office; or the multiple lawsuits filed against Abercrombie and Fitch for their classist policies; or Russia’s anti-LGBT laws (even though they call themselves a progressive state); or the recent racial attack in Ferguson, USA, where an African American ...

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Once you’re Pakistani, there is no going back to India

The non-issuance of visas to India continues to irk thousands of Pakistani Americans as the former remains hell bent to grind an axe with Pakistanis, regardless of borders or their new nationalities. At the moment, there are an estimated 500,000 Pakistani Americans in the US and the rate of their continually burgeoning numbers makes them the second fastest growing group of Asian immigrants in the US. According to the Pew Research Centre, the entire population of Asian Americans, which includes Pakistanis, is among those in the highest income bracket as well as the best educated in the country. However, despite all the good check marks ...

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And the award for the most ridiculous fatwa goes to…

Allegedly, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al Sheikh, recently issued a fatwa that allows starving men to eat their spouses to save their own lives. This will be considered an act of obedience by the wife and her willingness to be one with the husband’s flesh. My initial reaction was laughter at the mufti’s idea to feed starving husbands. It was then followed by disgust at his misogyny and sexism, among other things. Fortunately, now we see reports of a rebuttal. Saudi media is attributing the source of this misreporting to the Iranian media. However, this is not ...

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All that ‘Amreeki glitter’ may not be gold in Jackson Heights

George Bernard Shaw said: “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” It is true that life can be good, it can be tough and it can, most certainly, be unpredictable. It can take a person to a whole new world. Away from his or her country, away from their loved ones. The drama Jackson Heights, named after a neighbourhood in New York, beautifully depicted the life of a group of Pakistani immigrants. Aired on Urdu1, this particular drama struck a chord with me because of its storyline. Living in the US, it was refreshing to see this angle being taken – ...

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Is letting immigrants into the US un-American?

Immigration is a highly painful subject in America, and has been instrumental in polarising the already divided public opinion. President Obama has time and again promised to deal with the issue but has encountered strong opposition from various quarters, especially the Republicans and those on the far right. While politics in Washington is a messy business and it is nothing but miraculous to find the Congress actually being able to get something done, the president has incessantly worked hard for immigration reform. Soon after late last year’s House and Senate defeats at the hands of the Republics, Obama, a Democrat, decided to break the immigration ...

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AIB Controversy: Who has the last laugh, India or the moral police?

Although New Delhi’s legislative assembly elections are just round the corner and the city that has been the helm of power in the subcontinent for centuries will choose between its ‘aam aadmis’ and ‘khaas aadmis’, the fulcrum of debate instead is a comedy show uploaded to YouTube, a video-sharing website, that many Pakistanis wouldn’t know of, on January 28, 2015. It is fascinating how one chooses to become a comedian in a part of the world where something funny is going on all the time. A few years back a group of witty comedians, comprising Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan ...

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The filth of humanity unvieled: Raping and murdering a 5-year-old boy

The terrorists who attacked and massacred children in Peshawar, murderers who end lives all around the world, or States that wage wars on the innocent, are not the worst. For me, even the most vicious of murders is surpassed, in brutality and inhumanity, by rape. The act of sexually assaulting or abusing another human being is way worse than taking a life. Both acts – of rape and murder – coupled together give us a glimpse of humanity at its worst. And both acts coupled against a child, is rock bottom. A five-year-old boy was raped, murdered and hanged in my city. The awareness ...

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Aao Parhao – My experience in a Pakistani school

I have been privileged to attend some of the best schools across the globe. My primary schooling was initiated at an American international school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After eight years at this school, I then moved to Pakistan with my family where I attended an all-girls school in Islamabad, Pakistan.  This was a prestigious establishment and I attended at the same time as Bakhtawar Bhutto, even though she was always flanked with guards and extra security. However, making the transition from an American school to a Pakistani one wasn’t easy. All of a sudden, I had to deal with a ...

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24 absurd beliefs Pakistanis have

Norms are beliefs about how members of a group should behave in a particular context. They are informal and often ‘invisible’ understandings and rules that govern a group’s behaviour towards particular religious, social, cultural, political and socio-economic triggers. Norms generally define what is acceptable in a society or group and are the building blocks for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, ideologies and narratives. These rules are generally implicit. In addition to what is considered normative in societal, political or cultural context, there are smaller groups within a society which endorse a particular norm. On one hand, norms define how to move, what to wear, how ...

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Imran Khan: Always a crowd pleaser

It was September 22nd of last year; one of the blackest days in the history of Pakistan. It was a day when the Taliban targeted a church in Peshawar with a pair of suicide bombers who ripped through a congregation 500 strong. The savage destruction that followed resulted in the death of over 78 Pakistanis with nearly 150 wounded. It was an act of terror in every sense of the word, and casualties included both women and children. We watched in horror on our television screens as tragic images of injured Pakistani worshipers flooded news channels. At first glance the aftermath resembled a butcher shop, ...

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