Stories about USA

Pitch Perfect 2 is not so perfect after all

Having a commando situation in the opening scene with one of the biggest celebrity cameos Hollywood can pull off (President Barack Obama and his wife), the movie Pitch Perfect 2, directed by Elizabeth Banks, sets the tone for a ride very different from the first one, and I’d like to say, it’s not in tune with what it wants to sing about. The prequel worked because it was a lot about the freshman struggle and the issue about not fitting in and standing out. It worked because it celebrated the underdogs, whereas the entire second movie talks about competition. While there are other storylines, ...

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Is Pakistan capable of protecting its minorities?

The recent attack on the Ismaili Muslims in Karachi brought a lot of things into perspective. Firstly, it exposed the ineffectiveness of various military, rangers and police operations, and, secondly, it unveiled the dangers our minority communities are exposed to. But seeing this attack in isolation would not be of any help. We need to understand how religion has facilitated the state and, by extension, the militant organisations over the past decades and how it has led to the conundrum that we find ourselves in now. The first time Islam came to serve the government was in 1953, for Mumtaz Daultana, which led to ...

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Indian media and beef controversy: Using Nepal’s tragedy to defame Pakistan

The drawback with Nepal is that our country does not fare well in global media. We hardly get covered internationally and even when we do get some media attention it is largely related to negative news – such as the royal massacre or the Mt Everest avalanche tragedy. This time too, Nepal has made it to every headline around the world due to a travesty. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal killing more than 7000 people and leaving thousands injured. According to the United Nations and the government of Nepal, around eight million individuals have been affected by the devastating earthquake. Nepal falls under the category of ...

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China can mistreat Muslims, but others can’t?

Since childhood, we have grown up listening, reading and watching the tales of Pak-China friendship. We were told that Pak-China friendship is ‘sweeter than the sweetest honey’, higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the seas. We were continuously reminded that Israel, USA and India are enemies of Pakistan, Islam and Muslims and they would take any step to extinguish Muslims from the face of earth. Our curriculum, television channels, newspapers and mullahs propagated the same at every occasion. Every other day, we witness rallies and protests condemning these countries for their treatment of Muslims. If an Indian, US or Israeli somehow slaps a ...

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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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