Dr Ali Rafiq

Dr Ali Rafiq

Doctor, debater, freelance writer and blogger. Graduate of Dow Medical College and winner of various national and international debating and writing competitions. He tweets @dralirafiq twitter.com/dralirafiq

The end of a drought for an Arsenal fan

When I was 11-years-old, many kids my age in my country did not know much about football. Their knowledge of football consisted of a sport where you have to kick a ball, score goals and that the goalkeeper has the privilege of using his hands. At the same age, I bought my first football video game. Like any other sports game, the first task was choosing your team, and while I knew that Brazil was the best team and Ronaldo Lima was the best player in the world, FIFA 99 featured a list of teams I had never heard of before as ...

Read Full Post

Pearls of destiny… deprived

Her face glowed as she reached the gates of her college. Her eyes sparkled with ambition as she took each step towards her classroom, aided by her faithful crutches. Slowly, she approached the front desk of the class, kept her bag on the seat next to her, sat down and neatly hid the crutches under the desk. It had been another usual day for Anika. She had enjoyed every bit of her lessons, making it a point to answer all the questions she had answers to when asked by the teacher. When she didn’t know the answer, she would eagerly wait ...

Read Full Post

A chat with a 21st century Pakistani patriot

Interviewer (I): Assalamu alaykum. My name is Sanjay. Patriot (P): Sanjay? Are you Indian? I: No, I’m Pakistani. P: How come? I: Well I was born and raised here. P: However, people of your belief are born and raised in India. Sanjay Dutt is an example. I: A large number of people of my belief live in Pakistan as well. Seen the white in our flag? P: Oh. That’s Odd. I: What do you think about Pakistan? P: I love my country. It’s a great country to live in. I: What do you like about Pakistan? P: I know the funded media is trying its best to ruin Pakistan’s image, but we need ...

Read Full Post
August 2, 2013
TOPICS

Soliloquy of an on-looker

The haze slowly cleared out and I regained consciousness. As I became aware of my existence, I gradually began to recall what had brought me here in the first place. My mind felt like an old desktop computer that had just been switched on – slow, dusty and rusty.  Words. Sounds. Noise. I began to recall a noise of some sort – indistinct, messy, and confusing. It sounded like several FM radio stations merged into one, with none of them being tuned on to the right frequency. Ouch, my ears hurt. Whatever the source of the sounds was, I concluded that it was from a ...

Read Full Post

Ladies and gentlemen, we suck!

There was a time when Muslims were the most peaceful group of people in the world. They ruled half the Earth, and established a perfect model of governance. Muslim scientists were the pioneers of modern-day science. The great Mughal Empire built the most beautiful examples of architecture ever witnessed by mankind. Muslims were brave and pious, righteous and honourable, enlightened and well-visioned. However, slowly and gradually, the Zionist forces and deputies of Satan with magical powers started to plot against the mighty Muslims. They stole our scientific knowledge, captured our lands through manipulation, and secretly lead us towards dismay. Modern-day Muslims are a sad group ...

Read Full Post

How I became one of the ‘namaloom afrad’

I was never really the brightest kid in my class. Going to school meant tolerating the teacher’s taunts as he caught me trying to distract my mates from the last bench. It also meant getting kicked out of class almost each day, and spending the rest of the day roaming around the city with my other close pals. My elder brother was different. His studious nature meant that I was always second best at home. My father spent his entire life as a school teacher, earning just enough to feed and educate us. My mother was a simple housewife who ...

Read Full Post

The politician’s manifesto

Vote for me vote for me, the beacon of peace am I, Your vote for me will make this land, rise above the sky.   To me your troubles are well-defined, They shall be solved with haste, For my upbringing was well-refined, Giving me a lovely taste.   But this is not about me, It is about the people of my land, For all the miseries that they have suffered, I extend my courteous hand.   I want to tell them urgently, Your saviour has now arrived, To put everything in place, A fine plan has he devised.   The power shortages will end, As dams will be built in a day, And for the rains to fall from above, In ...

Read Full Post

The formula of making a failed state

To make a failed state you can start off by looking for a newly created country. It will help if the state is initially in two parts geographically, separated by a country that has several elements living within it that openly criticise the existence of this state. It will also help if the strategic importance of one wing of this state is immense when it comes to global politics. This will make sure that it remains in the centre of major strategic decisions in the future. Once created, chances are that the leaders who led to its creation will acquire top administrative roles. ...

Read Full Post

The suicide bomber

Butterflies. I like butterflies. What attracts me about butterflies is the vibrancy in which they express themselves, being the centre of attention, as they make their way through the fields. I doubt that there has ever lived a person who has despised butterflies. So harmlessly, they decorate our world; like the stars in the night sky, butterflies lighten up the air we breathe in. It’s sad that I have not seen a real butterfly yet. But I’m sure that one day I will. For the time being, I am happy looking at pictures of them in a book that my ...

Read Full Post

Does Karachi really need the tallest building in the world?

As you read these lines, many people mourn the death of their loved ones in Karachi.  As you click on the “share” button on Facebook to express your awe on the proposed wonderment that lies ahead, a frustrated son curses the traffic jam he is stuck in as he tries to get home to his sick mother after work. As you start believing that I am yet another critic who can’t stand seeing any positive change in this country, you tend to forget the wise old saying that all ‘that glitters is not gold’. The currently tallest building on the planet, ...

Read Full Post