aalia.suleman

Aalia Suleman

A freelance writer and poet who is keenly interested in the status of women in 21st century Pakistan. Her writing also zones in on Pakistan's new social and political status on a redefined global chessboard. She has a masters degree in English Literature and blogs and invites debates at 'Socio-politically Pakistani'. She tweets @aaliasuleman (twitter.com/aaliasuleman)

Series 8: The Green Thumb Part 1 ‘Death changes everything, even innocence’

The house at the end of the street was possibly one of the most spacious and attractive ones in the area. With its tall French windows, red bricks, and magenta bougainvillea covering the carved front door and climbing to the roof of the second floor, it was as lovely as it was mysterious. Friends of the owners were also aware of the fruit trees in the open, spacious lawn at the back. The gardens had been lovingly cared for by the now deceased, green-thumbed Mrs Faizan. Mr Faizan did not have a green thumb and he was least bothered by the fact. His wife had enough of it ...

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Does it matter why they asked her to walk the catwalk?

The decision of our fashion icons Frieha Altaf and Rozina Munib to have Mukhtaran Mai walk the catwalk for Fashion Pakistan Week must definitely have caused numerous conflicting questions. To many it seems like the designers have done it for publicity and to further an image of their own benevolence. But then it is the end that has to be considered, rather than the means to the end. Although the rape victim taking to the catwalk has created a lot of ripples in the fashion scene both domestically and internationally, at the end of the day, Mukhtaran’s debut as ...

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What if Brangelina were a Pakistani couple?

Just heard the horrendous news that you two have decided to split up. I would really like to sympathise with you but got tied up with pulling in all my winning bets that your marriage wouldn’t last even this long. Hate to say it, but it would have been better if you two hadn’t gotten married at all. I mean, you lasted longer without marriage and while rounding up six kids. So really can’t figure out why you had to take the hassle of getting married in the first place. Don’t take this personally, but the western society at large seems to have an obsession ...

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An open letter to bakra mandi owners

Dear bakra mandi owners,  This letter is to express my absolute stupefaction over your outrageous, albeit devious, marketing tactics, yet again, at Eidul Azha this year. The prices of goats and cows have escalated to a level that is beyond the financial capacity of the middle class group to afford. Even the lower upper class is having second thoughts about fulfilling this necessary religious obligation. More and more people are forced to take shares in cows. For me, as well as for millions of other like me, I’m sure, taking shares in cows is extremely embarrassing because it openly screams of the fact that I ...

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On Twitter, Nazis have a follower count greater than ISIS

Regardless of how much the Muslim community screams blue murder that Islam is not the sole proprietor of religious extremism and terrorism, it takes the research of a non-Muslim terrorism analyst to convince the world. The latest study by J M Berger of George Washington University reveals that the singularly focused spotlight of social media sites upon Islamic extremist groups has only allowed thousands of white nationalist and pro-Nazi groups to mushroom unchecked right beneath their noses. Where sites like Twitter and Facebook continue to act with supreme diligence in sweeping their platforms clean of Islamic extremist elements, they remain dreadfully perfunctory ...

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It was entirely my fault

We had fought bitterly, And now, he is out like a light, But like countless other times, When morning comes, He’ll barely remember the fight, And how he almost came to blows, He won’t recall his cursing and yelling. When it will stop, there is no telling.   I know the children were listening, To the abuses and roars, Of their drunk father. Even through closed doors, It’s getting worse and worse, But I can’t pry him away, From the seductive horrors of the bottle, That coax and lure him, Into an infinite mindlessness every night.   Throwing caution to the wind, He has become oblivious, To the financial toll it’s taking, To the emotional fissures it’s making, But my agony and suffering, Is entirely my fault.   For marrying a man, Who had told ...

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Orlando shooting: I don’t just blame religious extremism – I blame the Internet

The news of the mass shooting at the gay club in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning by the lone gunman identified as Omar Mateen leaves people aghast… yet again. The bloodshed has been deemed the worst mass shooting in US history and the deadliest terrorist attack in the country since 9/11. Opening fire in the nightclub packed with over 300 people, Mateen killed 50 people and wounded 53 others. He held the rest hostage for three hours before the bar was stormed by the police and he, too, was shot and killed. The dust had barely settled after the San Bernardino shooting by the radicalised couple, Rizwan ...

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Did this Stanford student get away with rape because he is white and privileged? Yes!

This week, the verdict was announced in the rape case of the, now former, Stanford University champion swimmer Brock Allen Turner, 20, for the rape of an unconscious 23-year-old girl lying behind a dumpster at a college fraternity party back in 2015.  The sentencing leaves the public stunned at the obvious and blatant racial prejudice displayed by the judge. For despite having been convicted on three counts of sexual assault and a heart-wrenching 12 page letter read out by the victim herself in court, Judge Aaron Persky chose to cut the rightful sentencing of 14 years in prison down to only six months of ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 8 In trying to forget, we remember instead

How could that possibly be? Why was Usman Khan’s name written in the father’s slot? Shamim Aunty’s husband’s name was Tanveer Ahmed, not Usman Khan. As I read on, the shock turned to nightmare; Abba jee’s name was written in the slot of wali (guardian). Tanveer Ahmed was one of the two required witnesses. Annie’s father, or the father I knew, was not listed as her father or her wali on her nikkahnama (marriage document) but a ‘witness’?? I read the document again, my mind in utter denial. Was Annie Usman Khan’s daughter? There were probably countless Usman Khans in the world, but it had to be ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 7 Is she my daughter?

When we returned home, Abbu jee was away on a business trip. It took several years for the three of us to be able to finally sit together as a family, even for meals. I had withdrawn inside myself. All the vivacity and all the questions were gone. Life had answered them all. I got into Northwestern after my senior year and graduated with honours from my high school. If Abba jee was proud, he didn’t say anything. The disappointment I had plated out to him had made all my other accomplishments unpalatable. Ammi jee was happy. She was attempting to move on and I took ...

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