Sakina Hassan

Sakina Hassan

The author is currently studying for an Mphil degree at the Centre of Excellence in Solid State Physics.

Is Sarahah just another way to put people in their place, without telling them it’s you who has done so?

It feels as though nothing under the sun will ever be new again. The movies are all sequels or reboots, the series all follow similar story arcs and the tech world is glutted with the same kind of boring distractions. The latest fad on our smartphones is a ‘new’ anonymous messaging application called Sarahah, and it promises nothing more. One makes an account, posts the link onto various social media websites that one is in the habit of using, such as Facebook, and your ‘friends’ can send you anonymous messages. Sarahah is essentially an honesty app that gives people the courage to ...

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Brawl in the susral: Is Faryal Makhdoom really as innocent as she claims to be?

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! And welcome to the main event; the fifth monthly featherweight bout between the susral and the bahu for the Pakistani masses. We’d like to thanks our judges for tonight; social media, bad journalism and you! The people-with-nothing-better-to-do! The stakes have never been higher! The winner of this match will receive a tea-cup full of sasti shaurat (cheap fame) and absolutely no title belt what so ever, because this is not important! Now, introducing first: In the red corner, we have the upholder of moral values, the traditional immigrant sob-story, the clean, the mean, the Khan ...

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Do we need to bribe our way out of Pakistan and Kazakhstan?

A recent article was brought to my attention about Kazakhstan airport officials refusing to accept the existence of New Zealand, instead insisting that it was in fact a state in Australia and thus detaining one of their nationals overnight. Map of Australia and New Zealand. Photo: Google Maps   The story has the sort of happy ending that all Pakistanis are used to: “Yaar, bas mein ne usey haath milaney key bahaney 1000 ka note pakra diya, aur us ney mujhey janey diya.” (I shook his hand as an excuse to hand him a 1000 rupee note and he let me go.) Of ...

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You can’t run to America anymore Pakistan, time to fix yourself now!

The mayor of a small West Virginia town has resigned after facing backlash following the endorsement of a Facebook post calling Michelle Obama an ape in heels and thus became the poster woman of the America that will now be made great. This might trigger some pretty intense flashbacks for some Pakistanis (hint: Tractor trolleys) but of course in this country, resigning isn’t a thing. Although mortified apologies have been made, the fact is no one really believed that the US would become what it is at this moment (except for my mum), that Trump would win (mum called it), that ...

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I have no sympathy for the YDA doctors

The Young Doctors Association (YDA) has been protesting for years now and people are just as unsympathetic (and in some cases, downright critical) as they have always been. Why though? Why can’t doctors catch a break? Heck, even Sheikh Rasheed managed to pull a Mission Impossible and drum up a following. And here we have the country’s cream, begging to be understood. The YDA recently ended their five-day sit-in in Lahore after successful negotiations with the Mayo Clinic chief executive. According to the YDA, the protest was called off on humanitarian basis. However, according to health authorities, the sit-in was called off due to the termination ...

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Kinnaird College: This moment of freedom is all these girls will ever have

My first and most recent memories of Kinnaird College for women involve torrential downpours; the first week of my first semester as a freshman in the Honour’s program and then this week as I visited the college to collect my degree. This was my last piece of official business with my alma mater as a student, I took the time to tread over all my old haunts, and imprint images of the soaking grounds firmly in my mind. As its horticulture society never tires of reminding the students, Kinnaird boasts one of the most beautiful (award-winning) campuses in the country and a visit ...

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How long will our country insist on keeping its boys out of the kitchen?

How long will this country insist on keeping its girls in the kitchen? Another 70 years according to the Punjab Government, which has announced a program to exclusively provide girls schools with poultry to ‘teach them about the kitchen.’ The aim of this program is to teach the rudiments of nutrition and “train these small girls about kitchen waste.” The reason only girls’ schools are included in this scheme is because, “Girls, mostly, have to deal with the kitchen and they are more responsible and caring than boys.” Firstly, the move in itself is a sensible one; schools in many developing countries include practical agriculture ...

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Women only watch football to check men out, yup, the secret is out!

Another fatwa about women has emerged from the glorious Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a fatwa that declares the innocent enjoyment of a football match to be haram for women. After all, with the infamous wife-beating bill courtesy of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), Pakistan, KSA could hardly stand to be left behind. Of course they’ve graduated from wife-beating to wife-eating so now it’s on to figuratively invading the privacy of people’s homes and telling them what to watch on TV. Of course, it’s not okay for the civil society or legal bodies to figuratively invade homes, or work-places, or ...

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Azealia Banks and our obsession with her attention-seeking “hairy curry scented Punjab” tweets

My niece is a huge ‘One Directioner’ (is that what they are called?) and was heartbroken when the boy band lost one of its key members, Zayn Malik. We insist on a special connection with this young musical icon on account of sharing a nationality and probably having a Zain for a classmate or a Malik for a neighbour. This gives us the inalienable right to judge him of course; from his tattoos to the racy lyrics of his new singles. “Haw Haey! Larka haath sey nikal gaya!” (The boy is getting out of hand!) He should thank his lucky stars he isn’t a ...

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The 13 stages of visiting a NADRA office

We’re all accustomed to that dreadful trip to NADRA that we’ve delayed for far too long. Why dreadful? Here’s a list to jog your memory. Stage 1: Mild panic You’re told that the B-Form you have used for the past 10 years is no longer valid; now you need the digital one. Or your ‘digital’ ID card is no longer digital, or your child is 18. That’s right, now you need to visit your nearest NADRA office. Stage 2: Determination You call the helpline and a polite customer services representative answers all of your questions in great detail. You begin to hope. You have ...

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