Haider Rifaat

Haider Rifaat

The author is a model, actor, talk show host and writer for fashion magazines OK! Pakistan and Good Times. He is a columnist and writer for Express Tribune, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer. He is currently the creator and host of Pakistan's first ever web talk show on YouTube titled 'The Haider Rifaat Show' and is set to make his film debut in '24 Hours'. He tweets @HaiderRifaat (twitter.com/HaiderRifaat).

Up close and personal with Parchi’s Ahmed Ali Akbar: “You cannot pull people down if they are more talented than you; you have to push them up”

It was an absolute pleasure to join Ahmed Ali Akbar, from the cast of Parchi, in Islamabad. Akbar is known for his roles in films such as Karachi Se Lahore and Siyaah, and his experimentation with diverse genres is a testament to his versatility as an actor. A one-on-one conversation with Akbar, however, is enough to determine that not only is he a good actor, but an amazing human being inside out as well! I sat down with Akbar to talk about his upcoming film Parchi, his latest projects and more in an exclusive conversation that will definitely keep you thoroughly entertained! How did you start off as ...

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Getting to know the handsome and talented Mikaal Zulfiqar

I recently interviewed model turned actor Mikaal Zulfiqar and discussed his early life, career and upcoming projects. Believe it when I say, you do not want to miss this interview. H: How did you start off as an actor? M: Initially, I began my career as a model and gradually transitioned into an actor. I started modelling for commercials and videos which were relevant to acting. Later, I received a few offers for television and eventually moved on to films. I believe acting happened to me rather than me happening to acting. So along the way, I self-educated myself on how ...

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Divided States of America: Donald Trump will not condemn the Charlottesville attackers because they are the ones who voted for him

Donald Trump’s vicious win as the 45th president of the United States caused quite an upheaval in the country. He spoke outrageously and millions applauded. However, in wake of the recent Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy, a new wave of hate crimes and violence has taken charge – and it is doing us more harm than good. The incident in Charlottesville is a perfect example of it. However, this time it shook me to my bones as the tragic event took place in my home state, Virginia. A group of anti-far right protesters gathered in Charlottesville for a demonstration which ultimately led to an innocent civilian’s death, and ...

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I was sexually abused as a child. But I moved on.

As each day passes by, it becomes increasingly difficult to come to terms with my dark past. It amazes me how some individuals blatantly cry out, “my life is a mess” or “I can’t get over a relationship”. Those are not incidents to contemplate over for long. They are not worth your happiness. I had always been outgoing. When I was younger, I was the chirpy child, the boy who always had a smile plastered across his face – but that changed one day. I lived in a small neighbourhood in Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU). I was always becoming acquainted with people through my ...

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US presidential elections: What is the role of the media?

Given the current disposition of the 2016 US elections, shows like Scandal have rightfully depicted and drawn inspiration from the onscreen presence of many real political leaders and their quest for winning the presidential seat in the months to come. The media continues to play a significant role in shaping public opinion based on the rhetoric many television networks oppose or support, thereof.  The recent episode of the political-thriller show Scandal titled ‘The Miseducation of Susan Ross’ portrayed a rather realistic presidential debate among the nominees with characters emulating the real contenders for the US presidential election. One contender is Mellie Grant, the former First Lady, and ...

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Hina Rabbani Khar on Al Jazeera and the battle of media ethics

It would be a rather unfair statement if I assumed that virtually all Pakistani politicians lack the charisma to wholeheartedly defend their nation but without question, Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent interview in Aljazeera’s ‘Head to Head’ with Mehdi Hasan was one such exception. The former foreign minister of Pakistan, Khar, passionately defended Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) and Asif Ali Zardari’s controversial regime that recently took the social media by storm. Hasan, the host of ‘Head to Head’ posed some controversial yet intriguing questions at Khar, however, in the end, it all boiled down to a good, hot-headed debate. The former ...

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Are we purposely ignoring child sexual abuse in Pakistan (and our homes)?

The Pakistani media’s convincing rhetoric regarding the term sexual abuse and heart wrenching words such as ‘rape’ and ‘molestation’ have rightly highlighted the unjust practices that continue to affect our society. However, at times (or always) the hidden truth remains buried in the ground and the untold stories of millions are seldom brought to light. How many of you had the slightest idea that your helpless seven-year-old son, who wholeheartedly recited the Holy Quran alongside his so-called honest and unadulterated qaari sahib, was being sexually abused continuously in a barricaded room? We enjoy labelling ourselves as humble and modest beings when in truth we are the ...

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Move over, Shaan: Dear Lollywood, please stop with your nepotistic ways

Nepotism has a new face in Pakistan. Can you guess who it is? No, it’s not Nawaz Sharif. It’s not the Bhutto clan. It’s not the politicians or the bureaucracy. All those institutions have been swept aside by that new lady in town. We fondly call her ‘Lollywood’, but she’s more formally known as Pakistan’s film industry. She isn’t really new, but her recently acquired contemporary ornaments have taken years off her face. She wears Bol around her neck, carries Bin Roye under her arm and has crowned her head with Waar. In step with her is her entourage; a horde of uncles and aunties, brothers ...

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Ghost whisperer: Much more than just supernatural phenomenons

You often second guess yourself with superficial ghost shows, and I don’t blame you. It’s true. There are very few soulful TV shows out there that have touched millions and Ghost Whisperer is that one exception. Although the series ended its run in 2010 with five seasons, the show has really moved me as a viewer. I caught sight of this gem a few weeks ago on Google, and I’m inclined to say, I have no regrets! I wanted to give supernatural-ghost-spirit kind of shows a chance and Ghost Whisperer was my first preference. The minute you think about ghostly spirits, ...

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Why Pakistani universities need to offer more than just social sciences and BBA

It seems quite obvious that most Pakistani universities and colleges tend to offer a handful of majors including social sciences, medicine, business administration, law, finance and accounting, and media sciences. But as students, do all our ambitions simply fit in these six categories? Well, the answer is, no. Many US, Canadian, UK and even Asian universities have hundreds of majors to offer to its undergraduate and graduate students, ranging from art history, Arabic studies, theatre, Asian studies, literature, communication studies and the list goes on. Even if these majors were to be offered to Pakistani students, the chances of them getting jobs related to ...

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