Fatima Raza

Fatima Raza

The author is a Biosciences graduate and a student of MPhil International Relations. She aspires to be an accomplished writer someday.

Series 3 The Little Princess Part 4 Who’s the coward?

Muneezah gaped at him. Her brain tried to process this information. No words were spoken. Suddenly, her mother chuckled while eating her rice. The chuckle turned into high pitched laughter. Muneezah and her father stared at her while she guffawed for several minutes. Drawing a long breath, she said, “Jaffer! You are not man enough to fight in a real army. Don’t you know that by now?” Jaffer drew his chair back, threw the napkin on the table and stormed out. Muneezah started to say something but her mother cut her off, “Shut up! Clean this all up before you sleep!” ———————————————————————————————————- It had ...

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The acceptance of one religion’s festival is not an affront on the sanctity of another

His five-year-old clutched the window of the passenger seat as he eagerly looked out the window of the taxi. The church towers loomed up as the taxi turned the corner. Kissing the top of his head, Yusuf shifted his son towards him and patted his hair down. Thick silence emanated from the back of the rather dilapidated cab where his mother and young wife sat huddled together. He stole a glance at his fuming mother who sat in disapproving silence. Sighing, Yusuf shifted his gaze to his doe-eyed wife. She sat as precariously on the car seat as a ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 3 Nothing short of a tyrant

What came next was an eternity in hell. Her mother’s screams still pierce the air around her house. After what seemed like an eternity, the noises died out. The house seemed empty. Ammarah knew her mother was dead. Without hearing any gun shots or seeing her die, she knew her mother was no more. She didn’t cry though. With bone dry eyes and a scratchy throat, Ammarah attempted to climb down to her mother. She slipped several times. She steadied herself. The sight that met her eyes was beyond every explanation. There is an emotion beyond horror. It is beyond ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 2 The message in my mother’s eyes

Slowly her mother rose from under the cabinet pulling Ammarah out with her. She rushed quietly to shut the drapes around the house, bolting windows and doors. Not quite understanding what was happening, Ammarah offered support by helping her. Finally her mother sank down on the living room couch, clutching her bosom and started sobbing. Ammarah put her arm around her and asked, “Mother, who were those people and where did they take everybody?” Her mother continued to cry hysterically. Ammarah stroked her shoulders but she was clueless as to what could comfort her mother right now. The sobbing diminished slowly. Her mother ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 1 Blushing with fear

Women are creatures of the spring. Their hearts do not beat, they flutter. Their dispositions are sweet like honey and their eyes deep as oceans, their smiles light up their surrounding and their voices are like symphonies. They light up candles, make wishes, find shapes in the clouds, make sand castles and dream their days away. These are the fortunate ones though. When real life unleashes its raw cruelty, the spring turns to autumn. Hearts get torn apart, dispositions are rendered naked and the eyes… oh the eyes are the worst…They lose their sparkle; the oceans dry and leave giant ...

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What if your child was abducted by the ISIS?

I read recently that ISIS has been abducting children and training them to become soldiers in its cause. I read the news story in horror, as it went on to say that the children were instructed to go back to their homes and kill their parents. I began to imagine what that scenario must look and feel like,  She got on all fours and started crawling. She was careful to make no sound, just as she was taught. She winced slightly as her knees touched the cold floor. Steadily, she kept inching on for a few more minutes until she ...

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Forced conversions in Pakistan: “Eeshwar kaun hai, Allah bol Allah!”

Scuffles and screams rang through the dark night. They were three and they were burly. They had her in a firm grip with her mouth gagged with a rough cloth. It was probably 11 or 12 o’clock at night. Not very late for a summer night but half the village had no electricity, so people turned in early. Her screams could have woken up the neighbours, if they had any. Theirs was a mud hut in a lone corner of the basti. She desperately tried to make as much noise as possible but it was of no use. The men had ...

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Please God, kill my children before they are born

The midwife handed her the baby. She took the tiny thing in her arms and stared at him. He was beautiful. For a fleeting moment, she felt unbound joy. He was a part of her. He was… her focus shifted. He was nothing but a hungry mouth to feed like the eight others that awaited her at the house. Or if one could even call it a house. Two shabby rooms with a makeshift stove and a bathroom next to them was home sweet home. The ceiling leaked, the doors creaked while the paint was in tatters. Her husband had ...

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‘Baby doll mein sonay di’… really?

Here is a question for all the women out there – what is more heart-warming, being called a Chikni Chameli (sexy woman) or an Atom Bomb (bombshell)? Baffled? I am not surprised… Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy upbeat Bollywood music as much as the next person. Any wedding seems mute and dull without it. However, there should be a line drawn somewhere, don’t you think? How long can we let this spicy (and derogatory) lyricism go on? In every single Bollywood movie we watch, we see girls dancing vivaciously to something that they ridiculously believe to be an ode to their beauty while reality is much plainer and ...

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Who decides who is a beggar and who is an imposter?

Sameer is returning home from New York for the first time in six years. He passes the immigration counter, gets his luggage and comes out of the airport, relieved that he is finally through with all the hassle. Then, he squints around for a familiar face, anticipating a relative who’d be there to pick him up. Suddenly, he feels a tug on his shirt and peering down, he sees two mud-ridden little girls looking up at him, hand outstretched and wide-eyes brimming with expectation. He hesitates and tries to find some Pakistani coins in his pocket to give to them. While ...

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