Ahson Saeed Hasan

Ahson Saeed Hasan

The writer is a proud American, a peacenik who has traveled well over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He likes to share his experiences and reflect on the worldly surroundings. He tweets @tweetingacho (twitter.com/tweetingacho)

She is a Muslim, covers her head and is a firefighter in NYC

I know I keep harping on about the ‘greatness’ and ‘glory’ of the Western culture and understand that my audience gets bored to death reading story after story about how awesomely ‘wonderful life’ is in the West. However, I must reiterate that I happen to be a diehard sceptic and I don’t trust easily. After all the episodes and events that I’ve experienced in my life, I don’t see much reason to blindly put faith in objects, people, systems or nations. Being who I have become by virtue of the battering of years gone by, I have developed a keen ...

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Hillary Clinton, “it’s your time” to run the White House

United States may finally have a female head of state. Hillary Clinton has formally announced that she will run for president in 2016 and perhaps be the next occupant of the White House. We’ve been listening to rumours and whispers for as long as one can remember but after tons of denials, rejections and I-don’t-knows, the former first lady and later on secretary of state has decided to give a second shot at the presidency, the so-called ‘highest glass ceiling of American politics’. The April 12, 2015 announcement didn’t come as a shock. From the time when President Barack Obama was re-elected for ...

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Dealing with Iran – Tearing down the walls of hatred and animosity

So we finally have a preliminary agreement, a structural framework on Iran’s nuclear program and a culmination of eight long days of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland that continued well past the self-imposed March 31 deadline. The talks involve representatives from Iran and the P5+1 – a group comprising of the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany. An inside source, who happens to be a part of the negotiation process, tells me that negotiators have been sitting on their butts for a week now, making an honest effort to push through the never-ending, long drawn conversations and arguments. While most are used to sitting ...

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Pakistan’s unstable, schizophrenic relation with Afghanistan

Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy a ‘brotherly’ relationship that is nothing less than a theatre of the absurd. It has had its highs and lows and has had moments when people have scratched their heads and wondered about the emotionally unstable, schizophrenic handling of bilateral affairs by their erratic and volatile leaderships. With an extremely porous, almost non-existent border featuring a treacherous terrain of hills and rugged mountains standing between the two countries, the people of both lands have endured hard times since decades now. As if the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 70s was not enough with a massive influx of refugees spilling into Pakistan throughout the 80s, ...

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Ashraf Ghani – Bringing maturity back to international politics

Although no one will claim honestly, the new Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, for the most part, is a well-respected statesman amongst the Washington circles. Politicians are trained liars and Ghani’s predecessor was no exception to the rule. However, this guy is someone who comes across as less slippery, more adaptable to change and hence generally acceptable for his demeanours and policies. Earlier this week, Ghani was on his first official US visit as Afghanistan’s head of state. He is no alien to either US culture or politics. He studied, worked and played a prominent part in influencing Washington’s pre and post 9/11 Afghan policies. I ...

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On Frida Deguise ‘nuding’ her fashion line

Being happy in one’s skin is not an easy task. Being happy in one’s clothing is an almost impossible adventure. I have been told that the greatest form of happiness is to be one’s true and natural self. This is not a universal truth that I am preaching but merely a life lesson and something to live by. My good friend, Pramit, a leading journalist, and I were once working on a project together. It so happened that we were both invited for a breakfast meeting at the White House, a key location in our little town of intrigues and ...

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Pakistan vs Ireland: Will St Patrick’s Day be Ireland’s lucky charm?

St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. The Irish, as well as the non-Irish in Washington, are looking forward to celebrating and partying all night long. One of my several bosses, a third generation Irish-American, Mr O’Brien, is a stocky little man who talks to no end and although we are not in the business of selling, he sounds like a perfect auctioneer. The other day, I stopped him in the middle of one of his verbal onslaughts and asked if he knew about the game of cricket. “No, I don’t,” followed by a long, speechless pause was the answer. I ...

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Racism is alive in America

Racism is an inherent cultural vice and the University of Oklahoma (UO) is no exception to it. On the night of March 7, 2015, a group of young men belonging to the Sigma, Alpha, Epsilon (SAE) fraternity, a prominent, for lack of better term, ‘social club’, created ripples all over the World Wide Web and electronic media circles when a video captured members of the ‘brotherhood’ chanting an anti-black song. Upsetting as the event was, it prompted the school’s president, David Boren, to not only ban the fraternity but also declare that, ‘Racism is alive in the University of Oklahoma’. I have acted today to expel two students who were leaders in ...

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Why is Barack Obama’s religion our business?

Sitting by the television this morning, going about my morning rituals of brewing coffee and toasting bread for a quick breakfast, I came across CNN running a blurb, advertising a documentary series titled Finding Jesus. I couldn’t resist mumbling to myself, “Jesus Christ, really? Is this 2015 or 1515? Are we living in times when mankind was still groping in the dark, trying to outline the philosophical basis of divergent faiths or hoping to find the Supreme Being using some historical, hypothetical evidence to prove that all the luminaries of religions did indeed exist?” Why will an established news network like ...

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Why do religious clerics get away with sexual abuse?

For years we’ve made fun of the Catholic priests fondling with young ones. Their ghastly and heinous acts of insensitivity disgust our spirits and we all abhor such practices. I once stopped by and spoke to John Wojnowski, himself a victim, on Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC, who has been protesting for years, trying to bring the world’s attention to the abusive ways of the clergy. He told me his appalling story of how a priest abused him during his childhood and how difficult it was for him to get over the traumatic event, something that scarred him psychologically for his entire ...

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