Soniah Kamal

Soniah Kamal

Soniah Kamal's debut novel An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and is an Amazon Rising Star pick. Her short story 'Fossils', judged by Claudia Rankine, won the 2017 Agnes Scott Festival Fiction Award, and her short story 'Jelly Beans' is selected for the 2017 Best of Asian Fiction Anthology. Her essay 'The Fall: How Not To Survive Your Father's Imprisonment' was Pushcart Prize finalist. She tweets @soniahkamal (twitter.com/soniahkamal)

Why “log kya kahangay” will always be a part of the Pakistani mentality

I have been talking about dreams for practically my whole life, in particular broken dreams. I grew up in a Pakistan where adhering to societal conventions was more important than following your individual desires. These were the 80s and 90s and the phrase ‘log kya kahangay’ (what will people say) was a ready response to many career choices that did not fit the triumvirate of doctor, lawyer, engineer, or usually for women, getting married and that dreaded phrase – settling down. Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of times men and women have told me about the dreams they were forced to give ...

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Dancing to the tunes of the Song of Lahore is pure joy

Prepare to be mesmerised by the Song of Lahore, a lovely documentary directed by twice Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Andy Shocken. Be ready to be hypnotised, to clap along, hum along and to fall madly in love with the Sachal-Jazz ensemble and their mission to make, according to founder Izzat Majeed “global music that is rooted in Lahore.” In order to preserve Pakistan’s fading musical roots, Majeed established the Sachal recording studio in Lahore and gathered the best of Pakistan’s classically trained instrumentalists, mostly aging men from extremely humble backgrounds, to revive the music he had grown up on. ...

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