Zubaria Raja

Zubaria Raja

The author has studied BS Mass Communication. She is a social activist and a photographer based in Islamabad. She is a constant traveller and an avid reader. She tweets as @ZubariaJan (twitter.com/ZubariaJan)

I refused a marriage proposal because they demanded dowry

The notion of dowry has always been rampant in Pakistani society. Ironically, it’s been adapted from Indian culture. Living together in the subcontinent encouraged us to adopt each other’s customs, and eventually, they became a part of ours. Now, we are so deep into this mixed culture that we have forgotten there’s a fine line between culture and religion. We fail to realise that dowry is not approbated by Islam. When given the factual argument that Islam sets no example of dowry, the dowry mongers are left with no other argument. All they have to say is, “Baaki jaghon pe tou Islam yaad nahin aata.” (When it comes to other things ...

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“They started beating Aapi. Then they burnt her, right in front of my eyes”

A few days ago, I overheard my cousin talking to someone and saying, “Have you seen the news? Even CNN and BBC reported on the instances of violence that our women endure. Clearly it’s more serious than I thought.” I felt disgusted, not just at her remark, but at our mentality and reflection. It’s not news for us unless it reaches an international forum. It’s impossible to feel even a fraction of the pain Maria had suffered at the hands of her tormentors, but turning a blind eye to the incident is not just an insult to the victim but to humanity as well. This is still a ...

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