Saba Khalid

Saba Khalid

A blogger for Rolling Stone magazine, a contributor to Kulturaustauch and Musikexpres, Saba is an Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) Cross Culture scholar for the year 2012 who also teaches creative writing to young aspiring writers. She blogs at www.thecityalive.com and can be found on instagram as @thecityalive

Day 1 of Fashion Pakistan Week from the backrow

When you sit all the way in the fashion “dungeon” or what is affectionately called “the back row”, you notice and hear a lot of things you would not normally know or hear about while sitting all the way in the front. None of it has anything to do with the actual show. That is because your view of the runway is usually obstructed by a lady who decides to Empire State out her hair that day. The front rowers smoothly click, swipe, post on 10 different social platforms in a matter of seconds. You get up excitedly to shoot from your Chinese ...

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Everything I hate about the Pakistani fashion industry

If you are a young struggling female journalist in Pakistan with big dreams of reporting stories that matter, you will probably spend a few years reporting all the stories that don’t matter! Among all those literary masterpieces you pen will be an array of pieces on: Designers who have made it big Designers who have not made it big but have a great PR agency The 4363778 lawn launches Fashion “weeks” that are three-days long You will get to meet loads of glazed out designers and hear them talk about a lawn jora like it’s the cure for cancer. You’ll learn to thoosofy the words “sartorial”, “quirky”, “edgy” and “aesthetic” in every headline. For instance: “Designer (insert Bawani, Hashwani, ...

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‘Dosti’ between Pakistan and India

If Taylor Swift was a political analyst, she would be telling us right now,  “India and Pakistan are never, ever getting back together!” By cancelling concerts by Pakistani artists, not issuing visas and letting our women’s cricket team camp at a stadium during their tour, India has given us the proverbial lannat. The Pakistani government has responded with some serious passive-aggressive silent treatment much like an angry boyfriend. At times like these, hearing about the 50th anniversary of the Elysee treaty signed between France and Germany which ended an era of animosity, wars, bloodshed and bitterness between the two countries comes as a ...

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Are homemakers ‘prostitutes’?

Politically incorrect, pathologically honest and a prolific rambler – that’s author of Prozac nation Elizabeth Wurtzel, in a nutshell for you. Recently, with her 5,500-word confessional article, “My one night stand of a life” published in New York Magazine, she has sucker punched the entire publishing world with a diatribe, that is exactly like her, honest to a fault. One of the groups who have come under fire of Wurtzel’s unapologetic pen is homemakers or housewives. “I believe women who are supported by men are prostitutes, that is that”, says Wurtzel While it may seem that Wurtzel might just be talking just about gold diggers, in ...

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They call her Berlin

Berlin is like that friend, who as soon as you meet, shares her deepest, darkest secrets without any shame. She’s been betrayed more harshly than Jesus, has seen more blood than a haematologist and has had her fair share of wars waged on her soil. Anyone in her position would just clam up and hide their scars; not wear them on their sleeves all the time. Yet, Berlin showcases her biggest mistakes for the entire world. Just when you think that a broken person like her has probably forgotten how to really live – she takes you to a party so ...

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If you jump off, you will fly, I promise!

Two years ago, I made the first most life-altering, high risk, and extremely indulgent decision of my adult life. For most of my life, all my life-decisions were sort of handed over to me and I had no choice but to follow their trajectory. But regardless of following all the right decisions and a path full of perfect daisies, I was still lost as lost can be. After a breakdown of Lindsay Lohan proportions, my drug of choice was chocolate ice-cream, I decided to actually do something about my situation. My decision was take up writing as a full time ...

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If I choose to wear a hijab, will you let me?

If feminism did one thing right for women it was to provide us with an abundance of choices. Something the fair gender hadn’t really experienced before. Whether it was the choice to wear pants and throw away those constricting corsets, or the choice to go out and vote and make a difference in the world. We could drive, abort or use contraceptives. These are the same choices that helped women like you and me get PhDs, work in male-dominated industries and hold top level positions and get equal pay. We could literally be men if we wanted to be! But if ...

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Hello, any moderates out there?

After reading the Reuters report on dance parties in Pakistan and watching the daily shenanigans of the religious extremists on television, I’m starting to feel lonelier and lonelier in this extremely dichotomous and polarised society. I do not know how it happened but it certainly happened sometime in the last few years when practically all Pakistanis chose their sides. Today, a person is either the ‘I’m-better-and-smarter-than-all-of-you’ type of liberal or he or she is a ‘we’ll-blow-your-head-off-if-you-ask-for-any-rights’ type of religious fundamentalist. So now, the debate is always on miniskirts versus the hijab and on dance parties or dars. In their liberal or ...

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Airport travelers: Friends afar

There’s something magical about letting yourself disappear in the music of your mind and losing your heart to absolute strangers in their conversations, their actions and their journeys. Like a ghost, I sit on one too many buses and trains just observing people. I take mental notes about their mannerisms when they’re not watching. I make up stories about where they may be headed, who their lovers may be and what they might have overcome in their lives. I fall in love with some and end up hating others. And though we never even exchange a single word or glimpse, I ...

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Karachi for Dubai: An unfair trade

Ever since my family was robbed at gunpoint, we’ve been planning an escape route out of Pakistan. Lately, my family has given me a very serious country testing mission. The objective: to find a place that feels like Karachi — minus the killings and corruption. Naturally, my first stop was Dubai because if countries were related, wouldn’t Karachi be its twin sister? Only Dubai would be the prettier, more fashionable one with more money. But three days in the city and I couldn’t wait to come home to the ugly, wretched sister with no morals. I’ve always believed that every city has ...

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