Anam Gill

Anam Gill

The author is currently working as a columnist for Education for Sustainability, a project of a UK based organisation. As a freelance journalist she has written articles on various issues related to human rights and social justice. She tweets as @GillAnam

I spent my 30th birthday trying to prove that no mountain is high enough for Pakistani women to climb

I have always loved mountains from afar, but never thought that one day I would be ready to actually climb a mountain for real. I have never been a mountaineering aficionado, nor did I have any prior experience of mountaineering or technical trekking. Yet, as my 30th birthday approached, my adventurous-self decided to be part of an expedition to climb the Baaushal Peak, which stands at 5,720 metres approximately.  Celebrating my 30th  on a mountain top in the majestic Karakoram Range of Pakistan seemed like a good idea at the time. It is also interesting how I became part of this group of brave ...

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Burma’s democracy is on a military leash

The refugee crisis isn’t new and as long as there are wars, insurgencies, ethnic cleansing in the name of religion, cast or creed, this will surely not end anytime soon. The world has been watching millions of refugees pouring in from Syria for shelter. There have been mass coverage and debates in the media regarding the influx of refugees on European soil. Some politicians are giving speeches on how the refugees can be a threat and a burden. It is true that while some countries opened their doors, there were some hesitant in letting any refugees in, and yes, there ...

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Women’s Excellence Month: The shushing and shaming ends now

No matter how much the world wants to, it cannot sweep women under the carpet, dust off its hands and pretend it never happened. Gender equality is still an issue. But the misogynists would have you believe otherwise. Even though the world has advanced in various fields, human rights seem to be the point where evolution screeches to a halt. I have had my fair share of confrontations with patriarchy. There were times when my strength surprised me. And there were times when I hung my head in resignation. Every woman knows that when she stands in a ring against ...

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Peshawar School for Peace: Making the peacemakers of tomorrow

The barbaric attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, where innocent souls became victims to mindless horror, still resonated in my head like as if it happened yesterday. The incident left me hopeless, broken and bordering on cynicism. However, recently, that hope was rekindled. In the backdrop of security crises and bloodshed, I came across a project in this beautiful city that made me a believer again. I have been to Peshawar as a kid but as I don’t have any memory of it, I would say that this was my first trip to Peshawar. Like any other person visiting ...

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As a citizen of Pakistan, I demand to know more about Balochistan

Back in 1998, while living in Quetta in our cosy cantonment apartment, I had known little about what this province in the southwest of Pakistan is facing. For me, it was more about exploring the rugged mountainous terrain of the largest province of Pakistan, enjoying the juicy apples and cherries, and experiencing the melting of snowflakes on the palm of my hand during winters. Back then I didn’t know that for 60 years this region has been a battleground. Even today many people living in other provinces of Pakistan do not know about the on-going conflict. Mostly because whenever somebody tries to talk ...

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Why was the US Ambassador Mark Lippert slashed in the face?

It is ironic that the name of the man who slashed the US ambassador in South Korea is Kim. Kim is a common name in South Korea; I discovered that after visiting the country a year ago. This recent incident, where a furious 55-year-old Kim Ki-Jong attacked the US Ambassador Mark Lippert with a small fruit knife, made me go down memory lane. I was at the demilitarised zone in Paju, Imjingak a year ago, interviewing people on what they had to say about the Korean divide, in the background of barbed wires and many colourful ribbons. To my surprise, most people ...

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The Korean borders: Another version of Wagah border?

I have always wanted to go to Imjingak, located near Seoul, in South Korea. Being a media professional, my wish was granted when I got to travel to the Freedom Bridge for a news feature I was doing for Madang Live. Having woken up to rain, we made it to Imjingak where the Freedom Bridge lies. Photography was prohibited, except where we were given explicit permission. We were not allowed to point at anyone or anything. If a North Korean waved at us, we were not allowed to wave back. Freedom Bridge, with its striking ribbons conveying the hope of millions for ...

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July 30, 2011
TOPICS

Why are women on TV so dumb?

Whenever I hear the word “feminist,” I become nervous and look for the nearest place to hide – talking about sexism makes prone to be tagged as a feminist. However, I sometimes think that most people who have an ‘-ist’ at the end of their title aren’t really looking for a dialogue. So just to start off, let me be very clear here: this is not a feminist rant; it is a call for dialogue. The prejudice associated with sex-role stereotypes is known as sexism. In terms of population, women slightly outnumber men in the world, yet throughout history, women have ...

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‘Thank you guys’ said the robbers

Incidents of armed robberies, mugging, mobile phone snatching and rape etcetera aren’t new in Karachi. The recent robbery at The Second Floor (T2F) Café did garner attention however, with people discussing security measures in place, while others even mocked the exhibition entitled “Art Loot Maar” (ironically means theft/robbery) which was taking place at the time of the incident. The café, T2F which karachisnob.com lists as one of the “coolest” cafes in town “is an alternative space” says Bina Shah, Karachi-based author and former editor of the Internet magazine SPIDER. Opened in 2007, T2F, operated by a non-profit organisation, quickly became ...

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Music = vulgarity?

Conservative elements have always spoken against music. I remember the introduction of music classes at Punjab University stirred up a storm among the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT). The IJT also threatened to “physically resist” music classes on campus. It was heart wrenching to see them marching hand in hand to condemn art. What would life be without music? It is a reminder of how things once were, an indication of how things are, and a view of where society is headed. Music is being successfully taught at some colleges including Kinnaird College, where I am one of the students studying Indian Classical Music. ...

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