Amna Iqbal

Amna Iqbal

Publications designer at The Express Tribune, she tweets @amna_iqb (twitter.com/amna_iqb)

Home is where the heart(less) is

April 25, 2014 Friday, 4:08pm:  I finally check my regular worldly news and social media updates. After a hectic day of running errands, wading in the rain and running around for meetings here and there, spending time at the library with its semi-hushed warmth seemed like the perfect end to a long week.  The promise of a late afternoon catching up on reading turns into just that, a promise. There was a blast in Defence, exactly an hour ago, when I had been rushing out of class. It was too close for comfort to where I lived. Sickened, I look at my ...

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What is the point of International Women’s Day anyway?

In the land of technicolour, is there space for grey areas? Welcome to Pakistan. We are rapidly moving towards a positive change, for example, everyone now knows what Aldo sells – everyone who is anyone, that is. Another, more poignant example is how we are all set to celebrate International Women’s Day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for all the right reasons. Or at least that’s what we have been told – be happy on March 8 and go give the next woman you find a pat on the back. She may turn around and slap you but that’s okay. It ...

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Remembering Musadiq Sanwal ‘Aik pyali chai’

 “I really don’t know how to play the sitaar,” I said. To which he asked if I knew how to feel. I realised then that first impressions are deceptive in most cases. I had walked into my music lesson on a Sunday afternoon to find a man with salt-and-pepper hair perched comfortably in the lounge. I had dismissed him as I struggled with the complexity of the various instruments around me. When he nonchalantly handed me the sitaar, I was convinced that he had made a mistake. But he had not. I had. I had missed the sharp glint of humour in his eyes that I would later realise was ...

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They killed my cousin. They killed a 9-year-old’s father.

If I were to believe any of the ‘feel-good, badly-designed’ inspirational quotes that go around cyberspace, I would tell myself that the best things somehow always are. Feel good, badly designed, that is. Why do I say this? Can you imagine seeing someone with their brains splattered across the hospital bed? You probably have not, but I have. Trust me, at that point, you don’t know what to think. You don’t think that it will be okay eventually. You don’t know whether to wail in grief or throw up. That someone happened to be my cousin’s husband. He was only 32-years-old and was the father of two young daughters. Well, at ...

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‘Don’t hate us, know us’, but PTA disagrees: Pakistan’s first gay website banned

If you’re happy and they know it, then you’re probably not clapping anymore. However, as your claps fade, you may hear the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority’s (PTA) celebrations begin. They stole the legendary pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and that’s reason enough to pat each other on the back – of course in a strictly heterosexual manner. Allegedly the gold they found is labelled ‘silence’ and they are guarding this treasure with their lives by refusing to waste golden words on ‘non-issues’ like the Pakistani gay community. However, we’re not Iran and moderate enlightenment blessed us with a split personality disorder; one side-effect of ...

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I am not your sister, mother or wife; I carry my own identity

Ripley’s believe it or not (the Pakistani version) A woman physically attacked a man in a restaurant because he intruded her personal space. She tried to make him back down. There was a sense of injustice that spurred this violence because she wanted to drive home the fact that she has the same claim to her personal space as he did to his, both in public and private domains. She too is a human being and her claim to her space remains valid regardless of her gender. It turns out the concept of being human is elusive, almost faded beyond ...

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In Karachi, let them drink juice

Fresh juice, no preservatives, not bottled, made right there in front of you, only for you. The horror. I grew up on bottled water from questionable sources and my system will react in unimaginable ways to any form of juice that is not chemical laden. Its primarily because I grew up in Karachi – I can’t deal with wholesome and nutritious, just like the city. So today – a typically atypical Karachi day with the promise of violence and death in the air – I wanted to buy my usual supply of unhealthy provisions that will lead to an early death, ...

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November 24, 2012
TOPICS

Men versus women: Who knows what looks best?

It’s a common myth that men generally don’t agree with women’s fashion choices. We wanted to put the myth to test and see how the verdict of a female fashion expert tallies up against the opinion of regular guys. So, meet the boys; Essa Malik 28, is a graphic designer and photographer who likes all things beautiful. He is currently single Shaheryar Popalzai 28, is a journalist by day and pseudo-punk by night. He is engaged. Jahanzaib Haque 30, is a news-obsessed social media junkie who has spent an inordinate amount of his life checking out women, mostly on Facebook. He is currently married. The Guru, Amna ...

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I refuse to lose my religion!

What about the rest of us? Meaning the living; those of us who have to make a living, those who have to get to work despite knowing that there is a fair chance we might get shot at for not showing enough solidarity. How do you express solidarity through violence for a system that is about peace in times of chaos, anyway? I was supposed to be angry today. I was, still am. I am fuming, in fact, because I work for a newspaper and part of my job is to be at work come hell or high water. I managed to do ...

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International Women’s day is not my day

It’s not my day because I am a woman every day of the year. I don’t want 24 hours to remind the world that I will speak what’s on my mind, make my own decisions and not be objectified, simply because I don’t need to be given what’s mine to begin with anyway;  health and safety, education, equal opportunities and control over my body and life choices. My rights are not your charity. Please don’t pat yourself on the back to assuage your guilt, if there is any to begin with, for being nice to me today.  I moved beyond ...

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