Faria Syed

Faria Syed

A Karachi based multi-media journalist working on the web desk of The Express Tribune. Faria blogs about life in the news business and human rights.

Who trashed my comment?

Earlier this week we asked our readers what they wanted to know about policy, coverage and reporting at The Express Tribune. A lot of you wanted to know why certain reader comments never make it online. On our Facebook page Rabia Kashan wrote: “U publish comments which only support ur argument or not condradictory with themn thats very much TRUE” Ahsan Ullah wrote: “I never saw my comments on any post. Why is that?” Nur Momand asked: “The policy of comments moderation is murky. Sometimes very harsh comments get published but many a time even relatively milder critique gets censored. Is it because of the the person ...

Read Full Post

Video blog: World Humanitarian Day

The music video “If I Could Change” was released on August 19th, 2011, on World Humanitarian Day. This music video makes an attempt to pay homage to humanitarian workers all around the world. The track features many popular superstars, such as, Bob Marley’s son Ziggy Marley, Somali sister-duo Sweet Rush and Salman Ahmad from the Pakistani band Junoon. The singers urge the world to show greater compassion towards people, in an attempt to rid the world of suffering and fear. The video shows clips of children in refugee camps and hospitals. It also shows flooded fields and ruined buildings, all in an attempt ...

Read Full Post

The taboo against ambition

When I was eight-years-old my greatest pleasure in life was spending Saturday afternoons in my father’s office. I would be allowed to sit at his massive oak desk with mountains of papers and neaten up while he looked at files or took phone calls. I was mesmerized by the sheer amount of papers he could read, the fact that he had a computer at his desk and a secretary outside his office. As my mary-janed feet dangled from his swivel chair I would think “Daddy must be smart”. The measures by which my eight-year-old self had determined that my father was successful were ...

Read Full Post
November 16, 2010
TOPICS

The voice of (un)reason

What happens when you put three political leaders on a standardized panel set with a confused looking anchor and throw in the word ‘pithoo‘? A bar room brawl that would put fraternity boys to shame. Leaders on a local talk show recently became highly emotional when the issue of secret loyalties to the US came up. The entire situation descended in politicians childishly echoing “No, you are” at each other and ended with one leader picking up a glass of water and flinging it across the set at his colleague. Thankfully, he missed. The Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Peoples Part ...

Read Full Post
November 11, 2010
TOPICS

Karachi blast: What’s security got to do with it?

The blast that has rocked Karachi’s grand Club Road and claimed (so far) 15 lives has sparked a familiar line of questions on news channels. The question the anchors ask is “Was there a security lapse” but the question they are really asking is “Who should we blame?” and thus who can we crucify on live TV. After every blast the question emerges – was enough done? Where were the police? The rangers? Where was everyone when this bomb was mysteriously planted in random building X? Somehow we expect that a platoon of police officers can prevent a bomb blast. But ...

Read Full Post

Here’s to you Sherry!

Earlier this week, MNA Sherry Rehman became one of the many Pakistani politicians to face the consequences of having a brain. Yes, not only does she have a killer wardrobe, Ms Rehman is also in fact one of the few leaders in Pakistan who does more than steal, bribe or sit on talk shows all day. Ironically, it was exactly for this crime that the ruling PPP chose to penalise her and Senator Safdar Abbasi. How dare they appear on a talk show that would be broadcast on one of the county’s most popular television channels? Actually, the real question is ...

Read Full Post

Election time in Afghanistan

As most of urban and a large part of rural Afghanistan prepares for elections, the Taliban have once again made it clear just how they feel about the polls. With hours to go before ballots are to be cast the Taliban have kidnapped Abdul Rahman Hayat, one of 2,500 candidates running for the parliamentary elections on September 18, 2010.  The news was confirmed when Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid sent a text message to AFP reporter stating: “We have kidnapped Hayatullah Hayat.” The Taliban have also been blamed for the kidnap of eighteen workers in Baghdis province. It is no secret that the ...

Read Full Post

Do-gooder television: What’s the real agenda?

Television is a deliciously dirty business. Producers come up with innovative new ways to rehash the same old stories – and if they do it well audiences get hooked. In Pakistan television programming has largely been a familiar mash up of breaking news, high gloss drama and below the belt humour – until now. Earlier this month former movie producer Rashid Khwaja (Very Good Dunya Very Bad Log) launched a new Pakistani channel with an unusual USP. The oh-so-creatively named ‘A-plus’ claims to have a ‘socially responsible’ line-up of programming. It has been airing reality shows which claim to contribute something of ‘value’ to ...

Read Full Post

Cheering for Pakistan

Loving Pakistan is not always easy, and I say this as a true blue patriot. But I have been recently reschooled in how to cheer for Pakistan by engineering students from across the country. The university students are in Kuala Lumpur to participate in an Asia wide fuel efficiency contest and the patriotism they have displayed here is not of the cliched ‘jazba-e-janoon’ or ‘dil dil pakisan’ brand – it is real. There are no jingoistic undercurrents or nationalistic desires to prove that Pakistan is ‘better than you’ rather there is mature realisation that it is time for us to become a responsible member of the global community. “We want ...

Read Full Post

My favorite underdog

Kuala Lumpur’s Sepang racing circuit smells like gasoline and banana trees. In the pit lane engines reassuringly pur to life, tools are thrown like cricket balls and The Foofighters blast from an invisible sound system. There are 81 cars in the pit for Shell’s eco-marathon — a contest where students have been challenged to design and create fuel efficient vehicles. Each car is an aerodynamic work of art, testament to the human need to advance. As poetic justice would have it the question is not one of how far you can go but how to get there. The twenty teams from Pakistan here are ...

Read Full Post