Stories published in April, 2011

Kate and William: Reliving a fairytale

July 29, 1981: Diana weds Charles Here’s a poignant early childhood memory: I was a chubby, short-haired girl, clutching my Lady Diana paper doll (a gift from my mother) in one hand and a milk bottle in the other, while rapturously watching Cinderella’s wedding to her prince, live on television. That’s who I thought Lady Di Spencer was back then, in her romantic, trailing ivory dress. I gazed at a gloriously beautiful Cinderella, her tiara glittering as she waved from a fairytale carriage, replete with white horses and liveried attendants, alongside a prince in full regalia. I half expected my fairytale ...

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Million dollar mosques surrounded by hungry Muslims

I came across a BBC article about the grandest mosque in Abu Dhabi. Built in 2007, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers under its 57 domes. The breathtaking architecture is the result of a deliberate attempt to represent the many cultures within the Islamic world by incorporating Arab, Mughal, Moorish, and Turkish designs.  The interior boasts the largest chandelier and hand-woven carpet in the world.  Beautiful?  Absolutely.  Worth it?  Not so sure. In a region where we’ve recently seen people take to the streets due to economic, financial, and social hardships, it makes me a little ...

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Muslim immigrants: A cold shoulder for a bad reputation

After the great Messina, another tsunami has embarked on the shores of Italy. But this time, it is not water that is causing problems. 26,000 immigrants belonging mainly to Tunisia and Libya have arrived on the island of Lampedusa – a number larger than the total population of the island. Earlier, Italy had taken responsibility for 20,000 immigrants. As the immigrants keep pouring onto the shores of Italy, it is looking towards neighbouring Schengen countries to lend a helping hand. The Italian government has decided to issue a six month Schengen visa to these immigrants, a move that has given jitters to the ...

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‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ has no room for Hindus

Hindus and Muslims may have similar wedding celebrations, but there is no registration system for Hindu marriages in Pakistan. The Indian parliament passed the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955 which made it mandatory for Hindu marriages to be registered in India. In Pakistan, the Hindu community has been demanding the same rights for decades, but to no avail. Members of the Hindu community gave a two-month deadline to the government and threatened to hold a sit-in in front of the Parliament House in June if these demands were not met. They urged the media and concerned citizens to participate in a petition campaign as a ...

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Two thumbs up for Pakistani techies

The lack of success is somehow discussed and internalised more than the sweet taste of victory. But let’s sip this sweet nectar one sip at a time and savour it, just this once. The fastest brain in the world The world of information technology has found an abundance of fresh blood from the fertile Pakistani soil. The fastest brain in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records is Mamoon Tariq Khan, our very own wonder boy from Islamabad, now working on an inter-disciplinary IT solution to the problems of poverty and class divide through uniformed IT access from ...

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Pak-US relations: The lies of the allies

US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter recently gave a major policy speech – or so we expected before it happened. Coinciding with DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s visit to Washington, the talk given at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad covered a lot of ground. From renewal of relations to perception building, from drone attacks to economic aid, a host of issues was addressed in the speech and question/answer session that followed. But as someone present on the spot, I failed to find anything new in Munter’s words. Granted that after the Raymond Davis episode, the ambassador needs a fresh start in his efforts to ...

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Is your conscience awake?

Recently, my dog Travis brought me home a little gift from his walk. As he proudly displayed in front of me the remains of what must’ve been a small white kitten, I screamed and ran in horror around the house. This, by the way, is the same dog that lovingly guards my one-year-old nephew and melts into licky fests when I come home from anywhere. After a while of frenzy, I had to forgive the old dog. It was years of biological conditioning combined with innate and learned behaviours that led to his offence. Cats were the enemy – it didn’t matter ...

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Why worry? These exams will come and go

Final exams are starting. Poor school kids, you think. So glad I’m over that, you muse as you reminisce about the hours you spent cramming text, the shock of your last year reports. And even if that’s not exactly what you went through during school, it’s what most of your friends did. Part of being a student is being equated with some clichéd exam story. So it’s totally understandable if you’re wondering why this time you can’t spot the telltale sleep-deprived puffy eyes, or why students aren’t clutching each other in corridors, weeping about how horrible the exam was. It’s ...

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Chelsea’s detrimental obsession

Another year has gone by, and Chelsea still waits to win the European Cup. The Blues were well beaten by a Manchester United team who Marseille manager Didier Deschamps claimed lacked fantasy and who Spurs boss Harry Redknapp stated were winning the league by default. It was a disappointing exit for Chelsea who have been banging on the door year after year but have not been let in despite spending millions and changing managers. It was built up to be a classic all-English quarter-final between two giants that were in no mood to miss a chance to reach a London final. ...

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Help! I can’t get over my ex

Dear Miss Informed, I am a 20-year-old girl and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get over my ex-boyfriend. We dated for three months but he lived in another city for about 70 per cent of our relationship. Initially, things between us were delightful, as all new relationships are, but slowly he started to cut me off. Then, he dumped me. It has been six months since this happened; I have mourned, grieved, been called a fool for falling for him so hard after just a few months and heard many bitter things from my friends. But I ...

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