Stories published in September, 2011

Facebook dangers: Satisfying our inner hero

Facebook, undoubtedly, has brought about an immensely significant social revolution over the past few years.  It is now not just any other social networking website. In more ways than one, Facebook is a virtual reflection of our personality, beliefs, ideologies, likes and dislikes, and so on. What Facebook has gradually accomplished is that it has given everyone a voice; it has given people to opportunity to express their opinion about any matter, no matter how sensitive or controversial, to several hundred people in just a matter of seconds by typing out a few lines. However, while this freedom to express ...

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Americans care about Palestine

In my last blog post “An American in Lahore”, someone commented that: “American citizen[s] should stand against their government for [its] inhumane behavior towards the rest of the world.” A large number of the readers agreed and posted similar comments. Actually, like you, many of us in the United States do care about what happens to our fellow human beings around the world; like you, many of us are frustrated by our government’s unjust foreign policies and the apathy of our fellow citizens towards the plight of oppressed groups around the world; like you, many of us have our eyes ...

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It is about more than just getting straight As

Bachoon ki parhai is a very strict maamla for most Pakistani parents. It’s a matter that parents don’t like to compromise on. Or so I have heard from most of them. The affluent send their kids to top-notch schools and institutes, and the middle class is determined to send their offspring to to the best schools they can afford. It’s only natural for a father and a mother to want their child to receive the best education. However, the concept of education is misunderstood by one too many. The best definition that I could find of the word was – a ...

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Video Blog: Friends without borders

This is my story of peace; of how my perception has changed about India over the last few years. It was the winter of late 2009. I was surfing through my Facebook fan page for Sheehsa, when I saw a message in my inbox which was sent by a girl named Arveen Singh. In the message Arveen asked me to promote her page on my fanpage. However, when I went to view her profile, I found out that she was from India. This immediately sparked my curiosity, and I sent her a friend request, which she accepted. Thus began a beautiful friendship. ...

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Who is @FarhanMasood ?

A  single dad to a 6-year-old princess Farhan Masood is the founder of Go Green Pakistan, a campaign aimed at connecting patriots in the country. He enjoys putting smiles on people’s faces and loves Pakistan. When did you join Twitter and why? I joined Twitter on July 2, 2009. I was known as Baba-e-Facebook due to my following and large numbers of comments on my funny statuses and then Talal Masood (@Taalz) introduced me to Twitter and I loved it. Twitter is like a text-based radio and every account holder has his or her own station. You can broadcast the text of your ...

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Misbah-ul-Haq saved Pakistan cricket

Whitewashing Zimbabwe is not a great indicator of any cricket team’s progress. And while Bangladesh’s latest annihilation on their tour to Zimbabwe aptly marketed the home team’s marquee return to international cricket, it also spoke volumes of Bangladesh cricket’s perennial decline. They played such habitually mediocre cricket, that gauging any sign of improvement in Zimbabwe’s first post-hiatus display was almost impossible. There is no doubting the abundance in talent, with the likes of Sibanda, Taylor, Taibu and Vitori in the ranks, Zimbabwe has the makings of a quality cricket side. However, can Pakistan afford to over hype their recent successes against them? Historically, ...

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Facebook ‘poked’ by Lahore High Court

The Lahore High Court has directed the ministry of information technology to block access to all websites spreading religious hatred, which may possibly include Facebook at the end of an investigation. What is it that we plan to achieve through this ban?  While I cannot possibly defend the distasteful and offensive contest (Draw Prophet Muhammad day) held on Facebook, many have expressed concerns about the possible hypocrisy and ineffectiveness of this move. Rest assured that in the interest of mitigating the spread of religious intolerance, I am sure the LHC has been working just as tirelessly to ban websites with anti-Ahmadi content (or ...

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10 reasons why childhood beats adulthood

Ever wonder why children don’t have frown lines and why they always seem happy? Why are adults, so often on-edge and grumpy? Caught in today’s busy lifestyle with ever increasing responsibilities, grown-ups don’t have time to languish in the pleasures that once excited them as children. Regardless, reminiscing about the carefree days provides one with at least a nostalgic smile. I am sure every one of you probably has their own fond memories. However, here is my list of why I believe childhood is better than adulthood, and I hope it takes you back to the days when life was ...

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The problem with a Rs90 dengue test

There is a major dengue fever outbreak in the city of Lahore. Several thousand patients have been documented, and many more have gone undiagnosed. In addition, there is a general sense of paranoia, and people are very scared of the illness. One of the important aspects in the care of dengue fever patients is the establishment of the diagnosis. Since a large number of patients are poor and cannot afford treatment, it is important to make arrangements to make these diagnostic facilities accessible to all. However, it must also be ensured that the diagnostic facilities and resources are not wasted. One ...

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Video Blog: Of human bondage

This documentary is about a women named Hina. She tells the sad tale of her life in Khanewal, where she has been working at a brick kiln since childhood. She, and many others like her, have been accused of stealing and prostitution. They have been imprisoned, sexually harassed and beaten within an inch of their lives. Yet, they continue to work at the brick kiln since it is their only means of feeding their children and putting clothing on their backs. The men who work at this kiln are separated from the women. The women are raped by the owners, who make videos of ...

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