Stories published in February, 2013

11 things I love about Dubai

I am not much of a blogger, but ever since I read a hate piece about Dubai, I wanted to revive its charm. Dubai, can be assessed from several angles; a tourist, a family, a labourer, a tycoon or an individual. I fall in the last. So here is my list of why I absolutely adore Dubai.  1. Array of cuisines When it comes to food, Dubai is a mixed platter of delicacies from all around the world. Being a foodie in Dubai and its variety of dining options, is like an unleashed child in a candy-store. From Brazilian Churrasscaria to Vietnamese Bun Bo hue, Dubai offers it ...

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Pakistan versus South Africa: Plenty to learn still

Despite promising much, the Pakistani cricket team could deliver little against the South African juggernaut. It was a sound thrashing and a reminder that despite their resurgence over the past couple of years, the tourists have still got plenty to learn. A number of things went wrong for Pakistan right from the beginning. Starting with team selection, Rahat Ali – who was only sent as reinforcement – was chosen ahead of the first-choice Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil. Regardless of the fact that his bowling was mostly ineffective, it is the manner of his selection that should raise serious questions. Irfan and Ehsan Adil must ...

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A Pakistani in India

History, unfortunately, has given Indian and Pakistan varying reasons for hostility. It is sad to see two nations with so much in common distrust and, in general, hate each other. The media rampant with messages of anger against the ‘other’ and thus, choosing the path of friendship or normalisation is a mission of passion. Travelling from Islamabad to New Delhi, however, has changed my perspective to a great extent. During a recent month-long stay in India’s capital, I found myself feeling as if I were a local, thanks to the similarities in language, culture and ethnicity. I fit in like a hand in ...

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Female Genital Mutilation: Many Pakistani women’s painful secret

“I don’t want my daughter to have to go through it. I have been through it; my mom has been through it and so has my naani (grandmother). We have been going through this forever. It’s a custom – the done thing, but I can’t imagine my baby having to go through the same! I am 34 and I still remember it distinctly. I felt humiliated even as a seven-year-old. It was not very painful, but I felt slighted at how they held me down, how embarrassed I felt. But most of all I feel resentment – even today – over ...

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Food for thought for new mothers

Motherhood is one of the most sacred blessings for women, yet it can be a challenging phase of their lives. It is not uncommon to hear new mothers say, “I am so depressed; I can’t seem to lose weight!” However, a well-planned and balanced intake of the right nutrition can provide one with stamina and can help ward off the baby blues. New mothers should focus on food and eating habits that can help them: 1. Ensure that their child is nutritiously nursed 2. Fight depression 3. Lose weight 4. Fight fatigue Energy boosters:  Our mood is regulated by a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is known to increase happiness and make one’s ...

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Zero Dark Thirty: Disgusting misrepresentations and false stereotypes

The hype surrounding the movie Zero Dark Thirty has found space into every conversation; be it in classes or at dinners. Everyone seems to have an opinion about one or the other aspect of it; while some people argue it is a very well made movie, there are many others who view the legitimacy of the plot and implications of the movie very sceptically. Zero Dark Thirty is a historical drama about the CIA’s hunt for the top al Qaeda leaders, primarily Osama bin Laden. The movie has been nominated for five Oscars and is a Hollywood blockbuster. A majority of the ...

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Ten things I hate about Dubai

Now, I know that the title makes me look like a snob who gets to go places but is just so ungrateful. However, my trips to Dubai are really never out of willingness to visit, but mandatory – mum’s orders. I cannot stand Dubai. I was born in Dubai and spent my early years there. Now I have to visit twice a year to see my dad and brother, them being one of the few good things about the place. Here are ten things that I don’t like about Dubai: 1. Malls: I know malls are fun, but what if they were all you ...

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Two toffees a day – enough to feed this seven-year-old

My friend and I were eating a burger on a Saturday evening, when a seven-year-old boy interrupted us. Boy: Bhai I’m hungry, please buy me something to eat. Me: Allah ke hawalay!  Khaaney do! (For God’s sake! Let us eat!) Boy: Bhai, I’m hungry! Ameer: How do we buy you food? We are students, we don’t have extra money! Boy: Bhai, at least buy me a burger? Ameer: Haven’t you heard what we said? Go away. Me: Ameer, wait! I took out a Rs5 coin from my pocket and handed it to the boy. Me: Take this and go! Boy: Will this be enough to buy a burger? I ...

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The wonderful world of science

These first two weeks of February have been heavy on some really cool science news. A bionic eye that would help people with a rare sight disorder was approved by regulators, scientists found signs of life deep under a glacial lake in Antarctica, a meteor exploded over Russia’s Ural mountains with an estimated power of around 30 atomic bombs and just around midnight on February 16 (Pakistan Standard Time), the DA14 asteroid passed within some 27,000 kilometres of Earth. (That is around 10 round trips between Karachi and Islamabad by road.) Phew! But perhaps, one of the most interesting science-related news I ...

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Why the Kashmir solidarity day façade?

Since 1990, Pakistan has been observing February 5 as Kashmir Solidarity Day. The 90s was a time in Kashmir when the struggle for freedom perpetuated by the state-sponsored violence against ordinary people took a violent form. As India was preparing to open itself to world markets and usher in an era of new technology and development, many young men in Kashmir crossed over to Pakistan for arms training to get rid of Indian forces occupying their land. While the question of Pakistan’s motives in extending support and expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir is open to debate, especially in the light ...

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