Stories published in July, 2013

Celebrating the spirit of Ramazan, Bohra style!

As the clock strikes 6:00pm, we jump out of our beds from our two-hour long afternoon nap. It’s time to get dressed; I choose an appropriate Rida from the colourful collection I possess and start to get ready for the masjid. Meanwhile, my dad irons his plain white Sayo Kurto – the same kind he wears every day.    I always wonder how boring it is for Bohra men to wear the same kind of Sayo Kurto to the masjid every time – no matter if it is a big occasion or just an ordinary day. At least, us, women have ...

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Our Lady of Fatima Parish: A wonderful church hidden in Karachi

Over the years, Karachi has become more of a commercial pothole. Buildings are constructed in the most unexpected yet absurd places, while dhaabas (tea shops) and hotels sprout like shrubs in every nook and corner of the city. It has become congested and overwhelming.   It is due to this hotchpotch that many citizens remain unaware of the great architectural brilliance that lies hidden deep inside the city. One such building that is overlooked is a church called Our Lady of Fatima. This beautiful structure lies sandwiched between Anklesaria Hospital (near the Garden area) and the infamous Gul Plaza shopping mall. The ...

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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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Aamir Liaquat did exactly what we have been doing to Taher Shah

The notorious Amir Liaquat invited an equally notorious Taher Shah to his Ramazan show, and well, had quite a bit of fun at Taher Shah’s expense on live television. Here’s a video of what he did: This treatment of Taher Shah has triggered an unpleasant response to Aamir Liaquat and his show; people believe that what he did was absolutely detestable.  According to them,  Shah is also a human being who didn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect – especially on live television. In other words, Pakistanis are now defending someone they themselves took great pride in ridiculing when the song Eye ...

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When the Presidential election is more important than the Parachinar blast

Pakistan is a rather strange place. If you are unable to fast because you are unwell, you can end up with a black eye and maybe a few broken ribs. This is courtesy of our informal, yet thorough and self proclaimed moral police marching down the streets 365 days of the year; they are the ‘righteous’. However, if you want to join in the Ramazan festivities beware that shopping for iftar in a local market or going to a mosque may become a gamble on life.  The twin blasts in Parachinar yesterday, left at least 50 dead and around a 122 severely injured. ...

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Who will end the anti-Muslim discrimination: The White House or the “Right” House?

This is the story of two Washington Iftar dinners. First, the Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren, invited Muslim leaders to a diplomatic Iftar dinner last week and Imam Antepli of Duke University wondered aloud if the event was meaningful. Then the Obama administration invited Muslim leaders to the White House Iftar dinner and Omid Saifi, the Islamic studies professor from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, called to boycott it. It’s obvious that we, the American Muslims, are struggling to identify the right posture: Boycott, and you sever a diplomatic tie; attend, and you are seen as the “enemy’s” ally. While I empathise with the demands laid out ...

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Can Moin Khan help Umar Akmal become a complete wicketkeeper?

Rashid Latif and Moin Khan are easily the finest wicketkeepers Pakistan has ever produced. Which of the two was a better choice is debatable but both had the ability to represent the national team on any and every platform. Be it Shoaib Akhtar’s deadly pace or the reverse swing of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram or the doosras of Saqlain Mushtaq, wicket-keeping wasn’t a problem for Pakistan as long as these two men played for the country. During their tenure, the captains even enjoyed the special leverage to use one wicketkeeper as a replacement for the other for a good ...

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Taxi driver shot dead: The Rangers are not to blame

Most of the time, law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are blamed for corruption and for being in cahoots with criminals. However, recently, the elite contingent of Pakistani law enforcement – which is usually called in when the situation becomes too big to handle for basic level officers – has come under fire for allegations of extra judicial killings and for sporting a general “hair trigger attitude.” The reference here is, of course, to the Rangers and the spate of recent incidents that have involved shooting at presumably innocent people. The Rangers first drew media attention after they opened fire on an unarmed young man ...

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Aamir Liaquat, shame on you for humiliating Taher Shah

Last night, a seven minute video clip went viral on social media. Many of you probably saw the video in question; it was the latest transmission of the Ramazan show Amaan Ramzan: Iftar Aamir Ke Saath. For those of you who missed it, the video is a clip from a pre-Iftar show with Aamir Liaquat in which he invites Taher Shah – Pakistan’s latest sensation for good or bad reasons – as a guest. This was not Mr Shah’s first public appearance since his video reached global fame. Earlier in June, Taher Shah gave an interview on the 4 Man Show. ...

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Burka Avenger: Why criticise the effort just because of the burka?

Imagine a young Pakistani girl. She lives a normal life; maybe she is just a reporter like Superman. She dresses pretty much like every other Pakistani girl. There’s nothing unique about her. Except.. wait! She is a superhero! She takes on evil villains by using her superpowers, while wearing a disguise. Because, duh, every superhero has to wear a disguise. They must protect their identity. Here’s a picture of the super-girl chilling at Karachi beach: Photo: Ema Anis Err. Sorry. Wrong disguise. Maybe, this? Photo: Ema Anis Um. I’m not so sure… Something just doesn’t gel here. What’s the ...

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