Stories published in February, 2014

Paper-is-back: Reminiscing good ol’ tech-free times with Facebook

Stories do more than just entertain, they define us. Stories give meaning and context to what would otherwise be a collection of easily forgettable facts. They say behind every brand is a story and thus Facebook just started a new chapter of their fairy tale by launching a new app Paper. Facebook, a company which has gone from a dorm room conception to a $150 billion capitalisation, outshined the social media industry by introducing the new app that focuses on the idea of stories. Source: Itunes The app is available for download on iOS devices only. As I work in a paper-free ...

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Is Islam better practised in the West?

Most people are very quick to point out the flaws and imperfections of Western lifestyle, citing promiscuity, free flowing alcohol, homosexuality, gay marriage and a free mixing of sexes as the main ingredients in its destruction and thus its aberration from Islam.  However, I personally think Islam is implemented in a much more effective manner in the West than it is in Pakistan. Why? Well for several reasons – the social welfare system, the cleanliness of streets, the unacceptability of discrimination, the freedom to practice your religion and a system which protects women and recognises their rights as commensurate with men. Social welfare By social welfare, ...

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Do as Wolfswinkel does: Stop sparking controversy, Mourinho

It seems like Norwich’s striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel will be gaining heaps of praise, not for his playing time at the Carrow Road to date but for setting a rare example of sportsman spirit. While many are busy criticising the Football Association (FA), including Jose Mourinho, for not suspending Yaya Toure over kicking Wolfswinkel during their match over the weekend, the Norwich striker came out supporting the FA’s decision not to suspend the City midfielder. Wolfswinkle surprised many by supporting the FA’s decision not to suspend Toure. He further added that he would be disappointed to see the Ivory Coast ...

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Killed for enjoying music? What is the truth?

Kohistan is a settled district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the predominantly non-Pashtun Hazara Division. It stretches to about 7,500 square kilometres on both, the east and west of the Indus River. The population of Kohistan is over 550,000 and the people speak Shina and Kohistani – both of Dardic origin. However, like the controversial video scandal the culture, history and ethnography of Kohistan is a mystery for the common Pakistani. Western Kohistan was a part of Swat-Kohistan in the district of Swat but back in the 70s it was made a separate district as was eastern Kohistan. Interestingly, the Kohistan district has two judicial systems in practice. Western Kohistan is ...

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Chinese new year, leftover women and the custom to rent-a-boyfriend

Along with the dumplings and yee sang (raw fish salad deemed to bring about good luck; usually eaten on the seventh day of the festivities) the very coveted Chinese new year brings with itself the dilemmas of ‘shengnu’ – otherwise known as the ‘leftover women’ in china. Particularly, at this time of the year, being single is abhorrent for the shengnu’s parents as well as their extended family members. As disparaging as the word ‘leftover women’ sounds (read: ‘leftover food’) the All China Women’s Federation website has taken lengths to define it. Officially, shengnu is a term used for educated, rich and professional females who are single at the age ...

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Valentine’s Day is about family, love and chocolate truffles!

It is natural that things that seem important to us in our teens do not really appeal to us as much two decades later. That’s the case with me and Valentine’s Day. Back in the day, hormones were raging, but now you find yourself raging at your own teen kids. Our parents seemed to do everything wrong and now you try your level best, just as your parents once did, to convince your child that you are right. In those days, going out alone with friends was an absolute must and now it’s an absolute security risk. Back then, Valentine’s Day ...

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Protection of Pakistan Ordinance: Always guilty unless proven innocent?

The government tightened the anti-terror legislation of the country last month, as President Mamnoon Hussain approved the Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO). It declares all peace-disrupting elements as ‘enemies of the state’ and states protection of life to be the state’s top priority. However, many clauses of the PPO remain controversial. One such clause is clause 14 on burden of proof which reads, “An accused facing the charge of a scheduled offence on existence of reasonable evidence against him shall be presumed to be engaged in waging war or insurrection against Pakistan unless he establishes his non-involvement in the offence.” The drafters of the legislation appear to be ...

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Mix&Match: 8 celebrity couples I would love to see together this Valentine’s Day

Remember that time you were sitting at a restaurant, having a conversation with a friend and you felt your mind drifting away? You start taking things around you in; the environment, the people. You start wondering what the woman next to you was thinking when she decided to wear that particular outfit or how the couple on your left must think they look great together, when they just don’t. There now, there is no need to pretend to be ‘holier than thou’, we’ve all done it. After years of careful observation, I decided to come up with a list of my own; ...

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In Vitro Fertilisation: Don’t choose a boy over a girl, choose a baby!

Being blessed with a baby opens up a new epoch in every couple’s life. There is excitement at the new arrival, fear of the impending responsibilities and the innate desire to protect the tiny being from all evils. Even the gender of the baby gives rise to a myriad of emotions, feelings and sentiments depending on whether it is a pink blouse or a blue shirt. However, the process of having a baby is not as easy for some as it is for others. Statistics reveal that 10% to 20% couples fail to have a baby the natural way. However, all hope ...

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Free the PCB from government intervention

If Saturday was a black day in the history of international cricket, Monday was much of the same for Pakistani cricket. On Saturday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) lost out in its opposition to the proposal of structural reforms in the International Cricket Council (ICC) enforcing the ‘Big Three’. If that was not enough of a setback, the government decided that this was the right time to remove the chairman of the PCB, Mr Zaka Ashraf for the second time in eight months and replaced him with – yes, you guessed it – Mr Najam Sethi. While this development is ...

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