Stories published in April, 2014

Tempted to commit adultery? Indonesian governor says ‘Go pray!’

Are you afraid that you will be so attracted to the opposite sex that you will forget your vows to your significant other? Are you afraid that your sexual urges will no longer be in your control and if you’re an employer, you will most definitely sexually harass your employees? If yes, it may be time for you to move to Indonesia. A governor in Indonesia has found a cure for adultery – prayer. Apparently, he has never known an adulterer who prays five times a day. Either that or he feels that the longer he keeps men and women on the prayer mat, ...

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My life… or a poorly scripted story?

My story is one that is not worth listening to. It is poorly scripted and lacks punctuation and depth. It lingers on too long and then stops suddenly, as if looking for a new introduction to an already spoiled plot. It dies too often or does it sleep? I do not know. It becomes dormant so it could be either. Its commas occur once too often and the colons, which are otherwise latent with the charm of novelty and surprise, act as full stops. Its full stops end half-lived sentences which miserably rise and fall, full of verbs which do and die, ...

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Women are responsible for domestic abuse, not men

It’s an age old story that women are the main victims of abuse. Over the years, many NGOs, awareness projects and feminists have forced laws to be passed against female victimisation. We have all blamed men for abuse, who are seemingly the dominant sex and similarly, many steps have been taken to make women realise that it is the men who are at fault. So, why then are women still subjected to abuse, even though they are aware of their rights and are more liberated than before? Why are they not raising their voice against domestic abuse? And also, are men really the main cause of abuse? These questions ...

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They can force them to convert to Islam but they can’t win their hearts!

As an expatriate boy growing up in Saudi Arabia, I dreaded attending my school’s mandatory afternoon prayer session. At the end of every long day in Manarat Al-Sharkia, all the Muslim students and teachers gathered before the final two classes to offer Zuhr (noon) prayers in the school’s stinking gym that carried a rancid air powerful enough to rival Hitler’s infamous gas chamber. By prayer time, the gym’s floor had already been saturated by the sweet-smelling sweaty socks of hundreds of young perspiring boys. Thankfully, the school management realised that the gym’s surface was probably host to a number of diseases ...

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In Bhakkar, breakfast is Tiffany

People eat strange things. In Southeast Asia, insects are a delicacy and in East Asia, the same goes for dogs. Pig meat, a major source of protein in the diets of many peoples, are taboo for Muslims and Jews. The same applies to the noble cow for Hindus. The reasons for these differences are manifold. So before we get ahead of ourselves, it is important to agree that ‘food’ is not an easily defined word. In Bhakkar, two brothers were arrested for desecrating a grave. While saddening, it is not really the worst of crimes. But that is only because under Pakistani ...

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Barclays Premier League: Which team will take home the title this season?

May 11, 2014 will mark the end of the Barclays Premier League and one team will be crowned as champion of the season. But the astonishing nature of the league this season is such that not many can say who will win the title this time. Sheer, unadulterated unpredictability is the league’s defining feature this season. Past decades have shown us, what was known in football circles as the Big Four’s hegemony – Manchester United FC, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC – each club wielding and strengthening its grip on victories and titles. We saw Arsenal become invincible and dominate the league in the early years of the last ...

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Morsi supporters sentenced to death: Egypt paying the price for the West’s hypocrisy?

If I were to ask you to make a wild guess about the maximum number of people you need to get one police officer killed, what would you say? I am quite certain that your wildest guess will not cross double figures.   However, in Egypt 528 Morsi supporters have been sentenced to death on the charges of murdering a single police officer and causing damage to government and private property. Obviously, this decision has a political background since al-Sisi is following the footsteps of Hosni Mubarak who used the courts to crush the Muslim Brotherhood for decades. As if declaring ...

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Yes, because we need Selena Gomez and a Jonas brother to promote Malala’s campaign

By now, most of us are well aware of the white saviour narrative that has become a ubiquitous component to the Malala Yousafzai story. By now, we have seen Malala be rightfully lauded around the world for her bravery and dedication to the cause of equal educational opportunity. By now, we are mindful of the polarising sentiments that constitute a response to Malala’s name in this country. So when a promotional video for the We Are Silent campaign, a joint venture between The Malala Fund and Free The Children, hit the airwaves last week, it was not surprising that the Malala story was once again being ...

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Pakistanis, the ‘ustad’ mechanic isn’t always right!

We, as a nation, have one trait that dominates our behaviour in almost every walk of life and that is to follow the crowd. We’d rather do what everyone else is doing instead of using our common sense, even if the majority is wrong. In local terms, we call this trait bhair chaal (follow the crowd). Unfortunately, we do the same when it comes to dealing with cars. Our decisions are almost always hijacked by the opinions of other people; people who have little or no information about cars and yet, they do not refrain from commenting on what they don’t know. And ...

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Has your husband lost his job? Here’s how you can help!

Huma followed her two children as they ran to the apartment balcony, shrieking, “Dad is here!!” She was shocked to see her husband getting out of a cab instead of the green Suzuki Cultus given to him by the company he worked in. Looking at her tired and exhausted husband she inquired, “Where is your car?” He handed her an envelope and instead of sitting down for their routine evening sessions where they would discuss the day’s happenings, he dashed to the bedroom saying, “I am tired, just leave me alone.” Huma opened the envelope and to her surprise it was a letter from the company ...

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