Stories published in May, 2014

Tennis 101: French Open 2014

Under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the world’s best tennis players are battling it out for the second grand slam of the year. The 2014 tournament is the 113th edition which will be held at Stade, Roland Garros. Both men and women have been competing at the French open since 1897 with mixed double added in 1907. Last year, the ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal defeated country man David Ferrer in straight sets to claim his eighth French Open title while Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova to claim the women’s title. This year’s French Open, however, ended up disappointing tennis fans when Serena ...

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Elliot Rodger: A product of the US government’s incompetence?

“You don’t think it’ll happen to your child, until it does.” This is what Richard Martinez stated in a press conference, despairing over the loss of his 20-year-old son, Christopher Martinez. A deranged individual – Elliot Rodger – who sought revenge from female university students for rejecting him, instigated a ruthless shooting spree on the streets of California, killing six people in cold blood, before committing suicide himself. To the sons and daughters of the ill-fated families, may their souls rest in eternal peace. These victims were unreasonably deprived of their right to live; they were killed without any reason. And their ...

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A numbness to murder

The murder on a mundane Monday morning was as meaningless as the murder on a tedious Tuesday morning. The details, however, differ in terms of bullet count. Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar, an Ahmadi cardiologist based in the United States was visiting Pakistan to carry out voluntary work at a local hospital. On Monday morning, May 26, 2014, he was shot 11 times while he was visiting a cemetery in the town of Chenab Nagar. On the other hand, Professor Shabbir Hussain Shah was a student service director at the University of Gujrat and a Shia by sect. On Tuesday morning, November 19, 2013, the bullets ...

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‘Dishonourable’ love – You should be stoned to death

This story about a pregnant 25-year-old woman, Farzana Parveen, being bashed to death with bricks by her brothers and uncles because she dared to marry of her own choice, is the kind of news that makes your heart drop and your stomach churn.  It’s being called an ‘honour killing’ in the press but it is murder – in fact, we should call it an execution. Farzana was going to court in Lahore to testify that she had married her husband out of choice, in response to a fake kidnapping case brought about by her family who were enraged that she ...

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His only crime was being an Ahmadi

Ashir is just two-years-old. Yesterday, he was witness to the most horrific tragedy anyone can imagine. His father – a 50-year-old doctor – was brutally murdered in Pakistan. His crime: He belonged to the Ahmadiyya community. Dr Mehdi Ali was a US-trained cardiologist on a medical mission to Pakistan. He was visiting Tahir Heart Institute; a state-of-the-art Cardiology hospital in Rabwah, Pakistan. Many Pakistanis cannot even afford routine medical visits. Dr Ali was bringing specialised advanced medical care to these poor people, free of cost. It was the second day of his three-week humanitarian trip when tragedy struck. The doctor ...

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Why Godzilla (2014) is one of the best summer blockbuster movies yet

This movie has been a long time coming. Brought to you by Legendary Pictures – the same studio that brought another monster-kaiju movie last year, Pacific Rim – Godzilla hits all the right chords for everyone, whether it is the die-hard Godzilla fan or the casual movie goer. Unlike the 1998 box office failure of the same name, this movie remake can stand on its own two feet; it has a back-to-basics approach that gives the origin story of the monster and then some. While paying homage to the original cult classic of 1954, Godzilla (2014) builds on a more realistic story arch that makes the whole notion of such a behemoth ...

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Real Madrid’s La Decima: The dream is now a reality

I’ve been following Real Madrid for the past four years and I endured a number of heartbreaks at the most crucial stages of the season. For three consecutive years, the team withstood painful defeats throughout the semi-finals of the most important club tournament, the UEFA Champions League. Since the past 12 years, the dream to achieve La Decima always seemed to come to an abrupt halt. The last two editions of the tournament were miserable but this year, Real Madrid did what was always expected of them. They won it and they won it the Real Madrid style; ‘fight till the end’. Real Madrid ...

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Robin Hood, the Pakistani version

I was not shocked at all. The room did not look like that of an informant; adequately lit, curtains drawn, handful of furniture, most noticeable of which was the centre table decorated with an unlit candle. Perhaps he was expecting a power outage; part and parcel of Karachi these days. You would be surprised to know that crime reporting is really not as dramatic as it seems on the one hour investigation shows on TV. And here I was, sitting in front of a person, a man the age of my younger brother, who sat there with more confidence than I could ...

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No, I am not beckoning you… I am just a woman trying to get to work

To you, The driver who sees my loosely wrapped headscarf, jeans and long shirt, and wonders what’s going on; the passer-by who watches me adjust the messenger bag on my sagging shoulder with one hand and cover my eyes from the sun with the other, squinting at something in the distance; the curious men and women on motorcycles, in vans, riding bicycles and on foot, wondering what I’m doing on a street corner, so early in the day. And especially to those who might wonder if maybe, just maybe… Let me stop you right there and say what doesn’t need to be said ...

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RIP Pakistan hockey?

Hockey is Pakistan’s national game and its players have won many laurels for the nation in the past. Previously, these players were household names and were considered darlings of the nation, until everything went down under. Comparing those golden days of hockey with its dismal state today often brings tears to the eyes of many hockey followers.   The 2014 Hockey World Cup is less than a month away and, sadly, Pakistan has failed to even qualify for this global event. The reason of this depressing situation could possibly be attributed to the poor planning and management of the previous team that ran ...

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