Stories published in December, 2014

Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers, you’ll never walk alone

Liverpool, one of the most decorated football clubs in the world, has been going through an extremely rough patch since the departure of ‘bite master’, Luis Suarez, to Barcelona in the summers. Manager Brendan Rodgers has faced pressures of organising a side plagued by injuries and consistency issues, after a scintillating run and an ‘almost incredible’ season last year. To add to the woes, the team qualified for the Champions League. Although this achievement did seem like a blessing at the moment, due to their absence from the elite competition since the last five years, it became a platform to highlight the frailties of the team. Simply ...

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Aao Parhao – A lesson less ordinary

My experience of teaching high school students has been rewarding, frustrating and overwhelming – all in one fell swoop. I’ve come to believe it is through teaching that one truly learns. Every year the teacher is a year older, perhaps wiser. The students, however, don’t age. Yet, either through the work of evolution or technology, the classroom seems to fill itself with a batch that is smarter at outsmarting the teacher. The profession, by its very nature, forces you to keep up with the times. And with time, the ways of teaching are changing too. The classroom has become ...

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Celebrate Christmas, Pakistan!

This is arguably my most favourite time of the year. The spirit of Christmas brings joy, hope and brings about a pleasant change in people’s outlook. There’s positive energy in the air and everyone seems to be optimistic, passionate and blessed. We, in the United States, have had a tough 2014. Things haven’t been all that great. Gun violence, race-centric crimes, rising debt, foreign policy misadventures, terrorism, wars, and worst of all, a Republican victory in the mid-term elections have marred the proceedings and tainted our morale. But, this is a resilient nation. It has seen the worst and the darkest of times. When ...

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Dear Arham, I will never forget the last day you went to school…

To my dear brother Arham, My Arham, that day, before you left for school, I remember seeing a vibrant smile on your face. It was as if you were excited for the day to come. I miss that smile now. I think about how energetic and cheerful you were that day. I still remember how, in the car, you kept going on and on about playing video games with Zawar and kept boring me with your chatter. I would give anything to hear you speak now. When Abbu dropped you to school, I remember how you rushed to pick up your bag ...

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Remembering simpler times with Ma’am Tahira Qazi and Sir Saeed

The Army Public School originally had a single branch on Mall Road Peshawar, near the PTV station. During the mid-1990s, two more branches opened up – one near the old Mall Road branch and the second where December 16th’s tragedy took place, on Warsak Road. We used to call it the Army Public College, not school, because it was from the sixth grade onwards; so it was for the ‘big boys’, and it had become a degree-awarding college as well. I started going to the ‘college’ in 1997. Sir Saeed was one of the first teachers I had. I was in the sixth grade; 6-B to ...

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PK – A movie buff’s delight!

PK has undeniably been the most anticipated movie for the last few years. Apart from Aamir Khan’s fans, even film critics have been waiting to see producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s and director Rajkumar Hirani’s combination of magic. PK revolves around a wide-eyed, rebellious yet innocent stranger in a city who goes by the initials of PK (Aamir) and the people he meets whilst exploring the new city. His journey starts from the middle of Rajasthan where he befriends a man named Bhairon Singh (Sanjay Dutt). Bhairon makes PK feel right at home but eventually, PK has to move on with his journey ...

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Moving on from trauma, moving on from Peshawar

The Taliban’s brutal attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 claimed the lives of over 140 people including 132 children. While hundreds of survivors of this mass shooting need physical rehabilitation resulting from bullet wounds and other physical injuries, the psychological impact of this traumatic event may have a long lasting effect on school children, both in Peshawar and across the nation. It is imperative that the trauma victims must get immediate psychiatric help, and secondary support be provided to children in other parts of the country who, although geographically distant, may still be troubled by this ...

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The Taliban is not the real enemy

December 16, 2014, marked the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) deadliest attack in Pakistan. Militants from the TTP attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 142 people; 132 of whom were children. Survivors of the attack are still being treated in hospitals. As declared by the Taliban, the motivation for the attack has been to avenge the Taliban families who have been targets of the drone attacks in operation Zarb-e-Azb. The attack has been widely condemned across the globe with majority of Pakistanis mourning December 16 as a ‘Black Day’ in the history of Pakistan. Consequently, the prevalent government, army, opposition parties and the wider nation ...

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What Pakistan went through during the Peshawar attack

Students of Psychology will be familiar with the Kübler-Ross model. The five stages of loss and grief. ‘Normal grief’. Grief of losing a loved one to a terminal illness. Grief that one has prepared themselves for. Grief that concludes with acceptance. However, there is no theory for the event in which all the first four stages of grief collide. Nothing to explain the kind of grief that does not end with ‘acceptance’. Yesterday, December 16, 2014, demonstrated to us a new trough in humanity. Just when we thought we had hit rock-bottom in a society where human life has nil ...

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Champions League Round of 16 draws: Who will progress?

The UEFA Champions League draws were announced on Monday and one cannot be surprised at the number of repeat fixtures between Europe’s super clubs. It is remarkable that a competition, which has not seen a repeat winner since the last 25 years, witnesses such a number of repeat fixtures in its pre-final stages. However, regardless of who got to play against whom, one fact is certain – we are in for some spectacular competitive football as the clubs look to stamp their dominance in Europe. Two fixtures especially caught the eye of the world as Barcelona goes up against Manchester City in last ...

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