Stories published in January, 2015

How to put Facebook stalkers in their place

You’re bored on a Friday night. Between watching a rom-com on your laptop and gossiping with your mother, you notice that a stranger is repeatedly writing to you on Facebook in ways that give you shudders of loathing. You click on the profile. He seems to be male. You have had it with these men thinking they can get away with ‘little’ things like these. You are done and today, you decide to teach him a lesson. All the responses made to him (reproduced below) were being simultaneously typed by me into a Word document for the purpose of this blog. I ...

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Recovering from the #KarachiEat2015 food coma

Second year running, Karachi Eat Festival 2015 might just have faced the ‘terrible twos’ trauma, yet the effort has to be lauded. Against the back drop of the historical Frere Hall, this three-day long food fest was greeted, appreciated, criticised and maligned by many. Whilst people had to face traffic nightmares, underwhelming food offerings from various vendors and disappointment as a whole, my family and I were lucky to have faced none of the above. When we arrived on the hot Saturday afternoon, vendors were still waking up from their slumber. Yet in a matter of half an hour or so, the frenzy and ...

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Shades of envy: He was jealous of his wife’s success…

“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances can be life threatening.” – Maya Angelou I am jealous of my wife, why? I ask this of myself ever so often but am left without a satisfactory answer. She is a pretty woman but I am pleasant looking too. She is educated but I am academically accomplished too. She is well-liked but I am socially popular too. She is professionally successful but I am good at my job too. Then why is it that I am ...

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Riding a motorbike? Driving a small car? Meet your harassers!

As a reporter in Islamabad, my job mostly requires me to look-after assignments in the Red Zone. Security measures are stricter in the area and are routinely “beefed up” when the country faces any kind of terror attack. After the Army Public School (APS) tragedy in Peshawar, which took place a little over a month back, major cities across Pakistan received threats. To counter these, the authorities have come up with a number of security measures. Among many other things, we saw the controversial death penalty being restored; the international community, however, feels this not an effective deterrent to deal with terrorism. In my opinion, it is ...

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Of drone strikes: “Did we just kill a kid?”

“Did we just kill a kid?” asked Bryant, a drone sensor operator. “Yes, I guess so!” replied the drone pilot. Brandon Bryant’s recent exposé of drone operations killing hundreds of innocent civilians during his service, which led to his post-traumatic stress and retirement, explains the dark side of the CIA led US drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Adding to Bryant’s shock and surprise, his peers believed that they had killed a dog and not a kid that day, and thus it was nothing to worry about. Bryant worked as a drone sensor operator for the USAF from 2006 to 2011, mainly operating from a dark container ...

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Progress of female players – Asking for a “twirl” instead of talent

Eugenie Bouchard, famously known as Genie Bouchard, won her second match after defeating Kiki Bertens in straight sets in the Australian Open. She is considered to be a rising star in the world of tennis world, being the first Canadian to reach the finals of Grand Slam and is currently ranked world number seven. But something strange happened when in an after match interview. Right when we were expecting professional questions about the game and her plans for the upcoming matches, the Wimbledon runner-up was asked to “twirl” by the interviewer to show off her outfit. The seventh seed was taken ...

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Misplaced priorities: Why do you lose your mind when it comes to Imran Khan?

 As a journalist I have always been impartial towards political parties; experience shows that while all of them promise the world, none of them deliver. Lately, however, the dynamic of politics in Pakistan have changed. Ever since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has come into power in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), many women started taking an interest in Pakistani politics. The women are now seen constituting a majority of the supporters participating in various sit-ins that take place in cities across the country. For many it is the aura that Imran Khan emanates that becomes the primary reason for support, while for others it ...

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Mortdecai: Only as good as its trailer

Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor and it is always a pleasure to watch his ventures. Even in supporting roles, his performance demands attention and appreciation. While his movies don’t exactly mint money, as would normally be expected, they do guarantee fans. Thanks to its trailer, his upcoming visual treat Mortdecai has already heightened the interest of audiences, and Depp fans, across the globe. The story revolves around a stolen Goya painting, ‘The Duchess of Wellington’, rumoured to contain a bank vault code that leads to lost Nazi gold. Art dealer and part time rogue, Lord Charlie Mortdecai, played by Depp, ...

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In Saudi Arabia, oil will always be thicker than blood

It was the year 2000 and I was a young man studying in Canada. Having spent a majority of my life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a change, I was enjoying the atmosphere of a country where people weren’t treated with disdain simply because of their nationality. Alas, even in Canada, it was difficult to escape Saudi mentality. I was socialising with a group of Middle Eastern students at a food court where we were all getting to know each other. When asked, I told them I was a Pakistani who had grown up in Saudi Arabia. While ...

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Lessons world leaders can learn from the students at Duke University

While Muslims around the world are furious and taking to the streets in protest of Charlie Hebdo, there is another Islam-related story which has caught the attention of many in North America. On Thursday, January 15, 2015, Duke University reversed one of its policies and cancelled the weekly Muslim call to prayer from the campus chapel. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association called on donors and the alumni to support this policy by stating, “As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t ...

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