Stories published in April, 2015

Preserving immigrant Islam

As a first-generation Muslim immigrant, I struggle to understand my faith. What must my vision be when imparting true Islamic values to second-generation American Muslim children? What are my values of Islam; peace-loving, tolerant, secular, truthful and community based, yes those are my values. To seek an understanding of second-generation Muslims and their immigrant parents, both struggling to draw a balance between faith and society, I sat down with Muslim American children, scholars and parents, and tried to get a sense of what Islam means to them. Here is what I understood. A professor of Comparative Religions at an East Coast University, Farahnaz ...

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Petrol shortages: Please don’t blame the government…

After a long and relatively blissful slump in the price of petrol, it was increased by Rs4 in the beginning of the month of April, much to the dismay of the public. This is the beginning of the end of long drives and unnecessary trips to anywhere. The reasons cited are as varied as the different kinds of Shan Biryani Masalas you get in the market (I am not getting paid for this, it only counts towards ‘interest in the kitchen’ points with my mom). They range from ‘rising oil prices worldwide’ to an ‘intricate Saudi conspiracy that will alter the very fabric of ...

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“How much do you earn? What car do you drive?” – Money has never talked this loud

In earlier times, women, generally, did not take to working nine to five and were happy to employ their talents at home. Maintaining the house, taking care of the children and cooking meals pretty much occupied their time and yes, it was not an eight-hour workload. Living with the in-laws, in extended family setups called a joint family, had its fair share of responsibilities but the arrangement also came with some liberties. Then evolutionary forces introduced the concept of independent lifestyles. This helped subside the usual ‘saas bahu’ rifts and the distances helped reduce the tension in this relationship. However, it was the children ...

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#ShameOnLums

Eight years ago, on a November afternoon, I stood with hundreds of students at LUMS protesting against a military dictator. The students held placards, shouting slogans, and we were effectively having a stand-off with the police. Riot police with heavy armour, shields and batons was employed by the government to silence our voices. The police had warrants to arrest several students, and professors, on phony charges of ‘wall-chalking’ and vandalism. The scene was set for a direct confrontation. The impasse was broken by the direct intervention of the then Vice-chancellor of LUMS, Dr Syed Zahoor Hassan. The police retreated from entering ...

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What does the IS have in common with the US?

After 9/11, the US administration decided to go on a mass “witch hunt” to locate and exterminate culprits whom they believed were behind the attacks on the World Trade Centre. The ultimate culpability and responsibility for the attacks was placed on Osama bin Laden, the then head of al Qaeda. Although the prime suspects for the 9/11 attacks were led to be of Arab descent, the location where it was believed that Bin Laden and his associates were residing was Afghanistan. Afghanistan, at the time, had gone through a series of internal struggles during their war with the USSR, in which Afghan Mujahideen had fought ...

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Will the Judicial Commission be the answer to Imran Khan’s prayers?

With the formation of a Judicial Commission (JC), the ball is now in the Supreme Court’s court. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had reached an agreement over PTI’s longstanding demand of establishing a JC to probe into rigging allegations pertaining to general elections held in 2013. Although it may seem like a victory for PTI, it may turn out to be anything but that. The news of PML-N giving in and agreeing to form a commission as per PTI’s demands implies that the see-saw has tilted Imran Khan’s way. But a thorough perusal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the parties, and the consequent General Elections 2013 Inquiry Commission ...

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Why LUMS is Pakistan’s leading university

Living abroad, I am extremely conscious about how fortunate I have been to have studied at a prestigious university like LUMS, which guarantees its students the freedom of expression and independence of thought. In fact, when my foreign friends ask me if moving to Germany was a cultural or academic shock, my answer has always been no. Because growing as an individual at an institution like LUMS taught me to foster the tenet of higher education, namely academic freedom; which is also something that is found in educational institutions abroad. However, it is unfortunate that this cherished academic freedom is now under ...

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Game of Thrones Season 6 comes to Pakistan

There are rumours flying around of production beginning on an Indian version of Game of Thrones (GoT). We let India sneak ahead in the nuclear arms race but we seem to be far ahead of them in the television dramas race. However, this could be a game-changer – to ensure we maintain our advantage we must make our own version of GoT before India! To make the job easier for all prospective producers, I have taken the liberty of casting the Pakistani Game of Thrones. 1. Mahira Khan as Daenerys Targaryen Our latest export to Bollywood is really the only option to play ...

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From Imran Khan to Steve Waugh, cricket’s five best captains remembered

Michael Clarke made it to the list of illustrious players who captained their team to a World Cup triumph. There is no denying that captains in cricket are very significant, because they make all the strategies and they have to manoeuvre their men like pieces on a chessboard. Nevertheless, captains have been very influential in winning World Cup tournaments for their sides. Let’s look at the five best captains in cricket history who have helped their national teams win the grand trophy. These captains are determined on the basis of their leadership ability, the resources they possessed, and the legacy they left ...

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Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem has much to offer but perceived violence holds it back

It was about four am when my colleagues and I touched down at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. Worn out and dazed from close to 24 hours on the road, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of locals, a tiny fraction of Pakistan’s 182 million-strong population, at the airport. I experienced my first Pakistani “entrepreneur” while walking out of the restroom. An old man guarding the entrance offered me a wad of tissues to dry my hands, and then rubbed his thumb and index fingers together after I accepted it – the international sign for “show me the money.” I ...

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