Stories published in April, 2015

Does Hillary Clinton have aggressive war policies?

Hillary Clinton recently announced that she would be running for the US presidential office for the next term. If she manages to win, she will be the first female president of the United States, which in itself is quite a feat considering the fact that the US has an extremely small percentage of female representatives in congress as compared to men. Clinton promises to be a ‘champion’ for Americans, but her popularity ratings have witnessed a sharp decline from a high of 67% to a mere 49% since her departure from the State Department. The question remains – how will she ...

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Should you beware of water parks in Karachi?

Abeera Zainul Abidin was an 18-year-old student in her first year of medical school at the Government Degree College in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi. Fun loving and respectful, studious and a hafiz-e-Quran, Abeera was admired and treasured by all. She aspired to become a doctor and was the only child to her parents. But, on the night of April 21, 2015, Abeera died. Such a young, beautiful life snuffed out so tragically, all due to negligence. No, the negligence was not at the hands of the doctors. A few days before her untimely demise, Abeera’s college went on a field trip to Dream ...

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Where have all the urban Pakistani girls gone?

Hello Pakistani filmmakers and television producers, my friends and I exist in this country too! There are two types of Karachi girls shown in Pakistani dramas and films – she’s either “bholi bhali” ,“seedhi saadhi”, “masoom” larki or a complete “chundaal” aurat out to snatch your “bhola bhala”, “seedha saadha”,“masoom” man! One of the reasons why I can’t watch anything “Pakistani” these days is because I can’t see a representation of women like myself on TV. I yawned when people fawned over Khirad – I was pissed off that a smart woman like Mahira Khan would take on a role so ...

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How much Indian civilian nuclear activity is safe?

Once again, democracy is open for renovation, and frosty relations are back on track after prolonged negotiations. Earlier, only Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) were allowed to carry out nuclear trade. As a student of nuclear and strategic studies, I feel India has been able to strike a nuclear deal without abiding by the rules set out for other countries by the international non-proliferation regime. While democracy remains but a show, and power but a spectacle for the people to behold but not wield, this nation will remain handcuffed by favouritism. The Harrods sale of ...

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Five things teachers should never say in a classroom

At school, I was the student that was every teacher’s worst nightmare. I questioned everything, I disobeyed flagrantly, I mimicked and ridiculed my peers but I managed to always do well in tests. My school faced a terrible dilemma while registering me for my GCE O Levels; my disciplinary record warranted a suspension from school but they knew I would secure the grades that would enhance the school’s reputation. In the end they let me register through the school, and I repaid them for the confidence they had in me. Ever since I left school, I have trained many teachers and worked extensively ...

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Is atheism rampant in the Middle East?

Just recently Ahmed Harqan, an Egyptian human rights activist, stunned television audiences all over Egypt and rest of the Arab Middle East, by claiming his non-belief in the existence of God and his profound disdain to religious scriptures and ideology. Following this astonishing revelation, a raging debate sparked all over the Middle East, since religion has been the most sacred form of thought in these parts of the world. It was very uncommon to discuss faith and scriptures, as it was considered blasphemous to question the doctrines of religion, and was even punishable legally. But over the last few years, things have taken ...

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Stop making marriage a monster, it is not all about ‘compromise’

Marriage is an alliance of affection, companionship and an absolute sharing of heart and soul. But sporadically, we disregard why people take this step, commit their lives and vow their lives to each other. In our part of the world, we believe getting married is an antidote – a complete cure package for numerous issues. Therefore, many people get hitched because of extreme social and familial pressures, fear of getting old, monotonous routines and irritating inquiries of relatives and acquaintances who keep asking, “So when you are getting married?” In some cases, people choose matrimony because they believe in absurd myths – such as ...

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Mercedes or Ferrari, who will win the Grand Prix battle?

The new Formula1 season has kicked off with an exciting range of new cars and a change of drivers. The start of season indicates that it will be an extremely competitive one between Ferrari and Mercedes. Pre-season changes During the 2014/15 season at Abu Dhabi, it was announced that Sebastian Vettel would be joining Ferrari and would team up with Kimi Räikkönen for the upcoming season. Vettel left Red Bull after spending 15 years with them, in the hopes to emulate his childhood idol, Michael Schumacher, who joined Ferrari in 1996. At that point in time Ferrari was struggling but Schumacher turned the entire team around and ...

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The children of Mazin Academy need your help – Will you save them?

It was a distress call for the future of the children under his care. “I don’t know what to do to save the school. I think we should post a note on our Facebook page asking for financial help. It seems like I will have to close the school.” This was a call from my brother, a philanthropist by nature, who was always thinking of doing something more than his studies or career for the welfare of people around him. Thirteen-years older than me, I have always seen him helping people, be it relieving the sweeper from hefty interest loans, giving weekly tuitions ...

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As a citizen of Pakistan, I demand to know more about Balochistan

Back in 1998, while living in Quetta in our cosy cantonment apartment, I had known little about what this province in the southwest of Pakistan is facing. For me, it was more about exploring the rugged mountainous terrain of the largest province of Pakistan, enjoying the juicy apples and cherries, and experiencing the melting of snowflakes on the palm of my hand during winters. Back then I didn’t know that for 60 years this region has been a battleground. Even today many people living in other provinces of Pakistan do not know about the on-going conflict. Mostly because whenever somebody tries to talk ...

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