Stories published in April, 2015

Aao Parhao – A school is as good as its teachers

Schools are like rivers; even when they are a thousand-years old, the water flowing through any given moment is always new. The irrefutable fact of the matter is that our experience of school, and what our education there ultimately amounts to, is defined by the personalities in our cohort, both teachers and peers, who run the course with us. The traditions and values of the institution notwithstanding, it is the values of those around us, and their immediate treatment of us as individuals, which actually counts in the end. Anyone who has ever been bullied or marginalised at a ...

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Five excuses we are sick of hearing from our tailors

A well-fitted ensemble brings class to your demeanour and can totally enliven your style. It is because of this reason that many people prefer to buy fabric and get it stitched by tailors. This is a common practice in Pakistan as well as in India. Moreover, many people find tailor-made clothes more affordable and convenient as they can have a custom-made outfit. But, going to the tailor to get an outfit stitched is no mean feat. This activity involves buying fabric, deciding on a design that compliments the fabric, getting the embellishments to go with it, going to the tailor, explaining to him the ...

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Save the youth from disillusionment, Mr PM – give Sabeen’s cause a voice!

Dear Mr Sharif, There is no doubt that you have heard about the murder of Sabeen Mahmud. Other members of parliament and politicians have extended their grievances. And I’m sure that even as I write this, your PA is vigorously typing out your official response; one that will attempt to soothe the flaring tempers of the people who knew her and those that didn’t. But Sir, haven’t we been here before? Someone beloved and irreplaceable gunned down because they said something that upset someone more powerful than them, and everyone condemns their murder via an official channel. What more will you do Sir, ...

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Pakistan vs Bangladesh: Why Pakistan keeps failing

If the purpose of the T20 format is to provide an adrenalin-filled summary of the game of cricket, then yesterday it succeeded. It is a snapshot, suspended in time, of two countries that have an obsession with their cricket teams which borders on the unhealthy. Through cricket we taste the macabre joys of licking our own wounds. But more on that later. Here are the facts: Bangladesh has defeated Pakistan in three ODIs, and last night it beat Pakistan for the first time in a T20 match. All the matches were played in Bangladesh. The crowds were fanatical. Bangladesh has ...

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Spring cleaning Facebook, a much needed exercise for us all

I love Facebook. It is my go-to social networking platform in terms of keeping up with birthdays, promotions, baby announcements, deaths and politics. I love looking at and sharing my friends’ and family’s happy moments, their children, the food they cook, the trips they take, their pets, their new homes, and milestones – I love all of it. Why? Because it gives me a chance to connect; it gives me the opportunity to say something nice to them (or something mean, if it’s a good friend who has just gone to Mexico on a vacation). “Hey! I see you’re doing well in life, I’m happy for ...

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An open letter to Pakistan’s leaders: One more nail to the coffin

Sabeen Mahmud was brutally murdered yesterday, and with her, yet another flame in the vast darkness of our land extinguished. For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing her, she was genuine, warm, and always open to dialogue and everything we wish Pakistan would be known for globally. She died shortly after hosting an open forum on Balochistan with, among others, a voice the government did not allow to speak at LUMS. With her death on your watch, we continue to be known instead for all the illiterate brutality, intolerance and narrow-mindedness that exemplifies the short-sighted policies of politico-religio-military convenience/expediency of ...

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#IAmSabeen: “This is the time to say Bismillah and march forward”

“They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” – Banksy Sabeen, the person, is no longer with us. Sabeen, the idea, will live on. Sabeen will never die twice. Sabeen is dead, long live Sabeen. Every society has people an entire generation looks up to; these pillars of society make it what it is. Sabeen was an institution. Her contributions to the country are monumental, and they will never be forgotten. In a country that does not even have words for the concept of a public ...

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Sabeen Mahmud, shine on you crazy diamond

When we think about death we often wonder what kind of eulogy we’ll receive. We wonder how we’ll be missed, if at all. How people will remember us, and if we’ve left anything behind that will survive our existence. We hope that we appreciated our friends and family, impacted the world through our work, and inspired someone in some way. Sabeen Mahmud’s work and impact pays the greatest tribute to her beautiful and indomitable spirit. I don’t want to list her many, many accomplishments but instead echo a message I believe she passionately championed. The times we live in have a ...

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Why should Obama apologise for Pakistani drone victims?

On Thursday, April 23, 2015, United States President Barack Obama, apologised for the accidental killing of two western hostages – American national Warren Weinsteain and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto – in a drone attack in Pakistan. “As president and as commander-in-chief, I take full responsibility for all our counter-terrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni. I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families.” What did happen, though? In a drone strike targeting an al Qaeda camp, the two aforementioned hostages were killed. These innocent civilians ...

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Can Real Madrid fare better under the legendary Zinedine Zidane?

Zinedine Zidane was announced as the new manager for Real Madrid’s reserve team, also known as the Real Madrid Castilla. UEFA Golden Jubilee named Zidane as one of the greatest European football player in the past 50 years. So this shows how great a step this is for the reserve team. Zidane’s achievements boast of two winning goals for France in the final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, he was named the Player of the Tournament during the UEFA Euro 2000, while in 2002, during the UEFA Champions League, he scored one of the most iconic goals of all time. His 2001 transfer from Juventus to Real ...

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