Stories published in April, 2015

Digital Youth Summit 2015: Helping Peshawar become more tech-savvy

Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), is gearing up to host the region’s largest gathering of techies, entrepreneurs and designers – the Digital Youth Summit 2015 (DYS). First organised in 2014, it is a joint venture of Peshawar 2.0, World Bank and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board. Popularly known for its hospitality, Peshawar is one of the oldest existing cities in Asia. This tells the story of its resilience, and its ability to survive and stand tall even in the most testing of times. However, this is an age where the most likely cities to survive and remain on the global map would ...

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Forget New York or Paris, take a trip to Thatta, Bhambore and Makli

I am glad that the first post I will be writing here will be about one of my trips within Pakistan. Those who aspire to travel spend a lot of time planning trips to foreign lands. But what they don’t know is the fact that the same time can be used to explore the unique worlds that exist within Pakistan. I got such a chance this March, when I joined a small group of travel and photography enthusiasts led by Jibran from Tangerine Media and Sanam from Funverks on a day trip to the out skirts of Thatta. This entailed a ...

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Meet Maryam, India’s Malala

Recently, a 12-year-old Indian Muslim girl named Maryam won a contest by answering all the questions asked in the Bhagwad Gita. This is the first time in India’s history that a Muslim girl has broken such a record. The news of the young Muslim girl went viral on social networking portals and sparked numerous debates on news channel. While some highlighted the politics behind it, others praised the young girl’s efforts. Maryam has set a fine example for people who divide masses using religious bigotry. India boasts of diversity, given the existence of various religions, but within its internal system, people are bifurcated on the ...

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Business grad in Pakistan? Start looking for a job!

Pakistan encompasses a number of business schools and universities. Thus, it is enriched with heaps of talent in the shape of thousands of business graduates receiving their degrees every year. But unfortunately, this talent has fallen prey to an archaic mentality. Your degree is proof that you are a bachelors or a masters degree-holder in business administration. But, ironically, while such a degree-holder can join any business as an employee, he/she cannot start their own venture. The problem these graduates face is not a financial one, no; it is more of a socio-psychological one. They are embroiled in a conservative mind-set where being ...

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Swim in a warm pool of oozing chocolate with this decadent lava cake

While doing my undergrad in Lahore – one of Pakistan’s most beautiful cities which is rich in cultural heritage and offers the best food you can find in the country – I remember getting into a rickshaw at night and taking a bumpy 30-minute drive to the famous Coffee Tea and Company (CTC) for their distinguished rich, moist and chocolatey lava cake with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. We always ended up ordering order two or three and would share it amongst the eight or nine of us. Although each person would only manage to get just six bites between the girly chatter and giggles, ...

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The diary of an “innocent princess”

You know me. I am the one whose friendship request you ignored on Facebook. All I wanted was for us to be virtual friends. I could have liked your cover photo, and you could have commented on how deep that Rumi quote was. You know? The one I shared with the image of a tropical sunset? That is the image of the sun of our friendship going down in flames. It is not my fault that I was born to Mr and Ms Princess; my father was ridiculed throughout his school life for that name. My father fought through the adversities of ...

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A conversation with Faiza Saleem – The Facebook superstar

Lawyer by day and Facebook star by night, 24-year-old Faiza Saleem gives a new meaning to celebrity-hood. She might not come on TV, or star in a local film, but her two-minute-long videos, which are produced through a phone camera and uploaded on Facebook, rack up more than a million views from around the world. The videos, which are satirical in nature, star Faiza and her friends and they poke fun at all sorts of social issues in Pakistan. Some of her characters are so popular – especially ‘Aunty on the phone’ – that she has turned it into a ...

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Why UBL’s CEO gets to earn Rs2 crore per month and you don’t

He earns Rs2 crore a month? A one off compensation worth Rs100 million. That is quite an unbelievable sum. And in case you’re wondering, this is not Wells Fargo or JP Morgan, neither is it an emerging market; he is the outgoing CEO of United Bank Limited (UBL) in our poverty stricken nation, Pakistan. A lot of eyebrows must have risen while skimming through the recent news published on the highest paid CEOs in Pakistan. While the big boys rejoice and share a laugh or two on their take-home salary increase, a vast majority remains astonished at the startling distribution of wealth. Let’s look at the purpose ...

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How can India justify killing a 16-year-old Kashmiri?

I am enraged. And I am sure there are thousands of Kashmiri youngsters who are just as enraged as I am, for another young member of our ilk has been killed in cold blood. Suhail Sofi, aged 16, was killed in cold blood by the Indian police, while he was protesting against the deaths of two youngsters in Tral and the subsequent arrest of Masarat Alam, senior Hurriyat leader and pro-freedom activist. The message is clear by the Indian establishment – if one of your people is killed, you are expected to stay quiet and move on, and if you choose to ...

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Why IPL 2015 needs Pakistani players to succeed

Cricket fans are now being treated to a dessert after the main course as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 follows the cricket World Cup 2015. Unarguably, the biggest and most glamorous party of league cricket is on its way and we have already seen some nail-biting contests and thrilling finishes. Much like this year, Pakistani players have not been a part of the IPL for the last many seasons and despite initial concerns, it seems that out of its inactivity or weakness, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided not to poke this matter and leave all issues concerning the ...

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