Stories published in April, 2015

From Entourage to Avengers 2, 15 summer blockbusters to watch out for!

Summer is the busiest time of the year at the box office and we are honoured to see some of the best and most entertaining movies of the year. This year should be no different and there is already a great line-up of movies coming our way in the coming months. Here’s my pick of the 15 movies that cannot be missed: 15.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Photo: Facebook page Sundance is known to bring out some great films – last year Whiplash and Boyhood both came from Sundance and became major Oscar contenders. Me and Earl and the ...

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I stutter, but I am not ashamed

I just defended my master thesis successfully. But the process of preparing the presentation for me was not so simple. It took one day for me to prepare the presentation and more than one week for selecting the words and sentences carefully, so that I could conceal my stuttering in front of the jury. After selecting the words, I practiced the whole presentation for about ten times and tried to reduce my speaking rate by stretching the vowels and consonants. But I was still worried; this led me to video recording my presentation to assess my voice and hand gestures. The ...

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Milord! But which one?

On December 17, 2014 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a seven-year moratorium on executions, after the Taliban killed more than 150 pupils and staff during an attack at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar. Subsequently, Pakistan’s Parliament passed a constitutional amendment that allows a parallel system of military courts to try terrorists – it was argued that a weak civilian judicial system had failed to bring militants to justice. Conversely, on April 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended death sentences passed by the new military tribunals, until it rules on the legality of the sentences concerning six militants who would have otherwise imminently ...

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She is a Muslim, covers her head and is a firefighter in NYC

I know I keep harping on about the ‘greatness’ and ‘glory’ of the Western culture and understand that my audience gets bored to death reading story after story about how awesomely ‘wonderful life’ is in the West. However, I must reiterate that I happen to be a diehard sceptic and I don’t trust easily. After all the episodes and events that I’ve experienced in my life, I don’t see much reason to blindly put faith in objects, people, systems or nations. Being who I have become by virtue of the battering of years gone by, I have developed a keen ...

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Is the new cyber-crime bill akin to banning the internet in Pakistan?

Pakistan has had a long history of curbing internet freedom. Access to YouTube has been blocked since 2012, after violent protests broke out in the country in response to a video uploaded on the site which was deemed to be blasphemous. Despite widespread debate on the issue and fervent calls to restore access, the status quo remains firmly in place. It is also alleged that sophisticated software is used to spy on citizens, with newspapers reporting that surveillance program FinFisher has been acquired and used by someone in Pakistan since 2011. Now, a new debate is gathering steam on a set of laws, titled the “Prevention of ...

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You might be associated with certain religious beliefs, but your organs are not

If you had a chance to help save lives, would you seek the approval of a religious cleric before doing so? Unfortunately, for a considerably large number of people in our society, the answer is yes. In a recent blog, I urged readers to donate their organs to those in need. In response, many people asked if donating organs was allowed in Islam; a few declared it was not. In a country where people vehemently rely on opinions of religious scholars, it would be naive to expect them to choose rationalism over faith. To promote a culture of organ donation in our country, it is necessary to ...

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Aao Parhao – The forever existing struggle for education

Half of my life I’ve been taught by people who never wanted to become teachers, but were forced to do so. Teaching is often considered a last resort by many, when they have tried their luck with everything else. And this, in turn, reflects the quality of their work. Many take this profession lightly, not understanding the colossal role this profession has to undertake. After all, “How hard can teaching little children be?” Right? Why there is a need to recruit well-educated and willing teachers The relationship between a student and a teacher is crucial. It either makes or breaks us. Throughout my student ...

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Aamir Liaquat introduces his own brand of lawn: “OMG! I can’t stop laughing!”

The infamous TV show host Aamir Liaquat Hussain has decided to expand into the fashion world by launching his own lawn brand called ‘Aanchal’, becoming the second religious figure (after Junaid Jamshed) to introduce women’s clothing. Photo: Aanchal Lawn Facebook page Though it is unsurprising to see public figures from various backgrounds introduce their own clothing brand, the public’s response to his new venture was rather startling. Some of the women whom I shared this news with reacted in the following ways: “What? No way!” “OMG! I can’t stop laughing!” “I will never buy it.” “I would rather die than buy his lawn.” And ...

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Letting Ali die

Ali* was on bed 16. He was 10-months-old and critically sick. According to his mother, Ali had been quite normal when he was taken to a neighbour’s house by the neighbour’s daughter a few days ago. This was not the first time the neighbour’s child had carried Ali to her house to play with him. However, what was different this time around was that the child brought Ali back comparatively earlier after taking him, presumably because he was fussy. That, in itself, could have been a red flag for the parents to suspect something. The parents, unfortunately, let hours pass ...

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Pakistan will lose to Bangladesh…again

Pakistan cricket is bizarre, especially with regards to team management and structuring. Coaches, managers, captains and players, all seem to be stuck in a quagmire when it comes to helping Pakistan to get out of the plethora of issues it is plunged it. Who would have thought back in January that Fawad Alam will be left out of the World Cup squad and Nasir Jamshed will get to play a full role? Who would have thought Rahat Ali will make it to the World Cup and prove to be a master stroke? Our lack of planning has led to many ...

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