Stories published in April, 2015

GoT Season 5 Episode 1 brings death to King’s Landing

By now you would (read: should) have seen the first episode of Game of Thrones (GoT) season five. Despite leaving us for months at a time, GoT has a way of sucking you back into the world of Westeros every single season. Even when our favourite characters are (wrongfully) killed, they are replaced with new characters inhabiting different worlds, and just like life, the story goes on; Vlar Morghulis. This season began with the first flashback scene of the season. HBO show producers David Beinoff and DB Weiss were sternly against any flashbacks scenes. However, by putting the scene at the ...

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And the award for the most ridiculous fatwa goes to…

Allegedly, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al Sheikh, recently issued a fatwa that allows starving men to eat their spouses to save their own lives. This will be considered an act of obedience by the wife and her willingness to be one with the husband’s flesh. My initial reaction was laughter at the mufti’s idea to feed starving husbands. It was then followed by disgust at his misogyny and sexism, among other things. Fortunately, now we see reports of a rebuttal. Saudi media is attributing the source of this misreporting to the Iranian media. However, this is not ...

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Six things Pakistani celebrities do when they visit Dubai

With the third edition of HUM Awards over and done with, a good number of Pakistani celebrities flew out to Dubai to attend the biggest entertainment award show of Pakistan. Here are six things that Pakistani celebrities do when they visit Dubai: 1. They try living the high life Mehwish Hayat, Ahsan Khan, Saba Qamar. Photo: Saba Chaudry 2. They see Burj al Arab for the first time Ahmed Butt, Anoushey Ashraf. Photo: Saba Chaudry 3. They bring the entire neighbourhood along Cast of Jalaibee with Tapu Javeri. Photo: Saba Chaudry 4. They post pictures of their ...

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Practicing Islam at a Catholic university: “I’m 1 of 5 hijabi students on campus”

At Boston College (BC), a Jesuit Catholic university where 70% of students identify as Catholic, Fatmah Berikaa says she is the only student who lives on campus and wears a hijab. Berikaa, an Egyptian-American who grew up in Massachusetts, says she chose BC for its academic programs, its friendly campus and its financial aid. She lives in a dorm on the Upper Campus with other freshmen. Berikaa hopes to teach and is studying secondary education and English, with a focus in English as a second language, and minoring in Arabic. Berikaa talked to The Huffington Post about her experiences on campus –  what she worried ...

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A sports club for Manchester United fans is the push football needs in Pakistan

It was a Sunday afternoon; I was sitting at a café with my friends, watching Manchester United play against their arch rivals, Manchester City, at the theatre of dreams, Old Trafford. It was a match of high magnitude – a win could help United finish second or they could probably even have a chance at winning the Premiership. However, the icing on the cake was that I wasn’t watching the match just with a group of friends; rather, it was being watched at the launch of the official fan club community of Manchester United in Pakistan, a feat which was even acknowledged by Andrew ...

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To save Pakistan, we have to let go of the idea of Pakistan

“We are fighting a fight for Pakistan.” This is an oft repeated statement from politicians, military personnel, bureaucrats and journalists. Let me tell you unequivocally, we are losing the fight for Pakistan. In our attempts to salvage an archaic idea of Pakistan, an idea relegated to the back shelves of the global landscape, we are losing the Pakistan that we have. We will not win this war in North Waziristan, we will not lose this war in Lahore, we will either win or lose this war in the minds of our countrymen. Yes, that is what they are, our countrymen, and every single ...

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Travelling through Pakistan with my (fake) husband

I am travelling to Pakistan with a stranger I met on a layover in Hong Kong. Within minutes of meeting each other, we knew we could travel together. We hatched a plan over lukewarm Tiger Beer while sitting on smurf-sized chairs in Hanoi. Out of respect for Islamic values, and as precaution, we decided to pretend to be husband and wife from elsewhere, anywhere but America. We rendezvoused in Guangzhou and entered Pakistan from Western China down the Karakoram Highway. As I stood at the airport waiting, I thought, Do I know what he looks like? I wondered for the briefest moment if ...

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Run All Night: Another run-of-the-mill Liam Neeson movie?

Liam Neeson’s name usually brings flashbacks of action thrillers and suspense-filled revenge sagas. His Taken series and his movie Unknown have categorised him into this distinctive genre, and rightfully so, since he is so good at it. When Ed Harris, another gem of the action-performing fraternity, is teamed up with Neeson for a new film production, it becomes hard not to watch their movie. Is Run All Night another run-of-the-mill Liam Neeson movie? What made the director, Jaume Collet-Serra, launch a third venture with Neeson? Will the movie manage to perform at the box office? Well, here’s what we know so far. Run All Night is based on a plot that involves Jimmy Conlon ...

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Hillary Clinton, “it’s your time” to run the White House

United States may finally have a female head of state. Hillary Clinton has formally announced that she will run for president in 2016 and perhaps be the next occupant of the White House. We’ve been listening to rumours and whispers for as long as one can remember but after tons of denials, rejections and I-don’t-knows, the former first lady and later on secretary of state has decided to give a second shot at the presidency, the so-called ‘highest glass ceiling of American politics’. The April 12, 2015 announcement didn’t come as a shock. From the time when President Barack Obama was re-elected for ...

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“Pakistanis are known for taking shortcuts in life” – True or false?

On April 8, 2015, it was reported that blatant acts of cheating were underway during the yearly SSC-I and II examinations in four districts of the upper Sindh. The examinations were being conducted under Secondary Education, Sukkur (BISE) and the Board of Intermediate, Sindh. It was reported to The Express Tribune that about 210 centres had been placed for the examinations in all the four districts. Out of these 210, 174 had been assigned for male candidates while 36 for female candidates. The report suggested that 27 teams of invigilators confirmed 311 students who had cheated in various examination points while five ...

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