Stories published in May, 2015

Looking for a quick vacation? Here are seven things to love about Islamabad

If you are stressed or feel a strong need to get out of your city for some fresh air, there is nothing better than a weekend getaway – a break from work, the constant emails and the unending phone calls. Believe me, a vacation is all you need to reenergise yourself, even if it is just for two days. While there are many places one can go to get relaxed and enjoy ones vacation, travelling to Islamabad is a good option to consider, especially if it is for a short period. And keeping the duration in mind, it would help if you ...

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Give the associate teams a chance, ICC

The Irish cricket team has come a long way. It defeated Pakistan in 2007, England in 2011, and West Indies during the World Cup 2015. Another underdog team, Afghanistan, rose from a war-torn country to a cricket-frenzied nation. Adding to the list of underdogs, how can a cricket fan forget Canada’s John Davison’s fastest century during the 2003 World Cup? Or the fact that Scotland’s Josh Davey made it to the list of leading wicket-takers during the 2015 World Cup? Photo: AFP Photo: AFP Photo: AFP These fascinating incidents have caught everyone’s attention and non-traditional cricketing teams have been applauded for ...

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Indian media and beef controversy: Using Nepal’s tragedy to defame Pakistan

The drawback with Nepal is that our country does not fare well in global media. We hardly get covered internationally and even when we do get some media attention it is largely related to negative news – such as the royal massacre or the Mt Everest avalanche tragedy. This time too, Nepal has made it to every headline around the world due to a travesty. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal killing more than 7000 people and leaving thousands injured. According to the United Nations and the government of Nepal, around eight million individuals have been affected by the devastating earthquake. Nepal falls under the category of ...

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Is ‘Adultery’ the way to save a marriage, Paulo Coelho?

I first came across this novel when my roommate was reading it. Just the title, Adultery, caught my attention and intrigued me enough to ask him if I could borrow it. This was when another roommate, and student of psychology, told me the psychological content in this novel. This further elevated my enthusiasm to start reading this book by Paulo Coelho. To know what this book is about, the synopsis on the cover will give you an interesting gist: “A woman in her 30s begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody’s eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, ...

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Business-class tickets for a stale bun – A fair compensation?

It seems as if we lose all our values as we grow up. What is taught to us as children ebbs away as we hit adulthood. Unity, faith and discipline turn into mere words instead of values. The word Pakistan should hold immense importance and respect in our hearts and therefore, all the establishments being operated in association with Pakistan deserve equal respect.   People of Pakistan or should I say ‘citizens of this great nation’ have a duty to uphold the integrity and honour of the state. By defaming a national establishment, we inevitably end up defaming our state. Recently, Pakistan International ...

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Is a secular Pakistan the answer to our problems?

And now, since they have nothing better to do, the powers that be have fired another tester round in the sky out of the lame notion of keeping themselves busy in the business. A 17-judges bench headed by chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Nasirul Mulk, contemplated vigorously on Monday as to how Pakistan can be declared a secular state. Some suggested getting it done through the constituent assembly, while others advised to hold a referendum. Going with the definition of secularism, it is defined as, “The separation of government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions ...

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I keep coming back to you, Lahore

I was in Lahore last November. If I close my eyes to relive some of the city’s glory, I would not know where to start. What do I remember? What do I smell? What do I taste? What do I miss? For me, as an immigrant, that is probably the single most difficult question. “What do you miss the most back home?” How do you answer that? Do you dig up memories only you can make sense of, or do you cough up the obvious? “Oh, I miss my friends and family.” Of course you miss the important human connections in your life. But what else do you miss? I ...

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Planning to study in France? You can’t if you wear long skirts

Recently, Sarah, a 15-year-old French Muslim student, was suspended twice from class for wearing a long black skirt because it was seen as a violation of the ban on religious symbols in public schools in France. Due to this, France is facing a severe backlash against its so-called strict secular policy after the event took place. The justification provided was that if Muslim girls start wearing long skirts in a conspicuous effort to show their faith, then some will argue that is a breach of the secular law. The ban on religious symbols in school was implemented in 2004 but the updated version of the French Constitution ...

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Forced to sell alcohol: Why is the ‘ummah’ silent over the plight of Chinese Muslims?

Imagine if you are a vegetarian Hindu and hold the cow sacred, that beef is shoved into your mouth. Imagine if you are a staunch Christian, that you are forbidden to baptise your newborn baby. Painful? Yes. Some of us may even say what’s new in this, and Pakistan’s minorities have suffered this and more. And they have. And no minority anywhere in the world should have to go through this. But there is a huge difference in this and what is happening to the Muslims in Xinjiang province in China. In Pakistan, this is done at the hands of extremists. But ...

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Comedy nights in Karachi: On rishta requirements, insecure pakistanis and mailas

Last Friday, director Nida Butt’s little MAD School held its first comedy night and lovers of all things funny united in Karachi and showed up in droves. Now the excessive rush probably had a little sumthin-sumthin to do with ticket price being just Rs100! Most stand-up comedians were improv artists and were making their stand-up debut the same night. The line-up consisted of Hassnain Shah, Ehsan Yar, Umar Ahmed, Ali Junejo and Natasha Humera Ejaz, Faiza Saleem, Syed Osama Sami, Zuhaib Shaikh and Akbar Chaudry. Each comedian had their own unique sense of humour and style and surprisingly all of them were funny in their own way. But some were definitely funnier than the rest. Hassnain Shah, ...

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