Stories published in June, 2015

I wasn’t dumb or slow, I was dyslexic

I gave my first speech in front of more than 500 people when I was just nine-years-old. When I was 15-years-old, I represented Pakistan in Regional UNESCO Youth forum for scouts of Asia Pacific Region. In the same year, I was awarded President’s Gold Medal award by the President of Pakistan. However, I was never the best student academically, neither was I the worst. Teachers and fellow students considered me one of top 10 students in my class due to my active participation, but my result never reflected it. As a child, I had a lot of trouble with spellings and numbers. Some people around me thought I was too lazy to ...

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Mass graves and the filth that is our government hospitals

The sun was at its zenith and the temperature and humidity were at its peak. Karachi, the city of lights, has been a victim of a severe heat wave which has resulted in the loss of more than a thousand precious lives. Unfortunately, the occurrence of such natural disasters highlights the dire situation of relief and care facilities available to the mass populace of Karachi. They say you can’t take nature head on when it decides to wreak havoc on us. But the least we can do is take preliminary steps to minimise the damage it may cause. Unfortunately, our government has been reactive rather ...

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10 iconic moments no sports fan can ever forget

Every year, hundreds of sports events are held around the world, yet a very few moments among them linger on in our memories and eventually turn into classic moments we keep replaying in our minds. Here are 10 of the most irreplaceable flashes every sports fanatic can never erase from their memories: 1. Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’ during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Photo: Reuters Within five minutes of the second-half during the quarter-final match of the 1986 FIFA World Cup between England and Argentina, Diego Maradona gave the football world two of its most classic moments. First, he scored the  famous ‘Hand of God’ goal as the result of an ...

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Why India didn’t want us to have Kashmir

When one mentions Kashmir, all that comes to one’s mind are lush green fields, mountains, rivers, and valleys. Derived from Sanskrit, according to folk etymology, the name ‘Kashmir’ actually means desiccated land. ‘Ka’ means water and ‘shimeera’ means desiccate. The mention of water in its name takes me back to my Pakistan Studies class where we discussed Kashmir and its strategic importance. After visiting Kashmir, however, I can now clearly see why India didn’t want us to have this small piece of land that is rightfully ours. Bursting with streams and rivers, the natural beauty seen in Kashmir is unparalleled. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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Would I adopt this baby in five days, knowing the blood results? I’m not sure…

“If you ever had to adopt a baby, then whom would you settle for?” This was the question I posed to myself recently. Not because I had to nor did I want to adopt a child. I have two of my own (biological ones, so my wife tells me), and they are more than a handful. It all happened one fine morning in Karachi while I was working in the ER. A young couple had brought a two-day-old baby girl to me. The ER triages slip stated, ‘baby adopted’ as the reason for coming to the ER. I had never come across ...

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What has Malala done for Pakistan?: 8 popular anti-Malala arguments answered

Last week, Malala Yousafzai appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the theatrical trailer for a new documentary, ‘He Named Me Malala’ was released. As always her appearance on the show led to universal support and acclaim. As always it also attracted massive amounts of vitriol from people in Pakistan.

I have been subjected to copious amounts of hate messages personally for posting messages supporting Malala on my Facebook page. I made an earnest effort to engage with all the Malala haters but none of their arguments held any weight. I have compiled the eight most popular arguments made by people who dislike Malala ...

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Why we need to read ‘After the Prophet’ amidst today’s Shia-Sunni divide

Born in a world where the Muslim community has been divided into two indefinite sects makes for a reality that we have come to accept and also overlook. The conflict between Sunnis and Shias is the news of everyday, but there has never been a proper, unbiased understanding of the real issue. Where did all of this animosity really stem from? The Sunnis have their version and the Shias have theirs. Lesley Hazleton is a British-American author whose work focuses on the intersection of politics, religion, and history, especially in the Middle East. She answers the question in an unbiased account of history, taking a neutral approach to ...

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If Michelle Obama can do it, why not Reham Khan?

The role of the First Lady in the US has continued to remain very prominent, active, and vocal over the years. It won’t be wrong to say that any national leader’s wife’s involvement with key social and cultural platforms helps to create positive vibes regarding his sincere commitment to the people who elected him. Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama further strengthened her already strong ties with the community at large by supporting the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative that champions for the global education of girls. Assuming a leading position in the educational campaign developed by the USAID, US Agency for International Development, Mrs Obama hopes to ...

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Five reasons why Karachi is better than Dubai

I have been living in Dubai for the past three years, and since my immediate family is based in Dubai, I haven’t gotten a chance to travel home much. But being an expat, I still miss Karachi. The city still feels like home because I was born and raised there and have numerous memories attached to it. Recently, I had the chance of visiting Karachi after a very long time and ended up enjoying it way more than Dubai. Turns out, Karachi is better than Dubai in a number of ways. 1. When it comes to food, there’s no comparison I feel this is an obvious ...

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Ammi ki yaad and the dilemma of localised development in Pakistan

An Eid TVC by Shan Foods touches the lulled-to-sleep chords of millions of hearts beating, otherwise mechanically, in pardes (abroad). “… Ammi ki bohat yaad aa rahi hai bhai… ye bhi koi Eid hoyi bhai?” (I’m missing mom a lot… what kind of an Eid is this?) Although agriculture still remains the single largest localised employer of labour (40 per cent), yet services and industrial sectors have registered an increasing trend of employment over the years. Hence, the burgeoning movement of labour from underdeveloped to relatively developed cities and foreign countries adds to the ever-growing number of pardesis forced to work and live away from their families. Similarly, a ...

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