Stories published in October, 2015

From Mehdi Hassan to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Tanya Wells does renditions like never before

“Music has no boundaries. No matter what language, genre, rhythm, it can always find a way to everyone’s heart.” Watching the English singer Tanya Wells sing the ghazal virtuoso Mehdi Hassan’s ‘Duniya Kisi Ke Pyaar Mein’ while playing the guitar is part of what makes her singing even more soulful and mesmerising. Her voice rose steadily in pitch, along with a distinct sweetness in her voice, which delightfully astonished Pakistan’s music lovers. Her choices of songs ranged from Shahanshah-e-Ghazal Mehdi Hassan’s ‘Rafta Rafta Woh Meri Hasti’ to the ‘King of Qawwali’ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Man Kunto Maula’ to Nayyara Noor’s ‘Ae Ishq Humain Barbad Na Kar’ to a mash up of Blackstreet’s ‘No ...

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Hafiz Saeed is not Nawaz Sharif but as a citizen of Pakistan he has the same rights

Punjab Home Department has released a report stating that two Pakistanis are the next target of RAW, India’s intelligence agencies. The first gentleman, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, is known to the world as the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. The second man, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is known to the world as head of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), organisations blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267. JUD and FIF are also placed on the watch list of the Government of Pakistan and are affiliated with another banned organisation called Lashkar-e-Taiba. The report suggests that RAW intends to ...

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The importance of the Battle of Karbala and our ignorance towards it

With the Islamic month of Muharram upon us, I wanted to take the opportunity to implore Muslims (and whomever might be interested) to check out some of the events happening in their municipalities on the remembrance of the battle of Karbala. I will not talk about the battle itself, rather I would like to provide a few reasons as to why learning about this battle is vital for all Muslims. Though I cannot speak to the accuracy of the content of the lectures that are happening in your area, I still implore you all to attend these events in order to gain knowledge of ...

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It took me a real life experience to understand the importance of early diagnosis

It was the summer of 1999 when Pakistani cricket fans were eagerly hoping our cricket team would bring home the second World Cup from the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. That night, I was not watching the hyped Australia versus Pakistan match in the comfort of my TV lounge or with my family and friends; rather I was watching it with my mother who was lying in a hospital bed, after undergoing a single breast mastectomy (which is the surgical removal of the entire breast in women). I remember my mother being in excruciating pain. I was too young to comprehend what ...

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The Intern: An unorthodox chemistry in a unique placid movie

Director cum screenwriter Nancy Meyers, who previously directed female-oriented movies and comfy comedies such as Private Benjamin (1980), Baby Boom (1987), What Women Want (2000), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), and It’s Complicated (2009), is once again back with a combination of sturdy themes – a story with dramatic issues in a buoyant mood. This year, she brings us a thoughtful subject with an unorthodox chemistry in a unique placid movie – The Intern. The plot is a true portrayal of Meyers’s directorial style with essential parts. For instance, accomplished woman’s struggle in the high-tech world and the stresses it puts on ...

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Muharram Statuses: Should I say “Happy Islamic New Year”?

It’s that time of the year again. The one in which we start a social media debate about mourning versus sending out New Year greetings. It’s Muharram; after all, that’s what the sacrifice of Karbala was meant for, wasn’t it? Harsh, you say? Well so is reality. Happy Islamic New Year to my Muslim sisters & brothers everywhere..We're gonna party like its 1437 *insert joke here* pic.twitter.com/s5p7PB5cCn — Arsalan Iftikhar™ (@TheMuslimGuy) October 14, 2015 In recent times, well, since the advent of social media, people have taken to their keyboards to voice otherwise offensive views without any fear whatsoever or any inkling of tolerance. Since the ...

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Finally thinking about our children with the International Children Film Festival

Karachi was once home to diverse international film festivals like the Kara Film Fest which showcased the power of short films from around the world. These events exhibited life through amazing films for the masses, professionals and film students to enjoyed and cherished. The concept of a film festival dedicated to children (aged 5 to 13) may be out of the box, but is a welcomed endeavour, especially for teachers and parents. The Little Art Organisation has effectively nurtured the concept of teaching children through the most powerful medium in the world – film, and delivered a bouquet of entertaining yet conceptual films for ...

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From Kabul with love: Don’t let our relations with India ruin what we have, Pakistan

This year, I paid a visit to the city of my dreams – Islamabad – for the first time in my life. My visit to Pakistan was a part of a citizen-to-citizen dialogue between the youth of Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the youth delegates discussed the mutual issues, problems and misconceptions with high ranking officials, youth activists and even Reham Khan, the wife of Imran Khan, a new side of Pakistan unravelled. This was a side which the media never revealed. A week before we were scheduled to depart for Islamabad, violence had returned once again to the streets of Kabul. With blasts ...

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She’s deaf, but does that eliminate her right to education?

Like any other student, 13-year-old Sonia Khan was extremely excited about her promotion to the seventh grade. For her, this was a whole new journey that allowed her to explore her life through books and knowledge. But unfortunately, the hope was diminished when she was denied admission to the next grade by the school authorities. Sonia, along with her brothers Hassan Khan and Faisal Khan, are all born with hearing and speech impairments. They are students of a government school for the deaf at Timergara, Lower Dir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). Due to no secondary schools available for special children in the area, the three ...

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Self-immolated rape victims and the inflammable Punjab police

Recently, I came across an incident that saddened me deeply. It was about a woman, Sonia Bibi, who was raped by three men and set herself ablaze in front of a police station in the Saddar area of Muzaffargarh due to the slacking attitude of the police. The incident is not the first of its kind. Another man, namely Shahbaz, died of self-immolation, after the police failed to take action on his application against a tax official. Similar tragedies have taken place over the course of time. Last year, a woman from Dera Gazi Khan set herself on fire as a protest against the ...

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