Stories published in April, 2016

Mighty Red Machine all set to sink The Yellow Submarine

Football has never been associated with music particularly. But Liverpool can arguably lay claim to the unofficial title of being the only city in the world that has found global prominence with the pair combined. The Beatles, widely regarded as the most influential act of the rock era along with Liverpool FC, one of the most successful English football club is the sole reason why a small city in the northwest of England is known worldwide. So it’s only apt that Liverpool finds Villarreal, a Spanish club nicknamed after one of the most popular tracks by the Fab Four, in between themselves and their first European ...

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So we can watch LGBT porn, but not support the community?

The editor of an LGBT magazine in Bangladesh was hacked to death two days ago. This is not the first time that something of this nature has happened, and neither will it be the last. Tracing back as far as ancient Greece, up until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, same-sex unions have existed in some form or the other. The Church was obligated to be critical of non-procreative unions and this began to be seen as deviant behaviour. Soon after, same sex unions became socially and legally unacceptable. However, times have changed as well as our mentality. Scandinavian ...

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Will WhatsApping the Rangers help restore security in Karachi?

The Pakistan Army has been carrying out much needed action against terrorists in a coordinated and systematic manner since General Raheel Sharif took charge. Instead of going for an all-out clean-up operation against criminal elements, the Army higher-ups have taken a cautious approach (keeping the aftermath of the 1992 military operation in mind), taking every step with great care. This time around, there seems to be a genuine effort by the Sindh Rangers in order to establish a connection between the armed forces and the citizens of Karachi. Karachiites can now send a text or audio/video message to the Rangers via WhatsApp to ...

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To Sabeen with Love: A human platform for dreams and aspirations

In 2013, only a few people knew me other than my friends and family. Like almost every other young person, I wanted to do something for Pakistan but had no platform to do it from. So, without telling my parents, I submitted nomination papers to run for the 2013 general elections. When my parents did find out, they weren’t particularly happy or supportive. There were two reasons for this. First: I was risking a stable job at a top law firm. Also, given Karachi’s volatile and security environment in 2013, I was most likely risking my life as well. Second: Perhaps my ...

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Yan Lianke’s The Four Books brings Chinese history to its knees

Chinese literature, one of the most overlooked in the world, is also one of the richest. Since the beginning of this century alone, China has produced two Nobel Laureates in Literature: Gao Xingjian (2000) and Mo Yan (2012), and yet it remains mainly unknown to a larger reading population worldwide. And while many Chinese novelists are lauded internationally, their plight is such that, at home, they constantly have to grapple with state sponsored censors and almost despotic regulations. In a melancholy article for the New York Times that was published in 2012, the internationally celebrated Chinese writer, Yan Lianke, lamented ...

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This Saudi therapist teaches husbands how to beat their wives

Saudi Arabia is a kingdom where women aren’t allowed to drive, can’t vote like men, must dress like ninjas, and often take the legal blame if raped. Without permission from their husbands/fathers, they can’t leave the country, can’t open a bank account, can’t obtain a passport, can’t pursue higher education, and more. These laws open Saudi women to abuse. Depending on the luck of the draw, if a Saudi woman ends up with an abusive husband or father (like the Saudi preacher who raped his ‘flirty’ five-year-old daughter to teach her a lesson) she is destined for a life of ...

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The latest Game of Thrones episode leaves many seeing red

We all know the red woman. Some hate her, others are transfixed by the fiery curls, but the one thing all Game of Thrones fans can agree upon is that she oozes sex appeal and is usually up to no good. Having left many a mouth hanging over the years, the very end of the first episode has to be her most jaw-dropping moment. However, it may not be for the reasons you might think.   I was personally expecting a lot more from the first episode considering all the hype created around it. So without giving an spoilers to the current episode, lets ...

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What constitutes ‘proper’ Quranic education?

In Pakistani schools, making it compulsory to study the Holy Quran is a bit like insisting the prime minister to take a cruise along the Panama Canal for his birthday, never mind that it’s supposed to be a beautiful spot. Yet, compulsory Quranic studies is apparently in store for young Pakistanis according to a speech given by the Minister of State for Education and Professional Training, ‘Engr’ Muhammad Baligh ur Rahman. Mind you, speeches given by government ministers are often so much chaff, but still, speaking at Al-Huda International School’s fourth annual day celebrations (where else?) ‘Engr’ Rahman said that; “This process ...

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Religion and feminism: Why women in India are fighting for a place in temples

It’s time we remove the decadent practices that discriminate against people belonging to marginalised sections of society, especially women, from entering religious places of worship. On January 26, while most Indians celebrated the participation of an all-women’s contingent during India’s Republic Day Parade, 400 strong women activists did what has never been done before: they forcefully tried to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra to break an age old custom that prevents women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The attempt was a symbolic act to assert women’s rights and fight patriarchy. Indian women have for long struggled to attain gender equality, and ...

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Does Inzamamul Haq hold the key to solve Pakistan’s cricket crisis?

Each time Pakistan faces an early exit in a major event like the recently concluded T20 World Cup, there are drastic steps bound to be taken by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as a gesture of concern from them as well. Whether these changes are effective or not is a whole different story but as of now, Haroon Rasheed has been sacked and replaced by Inzamamul Haq as the chief selector. Even though some of the problems at hand might be beyond Inzamam’s reach, it is still a step in the right direction. Inzamam at the PCB batting groundsPhoto: AFP It is too early ...

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