Stories published in September, 2016

What is so ‘filthy’ and ‘unnatural’ about reproductive sex, Pakistan?

A close friend of mine recently had an STI (sexually transmitted infection) scare. Despite being in excruciating pain, she was scared to ask her husband how she got the infection. After a few days of discomfort and suffering, she consulted a doctor who put her mind to rest by confirming that she had a yeast infection because of diabetes. But during this whole episode, I was surprised to find out how ignorant she was about sexual health. First, she was adamant that she couldn’t get an STI from her husband because he was absolutely fine, which is irrelevant and factually incorrect because some STIs ...

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Is it really the working class men who stop privileged women from ‘doing their own thing’?

Yesterday, we shared the Do Your Own Thing (DYOT) video with our take on it. The video was taken down last night, so our post has disappeared… along with all the shares made from this page. For the sake of the on-going discussion on social media right now, we are re-posting our comments again: This video has recently been shared a lot and the feelings many people expressed have been mixed. We think it is useful to talk more about it and add to the conversation. Firstly, kudos to these girls. This could not have been easy to do. We have to be ...

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The Night Of is the best wake-up call our TV industry needs

HBO’s The Night Of  proved to be the most important summer show on television. The very transformation of the co-lead Riz Ahmed’s Nasir Khan as a clean-cut kid turned drug mule is a perfect example of why everything needs a little push. Oh, and also when two of Hollywood’s most likable ladies, Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks, are raving about something on TV, we should take notice. This is where the whole ‘wrong guy at the wrong time in the wrong place’ worked so well in the show. Imagine the chaos we’ve seen in 2016 in Pakistan. After some terror attacks and the murders of Amjad Sabri, Qandeel Baloch amongst others, one would ...

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We could have been the number one Test team a while back if it wasn’t for our poor domestic structure

Domestic cricket is the budding ground that provides national teams with young talent in order to keep them abreast with the rest of the competitive cricketing nations. In this piece, I will discuss the basic components that make a successful and spectator-oriented domestic cricket structure. We begin with the teams system. Pakistan is probably the only country in the world where the main national cricket tournament involves teams representing state departments. Nobody wants to go the stadium to watch PIA face off against WAPDA. This is the most obvious (and yet persistent) problem of our domestic leagues. ...

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Balochistan is bleeding, and no one cares

There is the pungent smell of spices, the unguent waft of cooking oil, and the acrid bite of car exhausts – clinging to the faint breeze that is desperately trying to cleanse this city of its daytime humour. The clamour of voices starts to rise as the mosques empty after prayer; car horns constantly bark out their warnings to everyone but those for whom they are intended, and all of a sudden the dark brings with it the horrors Quetta witnessed on the August 8th. Undoubtedly, the darkest day in Balochistan’s history, when our beaming future was snatched away after the ghastly bomb detonated, leaving Balochistan paralysed, ...

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I’d wear the burkini over a bikini any day

The women’s rights minister in France, Laurence Rossignol, thinks that burkinis are “profoundly archaic”. Who wouldn’t agree with me, if I said that she is no different than any rigidly religious person who criticises a woman for what she wears. It is a woman’s own choice and no one gets to make that decision for us. I am a Muslim but perhaps not the ‘best’ practising Muslim. Religion usually doesn’t play a very big role in my decisions (fellow Muslims please don’t jump to conclusion for my statement, but I would rather be honest than be a hypocrite!). So anything that I ...

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Does Britain still have a colonial mind-set?

Britain, at the peak of its global reach, ruled over 1/3rd of the world and so it comes as no surprise that an element of colonial nostalgia secretly exists amongst Brits today. Following a rapturous Olympics outcome, various British celebrities and sports personalities made subtle hints to the days of the Empire on Twitter. Now that's what I call winning!!! Well done Team GB & all our Commonwealth friends, now for the Trade Agreements…. pic.twitter.com/Qg9qkYxWHp — Heather Wheeler MP (@HeatherWheeler) August 22, 2016 It could also be said that one of the reasons behind Brexit was the desire to return Britain to its former legacy of being a ...

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Will rebranding Christians make their lives any easier in Pakistan?

“Pakistan’s Christians will now be respectably called ‘Masihi.’ National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has issued orders regarding use of Masihi for Christians instead of Esaayi, in the column for Religion.” Pakistani Christians had been seeking rebranding for quite some time. “The Urdu ‘Isai’ (derived from ‘Esa’, the Arabic word for ‘Jesus’ used in the Qur’an) now carries strong overtones (of) ‘unclean’ demeaning occupations. This use of language feeds the narrative which makes Christians feel like second-class citizens in today’s society.  On October 8, 2015 in Lahore, more than 500 Muslim students took an oath that they would not call Christians ‘Esaayi,’ but would ...

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Don’t Breathe: A hair-raising ride

Imagine the stuff nightmares are made of, put it on reel, and you’ll have a film that’s packed with fright and sheer shock value. Don’t Breathe is exactly that! It is an American horror film directed by Fede Alvarez. The story line is built around a home invasion that goes haphazard. Fede Alvarez brings forth the right balance of old school horrors and thrillers for fans of both genres, making it a gratifying experience overall. It’s this fresh take, blend of trepidation, and unpredictability that makes this movie a ‘breath’ of fresh air (pun intended). Jane Levy, Daniel Zovatto and ...

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Coke Studio episode 4 has managed to grace perfection in its own way

I can’t believe the 4th episode is out already, and I can finally sense the season coming to full bloom with all its glory. Somehow the healthy competition between the music directors is working wonderfully for this season. Bringing in great diversity of genres, instruments and musicians – the composers have made sure this season stands out. The competition is not just among the peers, but also the umpteen good quality composers who didn’t make the cut this time and are waiting for their call next season. It’s great to see the market-forces at work here, ultimately benefiting the primary stakeholders – ...

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