Stories published in November, 2016

How to protect our kids in the age of technology

We are living in chaotic times. We are all exposed to different kinds of threats every time we step out of our homes, especially when it comes to our children. Recently, there has been an increase in child harassment and abuse cases. Before, such incidents were reported frequently in the rural areas of Pakistan. But now the problem has shifted to major cities, and a sharp rise in abuse related cases can be duly noted. Families affected by these cases rarely report them, but social media has played a crucial role in highlighting these issues and creating awareness. In light of such happenings, ...

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Will Karachi ever receive the same affection as Lahore?

With state-of-the-art bus stops, multiple lane roads suitable for the most developed countries and educated traffic police to remind one to put on a seatbelt, the chief minister has done well to clean up the most metropolitan city in the country—Karachi. Suddenly, the daydream is broken with an ear-piercing horn from behind. The traffic light turns green, or at least appears to be, as the cars in front start inching forward. To be honest, it’s difficult to see through the cloud of smoke emitted by the Lal-Kothi-bound bus. As one throws the car into drive and honks at the stationary Flintstone ...

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Is America just a glorified third world country?

I slept the night Donald Trump was elected president of the United States (US). Not out of a sense of peace, but a resigned knowledge that nothing I did now would stop the waves and currents of history. I didn’t know the outcome, and I almost didn’t care; because whatever happened, ordinary Americans would have to deal with it. I was one of them, whether I liked it or not. My friends had stayed up after midnight, watching the election coverage on their laptops. “Look at how many states are red!” my friend Amina exclaimed, horrified. “The Republicans are leading the House (of Representatives).” She was worried and ...

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An open letter to Asra Nomani

Dear Ms Asra, I am a student who has been living in the United States of America (USA) for the past five years. I did my Masters from here and right now I am in my third year of PhD. As someone deeply interested in politics (my degree is in Political Science) I have read your previous work. I have also seen you on TV and deeply respect your liberal values and understanding regarding what plagues the Muslim world. However, I was surprised when I read your letter justifying your rationale for voting Trump. That letter is being shared by many who have voted for Trump as ...

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Is the failure to qualify weighing heavily on the shoulders of Messi and the gang?

With the clock fast ticking away for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia in summer of 2018, the South American qualifying race is at its pulsating best. The stage is set for a fiercer and much more intense qualifying finale. More than three countries are vying for fifth place for an intercontinental play-off, with the first four countries automatically qualifying in, arguably, the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet. Being a football fanatic ever since I can remember, I have always rooted for the plucky underdogs of the tournament to win the cup, no matter which part ...

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“People are dying” because of the bad healthcare system, not the YDA protests

You may put your mind at ease, because I will be singing no undue odes to the greatness of the ‘noble profession’ and all those who are a part of it. But there are more than a few reasons to empathise with the protesting doctors, a few of which I feel compelled to state. A recent blog on this site passionately listed the reasons for the author having no sympathy for the Young Doctors Association (YDA) doctors and their recent activities in Lahore. As a person who is closely linked with the medical community, I find it necessary to revisit some ...

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Did the biased media coverage of the US elections ensure Trump’s victory?

On April 6, 1994, a missile shot down an airplane carrying Hutu leaders Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprian Ntayamira in Rwanda, unleashing the ethnic majority Hutus against the minority Tutsis on a campaign of mass murder. As the atrocity spread, the world debated the nuances of the word ‘genocide’. Three months and at least half a million deaths later proved that, yes, it was genocide. Semantics matter. During the 2016 US election, mainstream media’s refusal to correctly identify bigotry, while perhaps not as egregious as mislabelling ethnic cleansing, has contributed to Donald Trump’s victory. Semantics matter. Trump’s detractors, and count me ...

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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: Yet another Iraq war movie glorifying the US

Now don’t get me wrong, I am as big a fan of Ang Lee as the next film aficionado. After all, this is the same filmmaker who gave us cinematic masterpieces like the quirkily romantic Brokeback Mountain, the visually stunning Life of Pi and the exotically beautiful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But despite all the hoopla about the revolutionary new format – a combination of 4K resolution and 3D at 120 frames per second, five times the standard speed – his latest venture Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is shot in, it all boils down to how the movie actually is minus the technical gimmickry. Most audiences will ...

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Beauty and the Beast: Nostalgia, magic, and eternal happiness

The mystic air The maiden fair Of how she meets And fairly greets The towering man With the face of a beast But she does not wince Or whimper or cower For he may be huge And tall may he tower She is brave and bold With a heart made of gold She will win his heart And calm his soul His fangs will soften His face will be smooth With a touch of love She will tame and soothe For there is no bigger spell Than the spell of love All curses are undone And demons turn to doves The new trailer of Disney’s famed Beauty and the Beast, has sent many into childhood reveries and it seemed to have woken ...

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Beating New Zealand will not be a walk in the park, Pakistan

Twenty-four victories, eight losses and 21 draws; Pakistan’s head to head Test match record against New Zealand is nothing short of enviable. It is Pakistan’s best record against any Test playing opposition, excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and is testament to the unsurprising fact that the men in green have not lost a Test series on New Zealand soil since 1985. As a result of 12 consecutive unbeaten Test series in New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud is Pakistan’s happiest hunting ground outside of Asia. However, while history and numbers dominantly favour Pakistan, the upcoming two Test series in ...

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