Stories published in December, 2016

Rounding up the usual suspects in Casablanca

Morocco – a country filled with diverse culture, memorable sights, sounds, and a remarkable cuisine. There are so many things that make this country stand out in my eyes. The divine bed and breakfast boutique hotels known as ‘riads’, the beautiful resorts, and the list goes on. My trip lasted a total of ten days, and started in Casablanca, followed by Marrakech and Fes. “Mystical” is the one word that describes my trip to Morocco the most. As I walked down the streets, I felt everything was alive around me. The atmosphere was thriving, and the energy was inexplicable. Women were ...

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Time magazine’s Person of the Year could also be an American president for the Muslim world

President-elect Trump represents invigorating new possibilities for the Muslim world after two Obama administrations characterised by an extraordinary degree of United States (US) withdrawal and disengagement from the Muslim majority world. This was a result of multiple events such as turning a blind eye during the 2009 Velvet Revolution, becoming a first passive and later impotent bystander during the 2011 Arab Spring, engaging hasty relations with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt revealing the US administrations inability to distinguish Islam from Islamism, and the fin de siècle, the paralysis at the mounting power of Daesh, the complete disinterest in the ...

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Amir Khan’s sexist comments on ‘women belonging in the kitchen’ are nothing but a reflection of our misogynistic attitude towards gender roles

Amir Khan, the world famous British boxer of Pakistani lineage, is no stranger to controversy. Although an extremely successful and talented boxer, most of the time, he is in the news for “other” reasons. We witnessed a very public meltdown of his marriage, followed by the umpteenth reconciliation. We heard him bragging about being a celebrity and also public admissions regarding his infidelity, and of course the leaked sex tape, which merely confirmed his adulterous nature. He appears to be someone hungry for attention, be it of any kind, and I have a strong suspicion that many of his antics are deliberate ...

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Our bets on CPEC may not necessarily pay off

In Pakistan, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been trending for a few months. Like ‘Brexit’, CPEC is also a big step. Hence, any news related to CPEC spreads like fire. If you are attending an intellectual gathering, be up-to-date with the project. I’ve observed that CPEC is a hot topic at these get-togethers. There’s no doubt that CPEC is important for Pakistan and it plays a pivotal role in regional politics, but it has been blown out of proportion thanks to print and electronic media. It seems that clock manufacturers in Switzerland are more concerned about CPEC than the precision of their clocks. And drug ...

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Sexual abuse: How safe is it to let your kid play football in England?

Imagine taking your little one to his usual Sunday cricket practice. You reach the academy and drag an unenthusiastic child out of the car while putting his reluctance down as usual weekend morning blues. The overtly chummy coach, whom you have known for quite a while now, is there to receive your son. You hand over your kid to him, wave at them and leave the ground content with the fact that your lad is in safe hands. But is he really safe? Hundreds of parents all across England must have thought the same when they left their kids in a ...

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I did this to my wife for eight years and today I am filled with regret

We had a baby! A little baby boy who finally arrived in our lives after nine long months of waiting. I was still exhilarated with the way his little hand had wrapped around my finger. But the joy was short lived. As we waited to get back home after the delivery, we were jolted with unknown complications my wife had developed; a blood disorder that threatened to take her life away. I had the baby in one hand and my other hand outstretched holding my wife’s. I was dumbfounded and wrecked as she was wheeled away for scans and tests. My happiness and ...

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Moana finds Disney returning to its old formula

The Disney films of the 80’s and 90’s had a very specific formula for success that helped make them very successful for many years. This formula was based on having catchy tunes that would help advance the narrative, while also being a joy to listen to. With stories centering on spirited young protagonists finding their way in the world, usually aided in some part by a cuddly animal sidekick. Moana finds Disney returning to this formula after decades, and not only does Disney manage to revoke so many of the elements that made it work so well in the past, but ...

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Jewish-Muslim hate: A manufactured enterprise of illegitimate rulers

On November 14, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) formed a new national group known as Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC). They announced three initial action items as follows: 1. The Council will highlight the contributions of Muslims and Jews to American society, and aim to celebrate their contributions in the best traditions of American democracy. 2. The Council will develop a coordinated strategy to address anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism in the US. 3. The Council will work to protect and expand the rights of religious minorities in the US, as enshrined in the Constitution, so they may practice their faiths in full freedom ...

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If a Trump and a Muslim American can put aside their differences, why can’t we?

Recently, the Huffington Post covered an incident where a Muslim American comedian, Mohammed Amer, sat next to Eric Trump on a flight. A fellow passenger warned, “I wouldn’t even sit next to him if I were you.” Mr Amer, ignoring the advice, took a seat and had a pleasant exchange with the son of the future POTUS, even when they discussed immigration and the proposed ban on Muslims. Amer said, “I just know we had a good, decent conversation, and I think that proves that we can talk to each other, and I think that’s what’s most important.” He concluded, “We need to…work through the problems and find the solutions… (and not ...

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Sullivan’s Travels: A deliciously dark comedy and far from ordinary

The golden age of Hollywood has produced numerous memorable films, ones that even decades later, still influence filmmakers from around the world. But Sullivan’s Travels (1941) is not any ordinary film. This delicious dark comedy by Preston Sturges was highly controversial for its time that brought a special sense of humour to mainstream American filmmaking. This is the first of my ‘Bucket List Pick’; A film that you have to watch before you kick the bucket. The film stars Joel McCrea as a famous Hollywood director Sullivan who feels like he hasn’t created anything of value for the common masses. ...

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