Stories published in April, 2017

I confess, I thought she was a nanny too…

It is only human to make mistakes, but we have made certain errors a part of our daily pattern. One such plague, ‘stereotyping’, is a widespread problem in many societies. We are fed certain ideas by our surroundings and lifestyle which become an inherent part of our nature and are unintentionally voiced out when there is a situation. I am guilty of it too. When the BBC Dad video went viral and I had the first glimpse of it on my Facebook timeline, I laughed and shared it with my friends with the comment, “The nanny will be in big trouble now”. The ...

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With no medical reasons or links to religion, why are women still being circumcised?

Africa and certain parts of the Arab world are not the only places where the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevails, as Indonesia is currently on the hot seat for allowing female circumcision on girls as young as one-year-old.  On March 27th, a disheartening video of an Indonesian toddler surfaced which shook people around the world. In the said video, Salsa Djafar is shown decorated in a crown with ribbons and shiny clothes, ready to be circumcised. The video is not to be watched by the faint-hearted as it truly captures the pain of the little baby girl while ...

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Trump has a Yates problem and it ain’t going away anytime soon!

I don’t even know where to begin but let me start with this – at the time of writing these lines, the bizarre saga of Russia hacking the US presidential election is moving along at a breath-taking pace. The number of people allegedly involved from the Trump camp is as high as the sky, and if justice is allowed to take its due course, we may see a few heads rolling, and by that I mean some seriously important heads! Sally Yates is a real life American hero. On the night of January 30th, when she stood up against Donald Trump’s ...

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Too tired to cook? Fret not, this easy and delectable chicken handi is here to save the day!

This one is for all the working women (and men) out there! Have you ever come home too tired to cook? Or have you ever struggled your way through some very low emotional time? Recently, I have started expanding my arsenal of relatively quick dinners that can be cooked in a jiffy. Chicken is one of the easiest ingredients to work with. There are so many ways one can use it to satisfy the taste buds. Chicken handi has its roots deeply engrossed in tradition. Although this isn’t a traditional handi recipe – it is more of a desi-retro version – I ...

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When determination trumped disability at the Special Olympics Winter Games

Recently, Pakistani athletes bagged an impressive total of 16 medals (three gold, seven silver and six bronze medals) at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. These games provide a great platform for athletes with disabilities to showcase their talents on a global stage. The games were initiated in 1977 and have been held every four years since then. The recently concluded event in Austria was the 11th edition. However, this was only the second time that Pakistani athletes participated in this competition. The Pakistani contingent comprised of 12 athletes: Huzaifa Qazi, Muhammad Hamza Aslam, Hameezuddin, Usama Aziz, Muhammad Abdullah, Pervez Ahmad, Sabahat, Fatima Amir, Farah ...

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I applaud Trump for inspiring such great progressive moments in the US

Post 9/11, the world became a very different place. However, no one could have predicted how the heinous acts of a few deranged individuals that September day in 2001 would affect the lives of more than a billion Muslims across the globe. On their part, Muslim Americans were naturally traumatised to witness the sudden thoughtless rise in islamophobia and hatred towards their community. So they internalised their fears and saw merit in distancing themselves from all national socio-political discourses. Barack Obama’s progressive policies did bring some relief for Muslim Americans. Unfortunately, his sincere efforts at instilling confidence within the marginalised Muslim ...

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Is Pakistan willing to jeopardise its relations with Iran for Saudi Arabia?

It was shocking to hear Defence Minister Khwaja Asif proudly confirm that the government has agreed to the Saudi request and will allow former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif to command the Saudi-led military alliance of 34 Muslim nations to fight terrorism. However, observers are concerned that the coalition could be used for future conflicts against Iran and its ally Yemen.  The National Assembly had earlier agreed that it would not be in the country’s interest to take sides in the present war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen (Iran’s ally), and had decided that Pakistan would stay neutral in the ...

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The ivory piece of fabric that plagued her freedom

It flails and flies about in the wind, It hides my face, my nose, my chin, I tug and twitch to keep it still, Its cosy touch and warm embrace, Upholds my father’s honour and grace, Although at times it gets too hot, In blazing heat it helps me not, But I do not dare to take it off, Or I will display to the nasty lot, My darkest fears, my deepest desires, My joys of thought and ambitious fires, Will all lay bare for the world to see, They will catch me… And I will never be free. There were holes in it. Tiny notations registering light and sound… her eyes grew ...

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Oh Canada…

Fear is an unusual entity. More often than not, it is unwarranted and unreal. But it becomes the biggest reality some of us will ever experience. And if we aren’t careful, it becomes us. It becomes the people around us.  A lot has already been said about Islamophobia. A lot has been spewed in the broad spectrum of bigotry, hate, prejudice, terrorism and intolerance. In Canada, in the wake of the recent racist attack on a Quebec mosque early this year, the Canadian government decided to pass an anti-Islamophobia motion known as M103. As per the bill, the government felt compelled to “recognise the need ...

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Justice Hani: A goodbye to the harbinger of justice

In the year 2007, a 10-year-old boy sat within the stuffy walls of the Hyderabad prison, charged with his father’s murder. One can only imagine his frame of mind as he spent his days therein, surrounded by offenders averaging three times his age and boasting allegedly dark pasts. Little did he know that a surprise visit to the prisons was to shortly change his destiny. Alarmed at the little boy’s presence in what should have been a cell confined to male adults, Justice Amir Hani Muslim immediately ordered for the child’s transfer to the women’s prison alongside his mother, a ...

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