Stories published in November, 2017

Shayyad: Will society accept an older woman marrying a younger man?

Original soundtrack, lavish wardrobe, exotic locations and a popular cast – these are all a few ways the industry has tried to excite the audience and create hype for dramas and biopics in recent times, and Uzair Jaswal’s appearance in the new drama serial, Shayyad, is no different. The first episode of Shayyad aired on November 4th, and the serial telecasts every Saturday. After only two episodes, it has already won the hearts of its viewers through its engaging and poetic narration. The serial begins with a chapter called Pehla Hissa–Mohabbat. Shayad New Upcoming Drama on Geo Tv – Promo Posted by Shayad – Geo Tv Drama on Monday, ...

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‘Basmati Blues’ unsurprisingly does what Hollywood has always done – exoticise India’s ‘otherness’

In case you were wondering, the white man’s burden is still alive and well! Even though it is the 21st century, while India is launching US satellites into space and is the world’s fastest growing major economy, the country’s poverty and social ills continue be alluring for moviemakers in the West. Falling back on clichés is a remarkably effortless way to create content for mass entertainment. Every culture offers ready stereotypes, and there are a large number of people in other parts of the world who readily lap up the concocted and twisted narratives. It is not surprising then, that ...

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The scapegoat and $33 billion – The hidden truth behind Saudi Arabia’s royal crisis

According to the Washington Post’s Fareed Zakaria, in order to understand how traditionally secular Muslim countries became hubs of radicalisation in recent years, you need just one example – Saudi Arabia. Zakaria explains: “In Southeast Asia, almost all observers whom I have spoken with believe that there is another crucial cause (behind the ‘cancer’ of extremism) – exported money and ideology from the Middle East, chiefly Saudi Arabia. A Singaporean official told me, ‘Travel around Asia and you will see so many new mosques and madrassas built in the last 30 years that have had funding from the Gulf. They are modern, clean, air-conditioned, well-equipped, and Wahhabi (Saudi Arabia’s ...

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Why do most Pakistanis always favour the ‘wrong’ side of any issue?

Most issues aren’t black and white – they’re grey. More often than not, we read about an event or hear about it in the news, and while our personal views dictate what side we’re on, it is not unfathomable that other people might not see it the way we do. However, have you ever read about an issue and thought, “wow, this seems pretty black and white to me”? And then seen the reaction of people around you, as they somehow invent new colours just to add more sides to seemingly uncomplicated issues? This is quite frequently the case in Pakistan, ...

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Will anyone remember Lady Constable Shabaana?

She looked at her reflection in the stained, old mirror.  ‘Ammi ke jahez ka hai ye… ab bhi purana na hota tou kab hota,’ she thought to herself, eyeing her 32-year-old face in the 33-year-old mirror on the wall. (This is from mother’s dowry… it is stained because it’s very old) Smoothing out the creases in her pants, she eyed her widening figure apprehensively. Even the long duty hours were doing her no good. “Sabeen aur Nazish jo phakki bata rahi thein, wo nihaar moun khana shuru karti hun. Magar Sabeen tou ab bhi pura tank hi ha,” she chuckled recalling how her weight-conscious colleague Sabeen had ...

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Why hypermasculinity is ruining the boys and men of today

My little brother and I have always been close, even when we were little babies. I’ve watched him grow from a chubby, cuddly little toddler to a tanned, jaunty middle school boy. As he matures in this world, I sometimes get the urge to protect him from the harsh aspects of reality. Realistically, this is impossible. No matter how much I want to consider him as my “little kitty”, I know that I can’t shelter him from all the horrible things in the world, like pain or injustice. It bothers me to no end that he will, if he hasn’t ...

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She was forced to parade around naked, but instead of helping her, we photo’d her and shared it on social media

Recently, a 16-year-old girl was forcefully stripped and paraded around the streets of a village in Dera Ismail Khan in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province. The reason given was that she was ‘paying the price for her brother’s crimes’. Her brother had allegedly gotten involved in a relationship with a girl from the village. To resolve the matter, he had already been fined by the local jirga and the tehsil nazim. But obviously, some hot-blooded relatives were not satisfied and decided to pay back in the same coin. While the news itself was both saddening and infuriating, it reiterated the bitter truth that ...

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When a white “terrorist” is awarded a privilege 1.8 billion Muslims are denied

If the world can largely agree on one thing, it is the need to defeat terrorism. However, the frequency of unity seen when condemning terror does not echo beyond that, for every state of the world is employing its own methods (or lack thereof) of tackling this daunting, multi-faceted predicament, and hence achieving varying degrees of success. The first and probably most pivotal step in the fight against terrorism is to clearly define what constitutes as terror and who is actually a terrorist. Failure to reach a singular consensus on this starting point will invariably lead to utter confusion amongst the ...

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His name is Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli

In the land known to produce premium fast bowlers, a young schoolboy-like personality is making strides in the batting arena like we have never seen before. A staggering ODI average of 58.60 comes off so unique to us that it almost feels like this individual has been misplaced, and needs to return to the other side of the border. However, as astonishing as it may sound, this particular batsman is Pakistani indeed. His name is Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli. Babar Azam is pulled into an embrace by his captain after raising his sixth ODI century, ...

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A year after the most important election: Donald Trump and a series of unfortunate events

Donald Trump shocked the world last November by defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential election, making him next in line to take the title of the President of the United States (POTUS).   He came into power after running an extremely negative campaign where he belittled all his competitors by calling them derogatory names, vilified the diversity America is known for, and was openly misogynistic. Nobody, not even the Republicans, expected Trump to actually win, since Clinton had been projected to win by a wide margin. The reasons for his victory, attributed largely to racism and misogyny present in ...

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