Stories published in May, 2018

A new dawn for the monarchy: Will Meghan Markle follow Princess Diana’s footsteps?

On Saturday morning, inside St George’s Cathedral, situated in the grounds of the historic Windsor Castle, Prince Harry, the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana Spencer, exchanged his wedding vows with Meghan Markle, now Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. This very Anglo-American tying the knot represents a poignant moment in the contemporary history of the British Monarchy, which according to the tabloid press, has entered into a new age of ‘multicultural traditionalism’, as foreign cultural mores seem to have joined in a comfortable union with the emotionally reserved and aristocratic English sensibility. The Americans, ...

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Feminism needs to cater to Muslim women, not the other way around

Feminism needs to include women of colour, Muslim women, disabled women, sex workers, trans women, gay women, queer women, fat women, skinny women. It needs to cater to all women. The fact that the term ‘intersectional feminism’ exists proves that the general movement is often exclusive and largely white. Mainstream, western feminism isn’t always intersectional. There are feminists who often don’t realise or can’t relate to the fact that for women of colour, of different faiths, abilities, it’s not just gender that they’re discriminated on. Such women are affected by these circumstances professionally, socially and mentally, and yet don’t always receive the ...

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Gwadar: From ghost town to gold rush town

From the sky, Gwadar looks like a dust bowl as the ATR aircraft, which regularly flies along the Makran coast from Karachi, circles in for landing. The new airport, currently being designed, will be the largest in Pakistan once it is completed, but for now one has to settle for the old airport. Its VIP section is used often as ministers, senators and even the prime minister and the army chief regularly visit this once sleepy fishing port. They have all proclaimed Gwadar to be the jewel of the upcoming China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The drive from the airport along the newly ...

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It was time for Laila to go home

The autumnal sky was reddened by the setting sun. Laila gazed at it in admiration. In just a few hours, the sky would turn dark and it’ll be night. And Laila would finally escape her wretched, tormenting, miserable life. She felt all her fear and trepidation melt into thin air as the world around her slowly dyed into a deeper shade of scarlet. ‘A few more hours, and I’ll be gone from here, forever.’ A cool blue dawn broke over the village of Saleh Brohi. From her window, Laila saw the streets of Saleh Brohi sprawling out below. This place was where ...

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“Mr Clean” caught with his hands dirty?

It came as a surprise to many of us when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) filed an application in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), requesting to scrutinise the party’s foreign funding in secrecy. The ECP is hearing a case against the PTI regarding violations of the law while receiving funds. Imran Khan always speaks a lot against white collar crimes and claims to possess the highest level of honesty; after all, he was proven to be sadiq and ameen (honest and truthful) by the court. His followers blindly follow him, as he is deemed to be the most ethical and ...

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With humour and humility, ‘The Perils of Being Moderately Famous’ brings literal royalty back down to earth

Earlier this year, I had just finished two heavy novels, both on the topic of slavery and the struggle of African Americans today. Thus I found myself in desperate want of a ‘lighter’ read. The Perils of Being Moderately Famous by Soha Ali Khan then came to my attention, and even though I read a review saying it was a pointless book, I’m glad I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I had my own assumptions of course. “Isn’t this title a little pretentious?” “What exactly have I got in common with this royal celebrity?” Soha is quite literally a royal, as ...

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In Pakistan, does #MeToo come with a desi tarka?

The #MeToo campaign was initiated by activist Tarana Burke, after she had a conversation with a 13-year-old girl who opened up to her about sexual abuse.  The victim: A 13-year-old girl.  The purpose: To give her a voice.  The concept was to create awareness, and give a platform to the victims when their vulnerability had been taken advantage of. This was sexual assault, a highly sensitive matter. The international movement was bound to come home one day, and of course, in a country where the Chinese don’t recognise their own Manchurian and where pizza has seekh kebab layered over it, we gave the #MeToo ...

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If US foreign policy were consistent, America would be bombing Israel right now

The Syrian civil war, we have been told, began as part of the Arab Spring and really took hold when Syrian government forces allegedly opened fire on protesters across the country in early 2011. This pattern of indiscriminate violent behaviour against civilians has been a talking point in the western media’s regime-change narrative. The media often goes so far as to claim that the government led by Bashar al Assad has lost all legitimacy. What, then, should we make of Israel’s decision to open fire on protesters in the Gaza Strip this past week, killing over 60 protesters and wounding 2,700 more in the process? According ...

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Can Bohemian Rhapsody do justice to a band as legendary as Queen?

Seeing how eager Hollywood is to immediately turn even mildly intriguing people and events into subjects of elaborate films, it seems peculiar that there hasn’t been any major Queen or Freddie Mercury biopic thus far. Watch the trailer for the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody – a film that has been in development hell for the better part of a decade, but will finally come out later this year – and it quickly becomes apparent why filmmakers might have been reluctant to pursue such a project: it’s just so hard to do justice to a band as legendary as Queen. After all, ...

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Today’s Mohammad Amir is a shadow of his own past

Long silky hair blowing past his face, run up so smooth that there is not a single hint of hindrance and the ability to pitch the ball in the exact same spot, but make it move different ways at will. Who can ever forget the sight of an adolescent Mohammad Amir producing spells that reminded us of the legendary Wasim Akram? With Pakistan’s victory over Ireland, Amir just completed a 100 Test wickets – a feat he would have accomplished long ago but life had other plans for him. 13 May 2018; Mohammad Amir of Pakistan celebrates after ...

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