Stories published in July, 2018

Racism overshadowed Ozil in Germany, but at Arsenal, a season of magic awaits

In the summer of 2010, Mesut Ozil burst onto the scene of international football. Already making waves at Werder Bremen, the then 21-year-old playmaker became the fuel for the German machine. His creativity and pace went on to define German football for the next six years, with Ozil being a vital part of Germany’s 2014 World Cup winning squad. It was also that summer that my obsession began with Ozil. His creativity and pace defined German football but his relentlessness and commitment defined why I fell in love with the sport. The five-time German Player of the Year, who has earned ...

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Sara Taseer belittling Baloch women for voting proves money can’t buy integrity

With countless security threats lingering around the time of elections every five years, along with general political uncertainty, many citizens are afraid to step out of their comfort and safety zones in order to fulfil the responsibility of casting their votes. There has been a deadly and heart-breaking series of bomb blasts that have taken place in Quetta, killing numerous civilians and politicians, especially the most recent one taking place directly outside a polling station on Election Day. At a crucial time like this in the country, where voter turnout has been relatively low in the past, perhaps encouragement to ...

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Waking up in Naya Pakistan: 8 commendable things to come out of the 2018 Elections

I live in the US but I am visiting Pakistan for the 2018 General Elections, and am proud to have witnessed an amazing electoral process, voted myself, and seen the making of a ‘Naya Pakistan’. I was in the US in 2016 when the presidential elections were going on, however, the burst of activism and political awareness among the youth, alongside the will to work for the betterment of the country, is rather distinct here in the homeland. Politics is discussed over cups of ‘karak chai’ at local dhabas and elite coffee shops alike. Another difference I observed from ...

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Bony to beefy: How I transformed from matchstick skinny to buff

We all have our own desired fitness goals, whether it is six-pack abs or big muscular biceps. But only few are able to achieve their targets. This is an account of how I was able to overcome my setbacks and eventually transform my thinly-framed body into a muscular one. My motivation behind working out One day after coming home from school, my mother noticed something weird about my back; like an extra bone has been attached on the right side. I inspected it myself and felt there was something wrong for sure. Those days, I used to have lower back pain and ...

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From a politician to a statesman: In an era of dirty politics, Imran Khan’s speech was a breath of fresh air

I started following Imran Khan when he used to be that kid who had a penny in his pocket but wanted to buy everything at the grocery store. He had one seat in the parliament, but he roared his opinions like one was more than enough. From one seat in the parliament for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to winning five seats as ‘Imran Khan’ alone, he has come a long way. All eyes were glued to the television screens when he first addressed the nation as the prime minister in waiting. Challenges awaiting Imran and his party are piled up like ...

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Coke Studio season 11 shows how beautifully diverse Pakistan is

In the midst of an agonising election season, and after the incredible success of Coke Studio Explorer, we just witnessed the release of the Coke Studio season 11 trailer. Leaving us utterly speechless with its ravishing and inclusive rendition of ‘Hum Dekhenge’ by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the song previewed many of the artists who will make their Coke Studio debut this season. Coke Studio has perhaps finally caught on to showcasing new artists that needed mainstream public attention for so long. These new artists are not only well-versed in their melodic symphonies, but also carry a cultural reminder, exemplifying what Pakistan’s ...

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What has Mickey Arthur done for Pakistan cricket?

The sight could not have been more vivid. Pakistan were reeling at 162-7 in their do-or-die Champions Trophy clash against Sri Lanka at Cardiff. The camera panned on Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur, who was sitting on the balcony. Over the course of Pakistan’s run chase, he went from having a reasonably cheery smile on his face at 74-0, to gradually seeming worried, annoyed, disgusted, at times livid, and finally, sporting an expression of pure and utter disappointment on his face.   Overs later, when Pakistan had mounted an impressive comeback to win the game on the back of a ...

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Election or selection: After all, no one knows rigging like Imran Khan does

Our electoral process is far from perfect. A great democracy would have middle class and lower class representatives, performance-based elections, and sustainable policies on the manifesto. We have none of that. But arguably, we can still call our system a democracy. And that is why we need to salvage what we can. This was probably the worst possible outcome of the election. The worst. Not because Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) couldn’t get a majority, or Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) did so poorly, but because a total of six parties rejected the result. If we are to convert those figures in votes, then ...

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Rahul Gandhi pulled a Modi, but what does it signify?

The Indian parliament witnessed an unusual scene that has become the talking point of the recent no-confidence motion initiated by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government. On Friday, after making his speech against the government, Rahul Gandhi surprised all – especially Modi himself – by going across the aisle and hugging him. Modi was visibly caught off guard, but recovered quickly and shook hands with Rahul. The gesture drew censure from the speaker of the house, and yet it represented a bipartisanship that has been eroding for some time now from the Indian political landscape. #WATCH Rahul Gandhi walked ...

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When your son asks you “what is a mango”

While flipping through a book of fruits that I brought for him yesterday, my three-year-old son stopped on a particular page. Curiously, he gazed at the picture for some time. He tilted the little book, first left then right, and even gave it at a full upside down rotation in hopes that this thing would look familiar once he sees it with the right angle. As I was watching him making these attempts and inwardly feeling excited on actually witnessing my toddler’s cognitive process (yes, parents have these weird, rather creepy moments of exhilaration), out of frustrated curiosity, my son asked ...

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