There are reasons to celebrate Pakistan

Published: January 19, 2011
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There are still reasons, if only a few, to smile about.

There’s no doubt that living in Pakistan one has to deal with perpetual bad news. Turn the television on, open the newspaper or just take a look around and you will see the problems that surround us.

To avoid having to deal with the depression and stress caused by the situation we live in, a number of people I know have taken to not tuning into any news channels or ever opening a newspaper. A friend told me the other day that watching the news is ‘not allowed’ in her house and newspapers aren’t delivered anymore.

Who can blame her? At one point or another, a lot of us have probably been tempted to do the same. However, I feel there are still reasons, if only a few, to smile about – the media just has to look for them.

A piece in Tuesday’s (January 18) edition of The Express Tribune spoke about a website aiming to spread “awesome, amazing and inspirational news coming out of Pakistan”. Upon visiting the website I was surprised to actually read good news.

The most recent example is Arfa Karim from Faisalabad becoming the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world. Anand Yang, director of the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies said the situation illustrates “another side” of Pakistan and “That’s another reason to celebrate someone like her.”

In other good news, Ismail Mohammed, who grew up in Pakistan and now lives in Canada, suggested sponsoring the annual Christmas Eve supper at the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal. He and his fellow members at the South Shore mosque contributed $2,000 and served Christmas Eve supper to more than 300 people.

Pakistani scholar Dr Hina Siddiqui won an award at the 11th Eurasia conference on Chemical Studies 2010 held in Jordan. And a photo editing software developed by Pakistani technology firm Five Rivers became the best selling paid-for application for the BlackBerry.

Four pieces of amazing news published in less than 30 days prove that there is still good news out there. All we need to do is take lead from this website and spread some good news. Pakistan needs it.

Maha.Amin

Maha Amin

A LUMS graduate working as a sub-editor on the Life & Style pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ali Hassan

    Very nice post. thanksRecommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Then there was the news of University students in Karachi making their own missile launch system and a hybrid car. There was an attempt to break world record for most push-ups. The world’s largest ring belongs to us as well.Recommend

  • Talat

    Arfa karim is not “the most recent” example.Recommend

  • Talat

    further, what is good news to the few well off people of Pakistan is no news to most of the population.Jobs, prosperity, decline in terrorism and crime in general will make good news for them. Recommend

  • faraz

    Do these high achievers belong to the unprivaleged sections of the society? Recommend

  • Talha A. A

    It’s nice to see this post in what is probably the most left-wing paper in Pakistan. Usually wrist-slitting and armchair criticism is all Pakistani left-wingers are ‘good’ at. Recommend

  • Ajay

    What a great idea ! Recommend

  • Ajay

    This website or Pakistan news anchors could start their own version of pinheads and patriots of Pakistan telecast weekly here they can publicize good deeds or words of any Pakistani. Make sure to include politicians. For example Nawaz Sharif’s non-so-sincere call for cutting down prices, eradicating violence in Karachi can be commended even if he himself wouldn’t have taken any action if in power.Recommend

  • shafiq khan

    watch a short pakistani movie on the blasphemy law by clicking on the link below:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQueJJxFcEE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaWogHVGVUgRecommend

  • Dreamer

    The website has about 7 relatively minor good news for the past 4 months. I really want to be optimistic, but this doesn’t really give us much reason to be happy. Unfortunately, it actually made me slightly sadder.Recommend

  • Saad Najaf Ali Sayed

    Dear Maha, I must say a nicely written article. I would like to add my perspective cum experience as well.

    Its only when we travel out of Pakistan do we actually realize the importance of Pakistan. The fact that we have been bestowed with a citizenship of a country means a right in itself. Otherwise, there are Bengalis working in Chinese restaurants throughout Karachi without the right to make their NICs, vote or opt for any legal position in the country. Infact they are leading their lives as illegal immigrants.

    Pakistan is a land which has given us a name, a sense of identity and ideology. Despite all evils, upon my travels to different parts of the world especially the Northern America side, many such instances came when i thanked my Lord for bestowing me a part of Pakistan.

    I can proudly say today that i pertain to the Paki Culture…

    We still are an emerging state, inshaAllah a day would come when we would also eliminate corruption from the gross root level of Pakistan, whereby, it can truly reflect its sovereignty and true green colour of the flag!

    Long Live Pakistan! Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Asad Ahmed

    Can you please paste the link for the website here, ive been trying to look for it in the January 18th online paper but can’t find it. Thanks.Recommend

  • Angela Y.

    *Arfa’s is a story from 2005.. she’s gone on to achieving other firsts since then

    @ Asad Ahmed.. the article’s been hyperlinked in the text aboveRecommend

  • http://www.bonfriends.org/ask-super-sis/ Advice for Life

    Great inspiring article. Pakistani readers need this kind of piece. GREAT WORKRecommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    Get people to stop watching so-called news programs like those run by the very famous Kamran Khan, that would make a difference, all Kamran Khan does is stuff people’s head with Anti Govt Rhetoric and Western Conspiracy theories, and not to mention how ridiculously rude and impolite he is.Recommend

  • Farhan Aleem

    There’s always sleep a Crystal in every stone, you have an eyes to recognize it, you got the same Maha….! Well done. Recommend

  • saher

    i thought so.. arfa is an old example.. 2005 ki.. i had heard it before… but having said that there are lots of good news coming out ..

    Textile exports surge 25.79 percent
    http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?235624

    PTA Organized an Event to Celebrate 100 Million Cellular Subscriptions
    http://pak1stanfirst.com/pakistan/current-affairs/pta-organized-an-event-to-celebrate-100-million-cellular-subscriptions.html

    http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20110120_04
    27th place for pak in the world for civic engagement out of 130 … not the best but better than many
    India ranked 48th scored 28 percent
    not anti india but i dunno we always compare with them :)

    things are bad but only we can alleviate them.. have faith!Recommend

  • Shahbaz Younis

    Few weeks back I watched on TV channel that Pakistani engineers have made a helicopter, with cost of 9.8 Million Rupees, it uses cheap fuel, and able to land safely in case of engine failure. Yes Pakistan got talent, we should be proud of it….Recommend

  • http://billaytoot.wordpress.com Bilal

    My opinion is that our media is pretty biased in the sense that media publish and broadcast news that are depressing, political fights and all the crap rather than debates over science, art or sports or positive news…

    We Pakistanis are like silver, if polished we will shine.. but we never get opportunities to get polished….Recommend

  • Arsalan Qureshi

    Pakistan Zindabad – Love you PakisRecommend

  • Henna Khan

    We don’t get good news not because nothing good is happening but because nothing good is being reported. I saw this video on youtube and I felt ashamed of my pessimism regarding my own country. Its not about how Pakistan is, its about how Pakistan is being projected…………

    Pakistan nd India in the eye of William Dalrymple

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQj5YYqO39E&feature=relatedRecommend

  • saeed ud din

    Dear Maha it was a well written aritcle. As we know very well that media can play their role in awareness program to the mass of the country. Beside the political and judicial issues there are other activities occurring in the country some of which are bringing fame to the people of Pakistan. Few days ago a girl named Samina from Shimshal valley climbed 6400 feet mountain in Gilgit-Baltistan and she is the first women to climb that mountain (Chiskan Sar name of the mountain in wakhi language).

    we all know there that country has got talented people from the Khunjarab(china border) to the Karachi, the only thing to do is to keep an optimistic approach.

    As it is well said by the Poet of the East

    Zara Nam ho to ye Miti badi zarkhaz hai Saqi.

    one can find the story of Samina by clicking on the links below
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l88XSgcY08&feature=playerdetailpage

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DmEW7A42RmJI&h=d20b2

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fj-tv.me%2FfvESh0&h=d20b2

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWoeX60lN-94&h=d20b2Recommend

  • parvez

    It will be time to celebrate when we don’t have to look for reasons to celebrate.Recommend

  • bold

    Funny that most of these ‘Good News’ are happening and being done by people OUTSIDE Pakistan…. or am i just plain wrong?Recommend

  • http://awgilani.wordpress.com Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    Awesome post! Pakistan is the very place to be proud of. Pakistan Pa’inda’bab!Recommend

  • Talha

    Look at the great Pakistan we had in the 60’s.

    New Horizons: PakistanRecommend

  • Amer

    @Maha: Awesome blog. I love it and yeah I agree, I don’t turn to “news” channels at home either. It’s the best thing you can do for your health. Recommend

  • Humanity

    Every one deserves to feel proud and worthy. Yes, the bad news fatigue causes depression and hopelessness. It get harder and harder to stay objective. But the problems must be addressed. Shoving them under the carpet is suicide.

    The root of the problem is the the lack of vision at an individual level, and the belief that one is unworthy. The individual vision collectively becomes the vision of the nation.

    You are the problem, if you don’t believe in your worthiness and your potential.

    You are the problem, if your vision is to get filthy rich, no matter how. You are the problem, if your vision is to get the heaven at the expense of another’s blood. You are the problem, if your vision is to tell others how they ought to live their lives. You are the problem, if you sense and right and wrong is muddled and you do to others what you do not like to be done to do.

    To make a change, believe that you are worthy, make a vision for your life, and then work for that vision. Recommend

  • fahad baloch

    i knew about Five rivers achievement but rest of the news are new 2 me… thanx alot 4 sharing it.Recommend

  • Saleeha Ghauri

    There’s actually another blog I came across a few days that posts only “good news” type articles about Pakistan. Pretty great idea! And just what we need these days. http://goodnewspakistan.tumblr.com/Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    While I do understand your point of view, shutting our eyes and ignoring our troubles isn’t going to help us any bit. We have talent, we have the resources, what we need is organization. We need to step up and start steering our nation, these 4 good news will turn into 40 then 400. But if we are content with 4 good news a month, that is not going to help us a lot.Recommend

  • http://www.goodnews.pk MAK
  • http://paklifecycle.blogspot.com/ behzad

    i agree to the writer. i also believe in this and working on my blog to promote positive atitudes and positive things regarding Pakistan which can bring smiles on the faces of these depressed Pakistaniz. But when we seee thingss like Shaista Wahidi with vevik oberoi in Utho jago pakistan, i also become depressed. i will recommend everybody to visit this post on this issue… link text

    well, i think we have to revive the idology… anyway i must appreciate this thought of positive thinking and smile for Pakistan….Recommend

  • http://www.army.mod.uk/events/events/23041.aspx Ahmar

    @Saad Durrani:
    the pushups one was most impressive

    look at my link, Pak Army is ranked most toughRecommend

  • kazim agha

    i loved to read this article.Recommend

  • http://deleted Sabeen Masood

    totaly loved the blog. and Pakistan has countless things that should be celebrated. we must let the terror makers to take away our liveliness. Happiness is a blessingRecommend

  • Nobody

    Excellent piece. Nice change of pace to read positive news about/from Pakistan. Keep it up! Recommend