Stories about 2012

Racism and football

The 2011-12 English Premier League (EPL) football season will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. While the football on display has hardly lit up the televisions this season, other incidents on and off the pitch have revived the long-standing controversy of racism among players and supporters. The embarrassing developments first occurred in a league match in October 2011 between rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, in which the latter’s Luis Suarez allegedly racially abused the former’s Patrice Evra, a coloured player. Suarez later admitted to calling him a “negro”. He was subsequently banned for eight matches by the Football ...

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My friend, the outcast

There was once an Ahmadi friend of mine who confided to me that no matter how hard she tries to identify herself as a Pakistani, her experiences of a lifetime of ‘otherisation’ and always being at the receiving end of misery do not allow her to do so. From her school days, to growing up in a neighborhood which regarded her as an Ahmadi first and then anything else, to watching people belonging to her community being ostracized, it was one incident after another of constant singling out, being branded as a ‘kafir’, ‘outcast’ and ‘un-Pakistani’ that molded her ...

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Missing prisoners: Skeletons with urine bags

For many the media is a watchdog, but some want to make it a scapegoat to achieve their short-term personal goals. The prevailing crises in the country have also increased the challenges for the media to maintain its credibility and impartiality. I have no words to highlight the threats made to media people by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, or certain terrorist groups. But today I still have something to say. One of the country’s top lawyers, defending the prime minister in a contempt of court case, also accused the media of negatively portraying the issue. “Don’t get into this controversy, they are ...

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Even the mighty fall

The stage is a dark, treacherous place where under the glare of the spotlight, the bait doesn’t realise when it becomes the catch. Or so happened to a military analyst who, as a moderator of discussion on electronic media, impressed upon her panellists to not attempt and be an authority on subjects they have little command over. It started all too innocently with a joke on tables being turned. On the judgment day, Marilyn Monroe was found to be in Zia’s lap. Befuddled observers were informed that this is not Zia’s reward, but Monroe’s punishment. Likewise, the moderator Ayesha Siddiqa said, the sharp ...

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Fashion 2011: Here to stay or totally passé?

2011 was a year of ups and downs. The year saw everything from international change (the youthful, high-tech Arab Spring modernised the word ‘revolution’) to tacky commercial publicity stunts (we’re used to seeing near-naked Bollywood starlets grace our screens, but Veena in her birthday suit was a novelty across the border). We were jolted by the demise of larger-than-life personalities like Elizabeth Taylor, Steve Jobs and the infamous bin Laden. And from the glitzy pinnacle of the Royal wedding down to the fall of the Murdochian empire and unprecedented urban riots, the city of London experienced a roller coaster ride ...

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Star struck 2011

As the year 2011 comes to a close, it’s only natural to look back and remind ourselves of all that has transpired in the last 12 months. Other than several political and economic crises, not many things come to mind. However, upon a closer look one realises that there have been several scientific breakthroughs that this year will be remembered for. The discovery that fascinated me the most was made in August, when astronomers spotted an exotic planet that was reported to be made of diamond. Orbiting 4,000 light-years away from the earth, the new planet is far denser than ...

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A few good “F” words for the new year

The year 2011 sped by just like all the years before it. Glorious on many counts, it also had its downsides that come with the package of any given chunk of time. Standing in my balcony, braving the rare chilly Karachi winds against my face, I am taking inventory of the year gone by. Some unresolved resolutions are jumbled up in the knapsack of my mind while some new resolutions have also found their way in. ‘What are going to be my focal points in the year to come?’ I wonder. Somehow, a lot of ‘F’ words spring up in ...

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